Monday, January 14, 2013

On Big Unexpected Life Changes

"If you want to make God laugh, tell him your plans."
 
 
This well-known quote resonates with me after my experience in Charlotte last week.  You see, I had all these plans.  I thought I'd be in this condo (that I love) for a couple more years.  I'd spend every holiday with my family.  I'd make countless memories at my parents lake home, and would introduce my boyfriend to life at the lake. I'd train for countless marathons with a running club I love. 
 
Well - those plans and dreams all came to a crashing halt last week when I got unexpectedly pulled into a conference room on my trip to Charlotte and was told that my job and department is being moved to Charlotte and that I have 2 weeks to decide and 2-3 months to complete the move. 
 
To say I was shocked is an understatement.  I sat there - in a group of men who all took the news oh so stoically - and I damn near hyperventilated.  My body shook and tears silently poured down my face as so many thoughts and questions went through my mind.  
 
As those of you have who have read my blog for years know, I have worked really hard over the past couple of years to create this life I loved.  I felt like I had really hit my stride and can honestly say there really isn't much I was looking to change in my life.  I genuinely love and adore Minneapolis.  And now this bomb has been dropped on me.  Yes, I can try to find something else, but let's be honest here.  The economoy is still hurting, and my industry is doing particularly horrible because when interest rates are low, we do not make much money.  In fact, most of our competitors are cutting jobs - not adding them. 
 
This whole situation would be different if they were asking me to move to cities like Chicago, San Francisco, Boston, Manhattan, Philadelphia, or Seattle.  No offense to those who love or live in Charlotte, but I do not care for the city.  In my opinion, it's a great place to live if you like a suburban lifestyle (I don't at all) or like mild weather (I don't mind winter and like snow at Christmas).  The downtown (well they call it "Uptown") is a far cry from what I am accustomed to in Minneapolis where there is an awesome grocery store, Target, Banana Republic, Barnes & Noble, etc.  Charlotte has none of those things, and clears out each evening once everyone goes home to return to their suburban lifestyles.  And - it's not a city for running (in my opinion).  Sure, the weather is mild and accomodating, but it does not make the top 10 list of cities to run in like Minneapolis does. I walk out my door and have access to miles upon miles of running trails along lakes and rivers.  Charlotte?  Has no water (except for a lake in - you guessed it - suburbia).   
 
But I really can't control where they asked me to move and no matter how much I cry, kick, scream, moan, and complain, reality does not change - I will likely have to move to Charlotte.
 
I have so many things running through my mind.  Big things like how often will I see my family?  What will happen to my relationship?  Is the short amount of time we've had together enough for us to turn our relationship into a long distance one, and one with no end date in mind of when we might be reunited?   Will I be able to afford to come back for the multiple weddings I have this fall, the Chicago marathon, Julia Child Night, and the holidays?  Will I make friends?  Will the stress of a cross-country move jeopardize my chances of passing the CFA exam?
 
And then there are smaller things like - will I be able to find an apartment that my furniture (like my large dining room table and beautiful piano) will fit in?  Will I find a running club I like nearly as much as the one I have here?  How will the hot/humid summer impact my marathon training?  Will I find a church I like?  Should I change my CFA test center to Charlotte?  What about all of my pre- and post-test rituals I've established here in Minneapolis? 
 
I recognize that things could be worse.  At least I still have a job - that is better than having my position eliminated.  But right now, I think I deserve to be upset/sad/mad/confused/scared.  I think I have the right to cry.  I know that eventually I will have to put this pity party behind me and try to be more positive, but right now, it feels like my whole world has been turned upside down in the blink of an eye.

I don't really want this blog space to become a vortex of negativity and moping.  So I am going to take a little break from blogging as I work through some of these emotions and commit my free time to researching my options and getting a better handle on what a cross-country move requires.  Luckily the relocation package is generous and they try to make it as easy for you as possible, but it's still going to be a lot of work. 

So if you pray, please say a prayer for me.  If you don't, keep me in your thoughts as this is a really difficult time for me.  

37 comments:

Kelly (She Wears a Red Sox Cap) said...

Aw Lisa, I have been thinking about you nonstop since you told me about this :( I really think you should fully deserve to have a pity party for yourself and I am joining it because I just feel terrible. I know technically speaking it would be worse to have your position eliminated, but I would almost rather than because then it's no decision and actually less life changes haha.

Also I would feel a lot better if they told you to move to Boston haha- it definitely has a downtown/city life and I would get to see you a lot more often :) But I will just be happy that the flights to Charlotte are cheap compared to everywhere else around.

Anyway, I'll miss your posts but I'll be checking in on you often. A million hugs sent your way :)

J said...

