Reflections on Two Years in Charlottesville

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Today I’m moving into my new place in Nashville, and on my drive out of Virginia, I got a little emotional. Honestly – I hadn’t expected to be. While I liked my job, I never felt like I fit into the city: full of old moneyed retired University employees and students who kept to themselves, I always felt out of place as a transplant from thirteen hours away with no family, friends, or other connection to the area. And while I honestly don’t feel that sad about leaving, there are a few things I learned and some things I’ll miss that I’m very glad to have gotten to experience.

When I first moved to Charlottesville, I lost a lot of things. Sixx broke up with me two weeks after I landed in the city – I wasn’t even fully unpacked and I was in no way settled. I wasn’t sure I could survive that one more upheaval, but that was the the thing that really drove me to the gym. The only way to stop thinking about it was to spend hours in the gym, from the pool to the treadmill to the bikes. If I had been anywhere else during the breakup (at home I would have been in the bars every night; in Charlottesville coming off of a move that big, I couldn’t afford it and didn’t have anyone to go out with) my grief would have taken a much different form.

Obviously I developed a lot career-wise as well. I got ticketing experience I never would have, which helped me figure out what my ultimate dream job will be. I got interested in working in sports and looking at the sports industry from a business/marketing perspective, and there’s a lot to be learned from that world.

I’ve always been an independent person – being totally on your own forces you into a new kind of self-sufficient living you didn’t realize was possible. Hit a deer at 2:30am and have no one to call? You figure out what to do real quick. Bought a bed and have to transport, carry to the second floor, and assemble solo? Beast mode.

I loved my job and it was very hard to leave, but my life wasn’t sustainable. It’s one thing to be alone and choose to isolate yourself (which I am pretty well known for) but it’s another to be alone because you don’t have a choice.

I ate a lot of yummy burgers. And of course, I will miss Pedal Steel the most.

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Timing is a funny thing. Exactly two years before my last day, I sent off my application for a job I didn’t think I really had a shot at. After three interviews and having only visited once (for about twenty hours,) I got the offer on August 22, my grandfather’s birthday. I packed up my Corolla and drove off to this city far away, full of optimism and excitement.

Even though I would rate my time there as a 4/10, I wouldn’t do anything differently. I’m glad I had the experience of moving somewhere completely alone, knowing no one, and bringing no one. It’s the hardest thing I will ever do… and I never want to do it again.

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