Monday, July 8, 2013

1st Quarter

Well, here I am, 1/4 of the way through my one year commitment to Charlotte.  To be clear, I don't know how long I will be in Charlotte, but I for sure have to be here for a year or there will be financial ramifications as I would have to pay back my relocation package (which was NOT cheap).  I don't know what the future will bring, so I may be here longer than a year, but right now I am counting down my year commitment as I am looking forward to having the freedom to pursue other opportunities in the Midwest should they arise.

I'm not going to sugar coat the last 3 months.  They have been tough.  And to be clear, this is not me being negative, this is me being real.  I strive to be an authentic communicator, so I refuse to make this experience out to be anything different than what it truly has been.  It has been hard.  The number of changes I've been through is staggering.  In the last 3 months, I've changed cities, bosses (actually I recently changed bosses again - that's 4 bosses in 12 months, by the way), positions (I focus on a different client group since moving to Charlotte), and my relationship status has changed.  There is really not much else that can change in my life, to be quite honest.  Add in the stress of the CFA and a never-ending stress fracture that is preventing me from exercising, and well, it's been a perfect storm.

Over the last 3 months, I've gone from counting down the weeks until my year commitment to counting down the months (which I consider progress).  I've made one really good friend who is almost like a guardian angel as she has really helped me feel more at home down here.  I've re-learned how much I hate driving and now know with absolute certainty that I need to live in a city with a pedestrian lifestyle, meaning I can mostly walk (or take an efficient form of public transportation) to anywhere I need/want to be (work, church, grocery stores, retail stores).  I've planned A LOT of trips and am trying to see as much of the area as I possibly can.  I've confirmed that I am not the kind of person who is built to live far from family and close friends.

I think the number one thing I have struggled with is the pressure from others to love Charlotte.  I respect their love of this city and I can understand why they want to call this place home.  But the fact that Charlotte is not a good fit for me should not take away from their love of the city.  We can all have our own favorite cities - they do not need to be the same.  To be clear, in these conversations, I am not proclaiming my dislike of Charlotte - instead I am expressing the fact that it's just not a great fit for me.  You can hate on Minneapolis all day long, but it honestly won't offend me or take away from my love of the city.  I do not expect everyone to love Minneapolis and if someone moved there, I would not expect them to love it - either immediately or with the passage of time. I can say this because I know people who have recently moved to Minneapolis.  I do not expect them to love it now - or ever really.  I will offer suggestions on things they can see/do to help them enjoy it while they are there, but I don't expect them to love it there, and the fact that they don't like it is not a personal affront to me.   There are things we all need from a city and while Charlotte does not have the things that I need from a city, that doesn't mean it doesn't meet the bill of needs of others.

But I am trying.  I have sought out things to do in the Charlotte area.  I've made new friends.  I've worked hard at work to try to build credibility with the new group of sales reps that I now work with.  I've joined a church.  I've put myself out there by sending emails to people asking them to dinners, coffee, etc.  I really am trying.  I know I will be here for at least a year and I am trying to make the most of that year.

I recognize the fact that things will get better as the year progresses.  Being able to return to running will really help, so I am hoping that can happen by September.  Even being out of the boot and being able to walk or hike or be active in general will help.  North Carolina is a beautiful state and I hope to be able to get out and enjoy it a bit more than I have when I recover from this pesky stress fracture.

Luckily, I have some really great things to look forward to, including one amazing thing.  But this post is getting too long to talk about what I am looking forward to, so I'll be sharing that later this week.  So stay tuned...

And - I'll be back tomorrow with a recap of my DC trip (spoiler alert:  I had the best time!)

18 comments:

missris said...

"We can all have our own favorite cities - they do not need to be the same." This, YES. Seriously, people want me to LOVE Pittsburgh, and it pisses me off to no end. It's ok for me not to love this place, and it's not a personal affront to you if I don't. I just, like you, need to be in a city that's walkable and has good public transit, and is closer to my family and friends (and has more than 3 days of sunshine a year). Oh Lisa, I totally and completely understand. Hang in there, friend.

J said...

hang in there lisa! you don't have to love Charlotte! Just gotta get through it. Staying busy is the best thing to do and I really hope the time flies for you!

Marlys said...

I am glad that you have so many things to look forward to as that will make your stay in Charlotte go much faster! And when that darn fracture, heals it will help tremendously! I am staying tuned for the big reveal! And for the recap of your trip to DC!

Abby said...

Here's to being 1/4 through. I think it's smart to break it up into months like that. Even if you do stay longer than 1 year, it is nice to have an end goal in site.

You are allowed to not like the place you life. You are trying -- but I understand that it's NOT MN and never will be.

I can relate to what your going through, almost (I know my case isn't nearly as difficult as yours). I'm exploring and really reaching out to try to like SA, but I'm not the happiest here.....(to say the very least)

Thinking of you -- and hope the next 3 quarters go even faster! Can't wait to hear about DC!

Nora said...

I felt like this a lot when I moved to Wisconsin. And in some other things/areas I have tried over the years.