So sorry Lisa - I know that I would be totally upset too. Its just not fair :( Hopefully everything will work out and maybe something will turn up and you wont have to move! Praying and sending happy thoughts to you!

Stephany said...

I agree with Kelly here... I feel like, though it would still SUCK, getting laid off would be a mite better since you wouldn't have to deal with all the crazy life changes that are going to happen over the next few months.

I'm just so sorry and I wish there was something I could do. Heck, I WISH I lived in Charlotte so then you'd have a built-in friend to make the transition easier. ;) But I can't and I feel helpless because I just hate this whole situation.

I'll be praying you can find peace as you sort through all of this mess.

abbi said...

Wow, that is a bombshell and definitely something difficult to process. Take the time you need to figure everything out.

Gracie said...

Huge bombshell! I know you just need some time now. Hopefully the next few weeks will bring some quiet downtime to allow you to think.
I actually have a close friend in Charlotte and he grew to love the city as a runner - so there's that - and if you have any specific questions he'd be glad to answer them. He bought a house there and makes much use of the public transportation to feel connected to the uptown area. Let me know if you want his email!

missris said...

Oh honey, I am so so SO sorry this is your reality right now. I'm keeping you in my thoughts and I know you will get through it! But take all the time you need, and realize that you have a lot of people you can lean on to help you!

Nilsa @ SoMi Speaks said...

I'm going to diverge from a few of your friends and say that I'm thankful you still have a job. While you face a move and challenges related to that, you still have income and as you've said, it may be easier for you to find your next gig if you're currently employed. That said, it really SUCKS to have the carpet pulled out from under you ... especially just as you're getting in such a good grove in Charlotte. You definitely should take some time to process what all this means ... and of course, I will continue to do what I can to help. I have lots of friends who moved to Charlotte after school and really love the area.

Leigh said...

Sending you big hugs and my fingers are crossed that everything works out for you. You deserve to be happy and to have all of those things, so I hope that happens for you.

Leslie said...

You totally deserve to feel all of those emotions - and you should feel them all. Your life has taken a VERY unexpected turn. I am sending positive thoughts your way and I know everything will work out for the best for you.

Nora said...

Here for you; that's all I can think of to say today. Call/message/email anytime.
Big hugs and lots of love (and prayers, of course).

Amber @ A Little Pink in the Cornfields said...

You have been in my thoughts and prayers so much and will continue to be. I hate to see you leave Minneapolis because I know how happy you are there. I think you deserve every right to have a pity party and be angry, but I guess the only thing you can do now is trust your gut instinct and have faith in God's plan for you.
Tons of hugs and prayers!

Amy said...

I've been thinking about you non-stop since this happened.

People who are overly cheery when I'm depressed make me want to throat punch them, but I will say this: you were unhappy in Minneapolis for a time and you changed your life to be happy (moving downtown, etc.) and I have no doubt that as crappy as this will be, you will find that same power. It won't be the same, but I know that you will do it. I know that there's a plan and things happen for a reason. I know that this will work out. So much love to you!!!

Linda said...

Lots of hugs and thoughts going your way from me as you go through and process this upheaval.

Raquelita said...

I have been thinking of you and praying for you since I got your email about the situation a few days ago. You have every right to feel like the rug was pulled out from under you and to feel upset about the situation. I will echo some of the others and say that I'm thankful that you are being given a choice (even if it doesn't feel like a good one) and that your position was not eliminated. I know you worked hard to make changes in your life and find happiness in Minneapolis, but I have faith that you will be able to find ways to be happy in Charlotte or at least to be content there.

qwerkyqook said...

Oh Lisa. This does stink! I agree with Amy above. I do think that the happiness you found in MPLS was because you embraced a few things you knew would make you happier. That's gumption my dear, not mpls magic. Do you read the blog healthy tipping point? She is a runner in Charlotte, which also has a big "girls on the run" chapter that would be fun to be a part of. I did our first race in Mpls and it was a blast. You are in my prayers!

San said...

Lisa,
my heart is breaking for you... after all the work and effort you put into your work, they hit you with this. I really think it's not fair.

I know the right thing to do would be to cheer you on and to tell you that everything will be ok (and you possibly might learn to like Charlotte and if you need a friend, I can hook you up with a German friend of mine who lives there)... but the fact is: having a job is great, but being in a place you love with people that you love and family close by is JUST as important.
I learned this once again this year when I visited family at home. It gets harder and harder for me to go back to California (a place that I love so dearly).

If you need to talk, email me. Or let's set up a skype date. I'd love to listen.

<3

Marlys said...

