If I’m being honest, the last 6 months have been anything but easy, but I haven’t regretted a minute of it.
It feels like a while since I came on here and just wrote. I really have not thought much about the direction of this post, but I knew I wanted to share some thoughts with you all. I miss the days when I felt comfortable to get on here and just write. Letting my thoughts take whatever direction they want to, without the thoughts of search engine optimization and Pinterest worthy images. I am ready to change that though. I need to make this change, for my blog/ business and for myself.
6 months ago I was deep in the job search. I was applying to jobs across Michigan (we are talking way up north, people!) and even a few outside of Michigan. I had interviews and made it to the final round only to be told I did not have the experience they were looking for. Whomp, whomp. July was a slow month for interviewing since a lot of administrators take time off during July, but finally around August, it felt like I was back on the search. I got a call for an interview in a city I never heard of, but after a quick Google search I realized it was only 2 hours away. Not bad! I went on the interview, not thinking much of it. I had been let down so much I figured this would just be another one. But then I got a second interview. I vowed to make this second interview different. I would let more of my personality shine through. I talked about my teaching experiences, but I also talked about people outside of the teaching profession I look up to and I shared how long distance running has made me a better educator (this was the part of the interview I felt my best!). I felt like I was nailing every question and the interview felt like it turned into a conversation with the committee rather than a strict q&a. I left the interview feeling good, but I had gotten to this point many times before so I didn’t get my hopes up, I made the 2 hour drive home and when I was just minutes from arriving home, I got a call that I received the job.
Oh yeah, and I needed to move down there ASAP.
That’s when everything changed. I called around to apartments in the area to see if anyone had any availability. I found only one that had availability when I needed it. It was a two bedroom (which I didn’t really need), but it was available to me when I needed it so I took it. A week later I was moved to a brand new town on my own. It finally hit me when I was setting up my utilities and had to schedule a time for the internet to come be installed. The only available times were during the work week and I had to start work that very next day. The lady I was talking to told me I just needed to have someone in my apartment to let the internet person come in and set it up. She asked me “you don’t have anyone you know that could come sit in your apartment for a few minutes?” I said no, and she asked again as if I was lying. After a stressful week of unexpectedly moving and the stress of setting up my first classroom, I felt like I was about to break down right there. I responded that no I really did not know anyone in the area, which was the honest truth. I was out in this new town on my own. (Spoiler: I was able to find a time I was available without missing work to get my internet set up, but I had to wait a week without internet…)
I spent the week leading up to the first day of school trying to settle in my new apartment and get my classroom set up. Most days that week I was one of the only people at the school, besides the janitors and administrators, but this was my dream. My own classroom.
I finally got “settled,” which meant unpacked and a place for everything in my apartment. Did I mention I was also training for my first marathon? Yup. Between starting a new job, living a new town on my own, and training for a marathon, I never felt like I actually sat down and did nothing. I was lesson planning, trying to keep my head afloat during the school day, only to come home and run 5-10 miles at night and turn around and do it all again. But I never felt like I complained about it. Sure I was stressed to the max, but I didn’t let it show. I was lonely living in a small rural town on my own, but I didn’t want to let it show because this was what I had spent so many years chasing after.
I went home every couple of weekends the first two months I had moved away. I had already had previous commitments I had made to things before I had moved, plus a two hour drive didn’t feel so bad. I got to see my family and friends, which made me happy and that was worth it. On weekends I did stay in the area, I found excuses to be gone all day. I would drive over an hour for dinner with friends just because it was something to do.