I think it's perfectly normal and ok to not like everything and to be honest. I think some people confuse honesty with negativity.

I can't wait to read about DC!

Nilsa @ SoMi Speaks said...

Oh, Lisa. It sucks to live in a city that just isn't you. In addition to what you said, I'd also add that just because one city was right for you at a certain point in your life doesn't mean it has to be the right fit forever. We are evolving creatures with varying tastes. And, while it's hard for me to see you NOT love your life right now, I also think you are being true to yourself. You haven't lost sight of who you are, who you want to be and where you want to be, too.

CharisFaith said...

I truly think you are amazing!!! I live in Charlotte, I love my city, and I know that you love your City, and you always have :) You can take the girl out of the Midwest but you can't take the Midwest out of the girl, much like you can take this girl out of the South but you can't take the South out of the girl :) You know I love you and I'm praying for you all the time. I'm so excited you got to go to DC for such an awesome trip and I can't wait to hear all about it!!!

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

Yay for being 1/4 of the way through. I love how honest you are about your year, and I think that helps others who may be in similar (or even different) situations to know that it's not all sunshine and flowers in everyone's life :) I also think it's great how much you are trying to enjoy your time there. You are doing exactly what I think I would do in your position and I know you hate when people call you brave etc but I think you are, even if it's hard and you hate it the vast majority of the time haha.
I can't wait to hear about your visit to DC!

Elizabeth said...

Where does time go? You're already 1/4 through--alright! :) I think your honesty is important and you are So right. You don't have to love it and it definitely has been a rough move. It's great to hear you seeing what you can and reaching out so much...and ultimately maybe the move is just extra affirmation of what you already knew...that home is where you already were?! Sending you extra love...can't wait to read about your DC trip :)

Jess @ Wrangling Chaos said...

When I lived in Charlotte I HATED it. I really, really hated it. I felt like a square peg and all that, and nothing I did in 12 year of living there could shake that feeling.

It's such a boring city. There's no culture, no night life, nothing to do. I really, REALLY hated living there.

Now I'm doing everything I can to move back. Because for me, Charlotte is family. It's where everyone is. My entire family, my husband's family, is there now.

So I don't think you're all that off in not loving Charlotte. I didn't either, even though now I want to get back there so badly.

Jeanie said...

Lisa, this is a most amazing and objective post. And you have had it harder than most this year -- about the only bad thing that didn't happen to you was a death. But you are surviving, you are learning, you are making friends, you are doing what you came to do. And I agree completely about cities being different fits for different folks. Or, as the saying goes, "A nice place to visit but I wouldn't want to live there!"

Becky said...

"I strive to be an authentic communicator, so I refuse to make this experience out to be anything different than what it truly has been." I LOVE this line. So awesome - and why people love you and your blog!

P.S. That was the most excellent of spoiler alerts!

Alli said...

So what you're saying is; "The ocean is bigger than the lake" is a fact whereas, "The lake is better than the ocean" is an opinion? ;)

Seriously it kind of annoys me that you even had to write this post. You are allowed to not really like living in Charlotte and, as you said, that doesn't mean you would disparage anyone else for loving it. Milwaukee was a nice little city. It was pretty and clean. It's great that there are people who love living there, but if I was forced to move there I'd cry and cry because it's not the city for me.

Stephany said...

Oh, friend. These past 3 months have really been so difficult for you and I'm sorry for all you've had to deal with. I think it's OKAY to admit that you don't like a city. You know yourself the best and you know what you need in where you live.

I know a LOT of people hate Florida but I couldn't imagine living anywhere else. It fits me and my lifestyle and it's where I'm most comfortable.

Hopefully, these next 9 months will be MUCH better than the first 3 where you can do more and feel more settled. Thinking of you!

Jolene - EverydayFoodie said...

A quarter done - that's a good thing! I feel like it has gone fast, although I wasn't the one living through all the changes.

I have only been to Minneapolis once for a VERY short trip, and my bf was there in November for a very short trip as well, but we both loved it! I haven't been to Charlotte, so I really know nothing about it.

It's great that you have things to look forward to ... that should definitely help time fly!

The Many Thoughts of a Reader said...

We are trying to figure out our spring break vacation which appears to be happening either in North Carolina or South Carolina. Regardless, Charlotte may very well be a stopping point because I want to meet you and perhaps you can dig up a good bbq restaturant for the hubs? haha. ;) I hate where I live but I think the only thing that would make me happy was retired beach living and I have a ways to go to get there.

Kyria @ Travel Spot said...

Wait, what? What are you looking forward to!? You can't put that at the end and then not tell...

You don't have to love Charlotte, but you do have to live there, and it seems like you are doing your best to find people and places that you do love while there. I think you just need some time to get to know it (not necessarily love it) better.

Some of the towns I lived in while working around the country may only have a few things I liked but I tried to focus on them and it really helped me when I was away from my home/family/friends!

Linda said...

Ah. I hear you. People hate on Houston all the time and it doesn't offend me. It just makes me want to hug Houston and pat its back.

Linda
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