Well, Lisa, you know how we feel. I hate the thought of you moving so far away, and on opposite sides of the country from Abby! My heart is heavy but you know we are behind you and will give you all the support we can muster. It is good to vent and feel angry! Just when life seems to be going in the right direction, the rug was ripped from below you. But I also know your determination and planning abilities, and I have a feeling all will turn out okay. Like Amber said, trust in God's plan for you! You may look back on this experience as a powerful one! But please come back to the midwest as soon as possible!

Carolina John said...

Grenades!!

We all have to embrace the current reality as it changes, and that's not an easy process. Moving halfway across the country is also never an easy process. You've got quite a monumental few months ahead of you. Roll with the punches and embrace the adventures ahead.

You will make new friends down there, southerners are nothing if not hospitable. I'll throw a party for you if you don't make friends fast enough, and get some of my closest friends there into your world. True, NC isn't in the land of 10,000 lakes like MN and WI are, but once you learn to embrace the hills you'll be fine.

People migrate to the suburbs there because that's where the parks, good running trails, and urban sprawl has led them.

I'm always surprised when I have to embrace a new reality. I've never had to do anything this severe (almost moved to DC last year), but acceptance leads to finding the joys in the new reality. I promise once you get down there you will find the same joys you found in MN. It might come with more tattoos or a pickup truck, but it's there.

Amber said...

Been thinking about you lots and also thinking LOTS about the quote from Becky's blog the other day; in the end it'll all be ok. If it's not ok, it's not the end.

I know you'll be OK and I am going to stay super positive for you and channel all my energy into good thoughts for a job in Minneapolis! It is definitely ok to be upset, sad and angry over this for awhile. Tons of love! XO

Lauren Michelle said...

I am actually only a couple hours from Charlotte, so if you ever want to meet in Rock Hill (which is only about 30 minutes away) to hang out and gripe about the move, I am totally down for that. You may actually end up liking Rock Hill better than Charlotte. Of course, almost everyone in the south is close to suburbia. If you didn't grow up down here, it can be such a sucky change. I'm used to the lifestyle, but I can see why you'd prefer Minneapolis. I think some people have this misconception that the south is so communal and friendly with southern hospitality, but that's not always the case. You have to have the right personality for it. Sometimes I don't think I do, even though I grew up here. I live in suburbia, but I don't necessarily like it. It's kind of half and half. Sometimes I wonder if I would like living in the type of city that never sleeps. When you live in suburbia, it's easy to feel alone and isolated even though you're surrounded by a lot of houses, whereas in the city you're much closer to people, merely separated by walls, and I would actually feel more connected to humanity that way. All of this is to say, I totally understand your devastation. If you end up going through with the move, I will definitely make time to hang out if you want. I can't imagine how hard this will be. I will definitely pray for you, Lisa.

tammy said...

I can't believe that you have to make such a huge decision in such a short time. Good luck! I will be thinking of you and checking in on your blog often.

The Many Thoughts of a Reader said...

(((((())))) You can dooooooooooooo it! Email me if you need to vent!

Jolene - EverydayFoodie said...

Oh wow - I am so sorry girl. That is really, really tough. I don't know what I would do in a situation like that. It is hard when you feel like you don't have a lot of options. I am sending a giant hug, and thoughts and prayers your way. Cry, vent, do whatever you need to. I really hope things work out for the best.

Journey Authentically said...

Oh gal, I'll be praying for you. So many thoughts for you and responses to your thoughts float in my mind, but I'll just leave it that it is a BIG decision, it doesn't feel fair, I can't help but think something good can come out of this, and at the very least you can say NO (if you're able to deal with what that also might mean). Thinking of you, praying for you.....run your heart out right now, pray, process, feel, and decide. Lots of love your way.

Karen said...

Having come from a military family (and prior military myself), I know how a move can really turn your life upside down. It seems trite to say it, but there's always some sort of a silver lining to it ... sometimes you have to look really hard for it, but it's there.

Becky said...

I know there are tons of questions running through your head - and let yourself be pissed and upset for as long as you need to be before you make this decision. Thinking about you friend.

bakinginmybathingsuit said...

Thinking of you. Big life changes are always better when we make the decision for ourselves, but it'll be ok.

I've heard really nice things about Charlotte and maybe it'll grow on you...and if it doesn't, you'll figure out what's next.

And pity parties are well and good, even helpful sometimes, but if I may (because we're dealing with this right now with my husband's mother) if you decide to take the move - find a way to be accepting or even positive before you get there so you don't automatically hate it just because you're upset about being uprooted.

Thinking calming thoughts

Abby said...

You are in my thoughts and prayers every single day right now! I am completely giving you permission to be angry, upset, and just pissed off!

