Same me, new zip code
Peace out, MN
On Dec 31, 2018 I packed my car and began one of my biggest journeys yet. With fluffy pillows and fragile boxes balancing on rustic photo frames and a yoga mat in my back seat, I waved goodbye to 55123 and set my eyes on 29301. Honestly, it was a very abrupt move & might come as a complete shock to you, which is why I want to leave it all here out in the open.
So, let’s rewind. Peter and I have been dating for 7 years, with 4.5 of those being long-distance (I know, not ideal). After high school, Peter headed to Iowa & I started school in Wisconsin. At the time we never considered going to the same school because we each wanted the other to find their path independently, without worrying about the other having to follow along. Now I know what you’re probably thinking… “how did you do it?”. I know this because I was asked this at least once a week in college. Well, it’s important to note that we met when we were 14 and have literally grown up together. Drivers permits turned into licenses, college acceptances turned into graduations and now we are here at the entrance of our adult lives trying to find our new paths. Peter started a job in South Carolina after graduating in May, and I stayed back to work at a studio in the Twin Cities. Although I believe we mastered the art of Face-timing and phone calls, there came a point when distance was more than just annoying. There has always been a part of my mind that wondered what it would be like to move out to South Carolina with him, but that was also in the same compartment as daydreams of becoming a millionaire or selling all my belongings to travel the world. It just didn’t seem feasible.
What changed in me?
After talking to Peter more over Thanksgiving about moving, something shifted in me. I felt like my life in MN wasn’t for me anymore, which filled me with anxiety and fear. I mean, I would be up & moving away from the comfortable lifestyle of MN for something unknown. So I prayed and I prayed and I prayed. One morning it became apparent to me that I was looking at 2019 with pure dread. In retrospect, I call it my epiphany which is the best way to describe it. In that moment I realized that no one should ever dread their life, so if I was unhappy I was the one who could change it.
Opening up to my parents about leaving was one of the hardest parts. I imagined the house being quiet without my loud laughter, the kitchen being empty without constant assembly line of cookies and my dad being lonely without his Bachelor-watching buddy. But, their immediate support and encouragement helped me to move past that and focus on the growth I would experience.
Peter & I planned that I would drive out with him on New Year’s Eve, he would skip his roundtrip flight back to SC, and we would focus on finding me a job as quickly as possible. I don’t know that there was ever a time when I felt 100% certain about this whole thing until I went to church one morning and the message hit me. The pastor mentioned how God puts big and often uncomfortable changes in our lives to help us grow, and man is that true! I immediately thought about Italy and how I decided spur of the moment to study abroad for 3 months, without researching Florence or knowing anyone in my program. I blindly followed my gut and thank God for that because it sparked my love for travel, interest in video and gave me friendships I now cherish greatly.
So, two days ago we packed up the car, I hugged my parents tightly and headed out at 4 AM to our new home. Our home, how weird does that sound?! I love it. I honestly didn’t expect to be so sad, but as I pulled out the driveway I couldn’t stop the stream of tears down my cheeks as I started thinking about my parents. They raised me, shaped me and sent me off faithfully, knowing that I am on a mission to change the world in any capacity that I can. Thank God for these people. Also, thank God for Peter who can make me smile in the midst of my tears. I mean, he had me belly-laughing through the elephant sobs that I was making, which is one of the many reasons he’s an angel on earth.
We arrived on Dec 31, right before the ball dropped and 2019 struck.
We unpacked the car, transforming the living room into a literal pig-stye, and started to rearrange the space. I should mention, he had his own apartment filled with furniture and decor, so my biggest concern was shoving clothes in the closet and getting photos hung. I won’t forget how comforting Peter was that night. He told me I could change anything I wanted in the house & even had designated 70% of the closet as mine (which quickly became 80% because again, he’s an angel). He made me laugh as I spent my first moments of 2019 reorganizing the kitchen drawers & categorizing the food into baskets - the true sign of a foodie.
So far, I have to say this has been a pretty incredible decision. I have spent the days driving aimlessly to get my bearings, setting up interviews for potential jobs (fingers-crossed), cooking dinners for us and spending way less time than ever on my phone because the guy I would always text is sitting next to me. Pinch me, this can’t be real.
All in all, I hope that this might inspire you. Maybe this helps you realize that if there’s something in your life that isn’t making you happy…you can change it. Or maybe you will see how it doesn’t matter what other people think. I know there are people out there who don’t think living together is a good idea, but to them I flash a smile and ask if they’ve seen me so happy. The world is big my friends and life is short, don’t be scared of it, embrace it and make your story something you are proud of.
Xoxo - Katie