After my marathon, things started to change. I took two weeks off of exercising and found myself with a whole lot of free time I did not have previously. Things were going more smoothly at school as I found myself getting into a better routine and feeling more comfortable. One day at lunch I was talking with another teacher who just a year before me had done the same thing — moved to this area not knowing anyone. We talked about how awesome it would be if we could live together in these brand new apartments that had just opened. I told her I was in a year-long lease at my apartment, but I would see what I could do to possibly get out of it. I thought it was a long shot, but I obtained a copy of my lease to see how I could end my lease early. Long story short, it was do-able. I would have to pay my way out of it, but I did the math and in the long end I would end up saving more $$$ in my new apartment than I would if I stayed until the end of the lease of my current apartment. My new roommate & I went to the leasing office of the new apartment and immediately signed the paperwork. We were both really excited about moving into an apartment that had everything we didn’t have where we had both been previously living — a washer & dryer! a fitness center! a pool! It was almost like everything was too good to be true. The only downside was I had to stay in my apartment for 2 more months. It was going to be worth it. I had a really hard time calling my apartment at the time “home,” but I could easily see myself calling this new apartment home.
Fast forward two months to the middle of winter break… it was moving day! My new roommate & I had been counting down the days for weeks and it was finally here. It was also one of the coldest days of the year. I am pretty sure when I left my parent’s house, it was in the negatives. Luckily, once we started moving everything out of my second story apartment, we warmed up quickly. My whole family helped out and things went smoothly. We made our way over to the new apartment and I was just so happy. Just the apartment felt brighter than my previous apartment did. For someone who gets the winter blues, this was huge for me.
I gave my keys back to the old apartment (and accidentally left behind my mirror… whoops!) and immediately felt free. My old apartment was not awful by any means, but no updates had been made in years and issues I had had (like a broken sink) were never fixed. As we left, my mom said that she was sure we left that apartment cleaner than it was when I had moved in.
We had thrown all my boxes and furniture into my new apartment and went back to my parents, since I wanted to celebrate the new year at home. (<— wait, what’s home???) The whole time I was back home (ahem, my parent’s home) I could not stop thinking about how excited I was to get back to Coldwater. It dawned on me, this was the first time I ever felt excited to go back to Coldwater. Ever.
I am finally finding a place to call home. Which comes at good timing since my parents are moving out of the only other place I have called home later this year! It won’t be forever, but it feels good to be excited to come back to my apartment after work and love it. My kitchen is big and well lit (the exact opposite of my old apartment) and everything is brand new. Ah, it is everything. I love having a roommate who happens to be another teacher that I can bounce ideas off of and just chat about life with. Moving to a new town on your own is tough, but I have made it work and really love it now. Sure, I miss my friends and family back home a lot, but I am only a two hour drive away, which is perfect for where I am at right now. I can really take the time to focus on my profession and grow into it, without a lot of other distractions.
All this is to say, the last couple of months I have struggled to get on this blog. I never really mentioned it, but it is the truth. I should have loved turning my second bedroom into a home office, but I didn’t. I hated spending more than a couple of minutes in my kitchen, so recipes were far and few in between. I am pretty sure I can count on one hand the number of times I made and shot a recipe for the blog during the fall. But that was just another season of life. And I don’t regret that for a minute. That apartment was what let me start my teaching career and it gave me a place to settle. I did not expect to move out of it just a couple months later, but it happened. And I could not be happier. And I am excited to have the excitement to blog again.
Moving forward, I don’t know what direction I want to take this blog. I think it will still be a mix of food & running, but maybe some more lifestyle? I’ll be honest, I haven’t looked at my blog analytics in month, I stopped caring how much my Instagram grew every day and I cut back the amount I post. Blogging is different than it was when I first started and in total honesty, I thought about stopping blogging. But I just could not say no to blogging anymore. Once I sit down and start working on a post, I just do not want to stop. I want to make this blog a better reflection of myself. I don’t want to spend weekends stressing about getting the best lit photos of me running or cooking, I want to spend my weekends sharing the things I love with you. That may mean a quick iPhone photo of a run that left me feeling inspired. Not everything needs to be picture perfect to make its way on the blog. I want to share more honest posts with you, even if that means I don’t have anything to pin to Pinterest or an Instagram photo that will get a ton of likes. I want to be honest & real with you. That’s okay with you, right?
Thanks for sticking around these past couple of months. I am happy that I can take you all on this journey of adulting. Remember when I was just a college kid sharing dorm room approved recipes? How cute 😉