My biggest advice to you is -- don't let that anger and hatred to this new city consume you. Learn from your sister. I did that when we moved to Tucson, and although I tried really hard to cover and fake that I was just loving it here -- I didn't. I had no friends, and started living/focusing on getting through this phase and moving to a different city upon us both finishing school. While focusing on getting through that phase -- I shut all potential friends out, and therefore became rather lonely.

It wasn't until I finally accepted that "hey, I'm here" -- I fell in love with the Southwest. Now, I don't expect you to fall head over heels with Charlotte. But sometimes when we truly "dive head first" into a new culture/city/surrounding, we found out it's better than it appears from a standard visitor.

Hang in there -- and know I will always have open ears for you to vent to. I have faith this will work for you. When I'm in Columbus -- we will have a 3.5 hour drive to meet in the middle in Atlanta or something!

Shoshanah said...

I can't even imagine having something this big dropped on my and having to move halfway across on the country without choosing to. I think big moves like this are enough work when it's something you planned and you wanted to do. But I guess once you figure out what you want to do, and as things get a little more settled, I'm sure things will start to get at least a little easier.

Kyria @ Travel Spot said...

Bummer dude. I know it's easy for me to say, but maybe you need to do exactly what you said, and take some time to think things over. Sometimes your gut reaction is a bit strong, but as time goes by, things don't seem quite as bad. I hope this is the case for you. My thoughts are with you. Good luck in your decision making!

Jen said...

Best of luck to you, Lisa! I can't even imagine how disrupting this must be at this point in your life! You are a strong, positive person, though, and I know you will come out on the better side of this. You never know where life will take you or what will come of it, so try to stay positive and know this is for the best, somehow.

Erin said...

I have been thinking of you so much. I can't imagine the emotions you're going through and you definitely deserve time to vent and cry and be upset and hurt. I know it seems so bleak right now--but you are such a WONDERFUL person and I know something fabulous is going to come out of this entire situation. You don't have to dwell on what that might be, though. Right now you can just lean on your friends and fam and let us know whatever we can do to help you get through this tough time of transition!!!! LOVE YOU!

Jamie and Missy said...

My thoughts are with you, as you make a difficult decision and transition in life.

Caroline said...

I'm so sorry, Lisa!! I saw you mention the news on Twitter and I've been thinking of you these past few days! I've gone back and forth trying to decide if I should tell you to quit your job or embrace this change and that I think you'll learn a lot from it - but even I can't decide what to say! So I can only imagine how you feel :(

Having moved for the job, left my family/friends/support system for a place that I didn't love.. I want to say don't do it. As much as I don't regret the decisions I made, I don't think I would do it again if I had the opportunity. I know that you have to consider your financial situation and the economy, but I think if I knew I was going to struggle the next few months one way or another - I'd rather struggle to pinch pennies, find a new job, kick the CFA's butt, than struggle to move, become familiar with a new place, attempt long distance relationships, etc. That's just my opinion.. and please don't take it the wrong way.

That being said, if you decide to move, we are all here to support you and help you make the best of it! Someday you'll look back on this and realize it was for the best- whatever decision you choose.

Lauren @ Sassy Molassy said...

Lisa, we are thinking of you! I can't even imagine having to make such a tough decision. I would be angry too. It's nice to read all these comments and see what a great support group you have. I like Carolina johns attitude although it is not one I would tend to have. Sending my good thoughts and prayers. <3

Jeanie said...

We've talked about this a little in email and I won't repeat it all here. Except this: I have tremendous confidence in you -- confidence in your abilities as a professional; confidence in your way to make whatever happens work for you; confidence that if you want to stay in the north, you will find a way -- even if it means a stint in Charlotte. You WILL make friends. You WILL find a spot to live. You WILL pass your CFA. If it happens, it won't be the same and you know it -- how could it be. But it might be just fine until you can work your way back north. And NORTH is a big place -- not just MN, but all the states that are still within driving distance.

Lisa, I know your world is turning upside down. Mine would be, too. And it may not be the immediate solution you desire. Or, it might be. Either way, you will find the way to cope first, then thrive.

I won't tell you "Hey! You have a job, be grateful." You don't need that. I will tell you that you are a strong, powerful, smart woman with many friends and a wonderful family. Your world is rich. And no matter what happens, you WILL find your way back, if that's what you want. Because I know you can.

Melissa said...

Oh Lisa. I know I'm late on this post but I'm still thinking of you and I hope you've been able to find some viable options for your move (or non-move). This is such a tough decision but I know in the end you will do what is right and best for you. Things COULD be much worse, but they do still suck and pity parties are allowed. If you ever need anything I'm not far! <3