how i got to where i’m at [part 2]
.. the continuation of part 1 ..
Have you ever had one of those nights where you just went out like a champ? I mean like you really thought you were a Rock Star. I was so tired of being worried and confused, all it took was a little “Come on J – it’ll be like old times – before all the grown up stuff got in the way.” and I was dressed, out the door & on my way to the Square.
Needless to say – that night I did forget all my worries. And a couple of other things while I was at it. And I ended up being taken home & put to bed by my dear friend, AJ, at 4:30 that morning. Now I tell you all of this because of the following: Two hours later, at approximately 6:30 a.m., I sat straight up in my bed, wide awake. My mind was [surprisingly] clear and there was only one thought – one word – on it.
That’s it. Nothing else. Just Charleston. Charleston, South Carolina. Charlestowne. CHAAAAAARLESTON. I sat in bed thinking:
- A. How am I even functioning right now?
- B. How had I not thought about Charleston before?
- C. There’s a reason this is happening – one of those intuition / may not know why just yet but you better pay attention to it types of reasons.
I had been to Charleston when I was in the 2nd grade on a family visit. We went to Fort Sumter. I didn’t remembered anything about the area except for a picture taken of me here. I had pigtails and I was laughing. Minus the fact that the only person I knew who lived in Charleston was only nice to me because his parents made him be nice to me, I figured if push came to shove, I could call – even if we didn’t exactly get along. Those two things mixed with the intensity of concentrated feeling I had felt that morning all seemed like a pretty solid foundation to me.
The process began again all over again. In May I flew out for interviews and to get reacquainted with the area. I was hell-bent on doing it by myself (just as I had in Miami) so I flew in, rented a car, and got a room in a hotel close to the airport. *I’m not even going to say what hotel I stayed at, but I will say – it was a miracle I wasn’t scared away by staying there. I had two interviews at a large resort in the area (which will remain nameless as well) that both went very well and two more that sounded quite hopeful. Overall,
It was an incredible trip for me. I had found it. I had found the place I was destined to move. There was a reason I woke up with Charleston on my mind that one fateful morning, and this was it!
About mid-July, the large resort where I had a prospective job stopped returning my calls and emails. The other two hopefuls had been filled as my moving date had been pushed back a month. So pretty much: I had no job prospect nor did I have a place to live. awesome. Regardless, I was going to make this happen. I just was. Thankfully I had money saved up from the wreck I told you about in part 1 — I guess things really do happen for a reason — so I sat down to have a talk with my Father about the most reasonable / least reckless way to make this situation work.
Together we came upon the decision that I would drive out to Charleston, stay in an extended stay hotel (cheaper rates for longer stays) for two weeks. If I found a job, I could find a place to live. If not, I get back in my truck, drive back home to West Tennessee, regroup and go from there. That seemed like a logical idea to me. Still rather reckless but at least a bit conscious of my resources.
And so I packed up my beat up old SUV and hit the road. I didn’t have a GPS or smart phone or even MapQuest directions. I had a good ol’ Rand McNally Atlas and simply knew there were a few major cities I had to hit. I arrived in Charleston on July 31 and went straight to my extended stay hotel. It had been a long drive and I had to hit the streets hard starting early that next morning.
The first couple of days are all a blur. On day 2 I ended up in a place called Folly Beach when I was trying to get to an area called West Ashley. No bueno. The realization of moving to a place all alone was starting to set in around Day 4. Luckily the staff and most of the residents at the extended stay suites soon became my impromptu support system. When I would return in the evenings I would be asked by everyone how the day went and when I left in the mornings I was sent off by high fives and good lucks. They even helped on the job hunt, asking around for whatever was available in the area. It was amazing having that unexpected support.
In summary: I did find a job that first week I was there. On Day 5 I was offered a job with the company I still currently work for. (I started on Monday, Day 8.) And you know what that meant …. I could then find a place to live! So the second week was spent seeking out different rooms for rent (Craigslist = the Match.com for Roommates) until finally landing one on that Thursday. Score!
I took my time moving things out of my hotel that weekend. It was bittersweet. Those were two fairly pivotal weeks in my life, and even though I was incredibly excited for all that sat before me, I was a little sad to leave my new-found support system that helped me get to this point. I did it. I really really did it. I drove out here with only enough things to last me for two weeks, with no job, no place to live, no real friends, and somehow …. in some crazy mystical way …. it all worked out. There really was a reason I woke up at 6:30 that morning. And this was it. Right here. Right in this city by the sea.
This city by the sea that 4 years later ….. I still call home.