Monday, October 7, 2013

6 months

It is hard to believe it, but today marks 6 months since I moved to Charlotte.  In some ways, the move feels so long ago, but in other ways it feels like not much time has passed.  When I think back to that day when I landed in Charlotte, I want to reach back through time and give myself a good, long hug.  I still vividly remember the emotions of that day, from waking up in tears, the horrible goodbye to Phil at the airport (I cried so hard, the TSA agent brought me a box of kleenex when I went through security), and the silent tears that wouldn't seem to stop on my flights.

I am really proud of how far I have come in the last 6 months.  I would say the last 6 months have probably been the toughest 6 months of my life.  From the stress fractures to the CFA stress to the break-up to my aunt passing away to my RA diagnosis, a lot of things have happened that would have been difficult to deal with on my home turf.  But I faced it all in a place that is foreign to me and came out on the other side of it all.  My progress here has certainly not been linear.  It's one step forward, two steps back, but I've made progress.

Over the past 6 months, I have had some people tell me that I am so brave and I am handling this so well.  Sometimes when people say this, I want to convince them otherwise.  I want to tell they can't possibly be seeing me for what I am because I would have never used the word brave to describe myself; I would never say I have handled this move well.  But I guess one of the gifts of friendship is that friends see things in us that we don't allow ourselves to see or maybe they have more realistic expectations.  I can see now that I have been brave.  I have been scared and sad and mad and wrought with anxiety at different points, but I can see now that I can feel all of those things and still be brave.

These days, I am trying to shift my perspective and think of my time in Charlotte as a study abroad experience.  I can observe the culture and notice things I like and don't like, but I don't have to embrace the culture and make it my own because I will not make my permanent home here.  I am hoping this perspective will help me get a little less upset about the things that bother me.

My coping mechanism has certainly been traveling.  Between work travel and traveling for pleasure, I am gone at least 2 weekends a month and several work days.  This schedule works for me and will help me get through my time here.  I have had people tell me they are envious or jealous of my travels - I bite my tongue when I hear this, but what I want to say is - yes, I am fortunate to be able to travel so much, but please don't be jealous. I would trade lives and live in a place I don't dislike and had ample friends/family to see in exchange for all the travel I am doing.  That is truly the case.  I'd so much rather be living in Minneapolis or Chicago and not racking up airline miles.  But until that is the case, I will hop on a plane every other weekend to escape this city.

So here's to the next 6 months.  I hope and believe they will be easier and less issue-free than the first 6 were.  



18 comments:

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

I think the reason why we think you are brave is because we know just how much you have really been through since the move 6 months ago. Sure, you get sad and frustrated as anyone would expect. But you still make serious attempts to get to know people in Charlotte, explore the area, and keep yourself happy by taking trips.

Let's hope for a much smoother second 6 months! That maybe ends a little early :)

Becky said...

Only six months to go! You are officially halfway, and if it seems like another six months is a long time away, think of everything you've done in the past six - the time will start to fly!

Hope you're enjoying your time in Minneapolis!

Marlys said...

Lisa, you have been brave as you did what you had to do, even though your heart was not in it! And you did it all alone, as the other members of your team backed out! And you did it when you were in the middle of studying for the hardest test of your life, so amid the tears and heartache, you did manage to see it through! I'm glad that things are on the upswing for you and that six months have passed quite quickly! I'm sure the next six will go by even faster! Paris, here you come!

Nilsa @ SoMi Speaks said...

I really love that you have adopted the attitude that you are studying abroad (because, let's face it, southern culture is far different than anywhere else in the US!). I think it will definitely help you get through your time in the CLT. I also like to think the next six months will be filled with hope and better times ... hope for your eventual move back home and better times once your RA is under control and you're able to figure out how your body will respond to different kinds of physical activity. Can't wait to give you a huge hug later this week!

Stephany said...

Halfway there, Lisa! The first six months were FILLED with so much strife for you - so much bad things. So I am hoping these next six months go much more smoothly. And that you find a new job in Minneapolis in the spring so you can get the heck out of there!

Carolina John said...

Halfway through! Yes perspective is in the eye of the beholder. I had a challenging enough time moving only a 4 hour drive away from my hometown, and I couldn't wait to get out of there. I can't imagine the kind of challenges and culture shock that you've had to go through. These are the kinds of things that build strength that not everyone can see at first, even the strength that you might not see in yourself. The other stuff (breakup, your aunt, RA) is normal life beatdowns; it sucks but you find a way to cope. You would have had RA if you still lived in MN, for example. But the perspective of "observe without embracing" will carry you through. And you'll get back to MN with some insane redneck stories to tell!

CharisFaith said...

You are brave and amazing!!! Sending hugs!!!

Jeanie said...

Well, I love the Study Abroad bit. That's a wonderful shift and three cheers for that.

I also think you are selling yourself short with two steps backward for one forward. I think it may be the other way around. You went to Charlotte for the job, the experience and you left home. Two forward. You hated it. One back. You plugged at it, found the Crepe place. Two forward. Stress fracture. One back. And on and on. OK, sometimes the one-backs came a little quicker than the two forward, but think about it. You had a break up but you took charge. You have made friends. You have strengthened relationships with others with your visits. A lot of the backward really sucks -- but the brave, powerful woman I know here does not. She triumph and you are.

Leigh said...

My fingers are crossed that the next six months will fly by and that they are stress free and happier than the last six. You deserve some happiness!

Amber said...

Here's to the next 6 months FLYING by! At least the darn CFA will be behind you come January. And you have Paris coming up! Yippee! Big hugs to you, hope you're enjoying your time at home this week. See you in THREE SLEEPS. Whoa!

Abby said...

You are so incredibly brave, as you always have been! I have moved far away 2 times now, and don't know how I could have done it without Ryan. You are such a strong person !

You have endured so much. But I think your RA dx was the climax....and now things are being put back together and you are building up. It's your time to shine again! I love you - and always have and always will look up to you, big sis!!!

Jolene - EverydayFoodie said...

I like your way of looking at it as studying abroad ... you are a strong young woman, and I think you have definitely come a long way in the past six months.

Cherry Blossoms said...

I like how Jeanie put it. There has been some good come out of Charlotte and hopefully the worse is over.

Kyria @ Travel Spot said...

The next six months are definitely going to be easier and I am sure they are also going to go even faster than the last six!

You are brave. Even if on the inside you feel scared or stressed, on the outside you are totally taking care of things and are kicking butt!

Mandy said...

You are brave friend. Pick up that badge and wear it proudly, because when this over, you will have officially survived and made it through to the other side. Surviving the South is something far more difficult than most people realize.

With everything you have had to endure, you have handled it with such grace. I hope the next several months bring you back to the place to you love to call home and much more peace and happiness.

Lisa-Marie said...

Lisa,

You should never be in doubt that you are brave. I really think bravery and kindness are your strongest character traits. You may cry, you may feel down, but you push through it. And you see the good in everything. I am proud of you for dealing with these past six months, and I know you'll only be stronger in the next six. You are kick ass. Don't forget it!!

Shoshanah said...

I don't think most people feel they're at their strongest when facing hard times. Instead it's only afterwards, looking back that you have perspective. And I think once your no longer living in Charlotte you'll look back on it and wonder how you made it through, but you're doing it! And the best is yet to come, right?

San said...

Oh yes, you've most definitely been brave in the last 6 months and handled everything that was thrown your way with so much strength and conviction. You probably think that you "didn't have any other choice" and that might be true, but you also made the best of all the changes and bad news. Now, you're over the hump! :)
XO