i left my heart in san francisco

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The cat’s out of the bag—I’m moving to San Francisco in just a few weeks! Considering the fact that I visited the Golden State 7 times in the last 18 months, it’s probably no surprise that I’m making the leap.

There are so many exciting things about this move.

  1. It’s San Francisco.
  2. I’ll finally get to live in the same place as Scott.
  3. I’ll get to start a new job with new challenges and coworkers and projects.
  4. I’ll get to explore a part of the country I didn’t get to in my first 25 years living in the South.
  5. I’m going to get really, really good at dressing in layers.
  6. I’m going to eat so much good Chinese food. (And all kinds of food.)
  7. I’m fulfilling my goal for my 20s of living in different kinds of places and experiencing adventure!

I’ll be totally honest and say that there are a few scary parts about this move, too.

  1. I’m leaving behind a lot of wonderful friends and coworkers in Nashville.
  2. I’m moving ~2,500 miles from my family.
  3. I don’t have a job lined up yet, and it’s scary to leave behind a job without having a new one secured.
  4. The cost of living in San Francisco is high. You don’t have to tell me this—I’m aware!

Ultimately, I’m just so pumped to start this new chapter. Scott and I have been doing the long distance thing for about a year now, and while I love FaceTiming him at the end of each day, I’d much rather see his face in person! While eating Chinese food, wearing layers, and living in San Francisco.

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PS – I’m applying and interviewing for jobs now—if you work at a great company with an SF location, please give me a shout! Also, if you ever find yourself in the Bay area, you now have one more friend to call.

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goodbye for now, florida

“Don’t shy away from your game-changing decisions.  Set your jaw, make up your mind and don’t ever look back.”

I don’t think it’s a coincidence that I heard Peyton Manning say these words at Chick-fil-A Leadercast the very day after I received a job offer.  The offer would take me to a new industry, in a new city…and with a pay cut.  But everything in me was saying to take the position, make the jump…MOVE.  As I sat listening to dynamic speaker after dynamic speaker, I grew more and more certain that I had to accept the offer.

I was scared, though.  They wanted me to start in exactly one month.  How was I supposed to get everything together in that amount of time?  What about the fact that I know, like, four people in that city?  Then, Seth Godin said on making a change, “It’s always too soon.  We can be prepared but we can never be ready.”  Boom.  Okay, Seth.

So I went home on Friday evening and I accepted the offer.  I took a bold leap of faith, and I have felt great about it ever since.  As I look for housing, try to pack up my life from five years spent in Gainesville and just wrap my mind around the fact that, for the first time in 23 years, I won’t be living in Florida, I have sense of excitement and eagerness.  I’m as ready as I’ll ever be.

There are bittersweet parts, too.  Leaving beloved friends and coworkers behind in Gainesville.  Not having my favorite university on the planet in my backyard.  Being further away from my hometown.

998360_10152193951387715_1049502063_nBut I believe in the company I’m going to work for.  I believe that good things lie ahead.  I believe in and share their values.  I believe that their team is one on which I’ll thrive.  C.S. Lewis said, “There are far, far better things ahead than any we leave behind.”  I believe this now more than ever.

I am so excited to start my new chapter of life with Warby Parker in Nashville, TN on June 8, 2015.  This Florida girl is headed to Tennessee!

movin’ on up

If you’ve been reading for a while, you may know that Maddie and I lived together for two years in a “historical property” called “Eden Arms.”  I put quotation marks around both of those phrases for two reasons.  Reason 1: The property wasn’t actually historical; it was simply old.  My landlord just used the excuse of it being a “historical property” to avoid having to make upgrades and repairs.  Reason 2: We didn’t actually ever hear our place called “Eden Arms” until we were preparing to renew our lease for a second year.

Well, we moved out of “Eden Arms” this past weekend, and lucky for you, I’m here to share an account of this sweaty, miserable, mishap-filled move.

Let me begin by saying that our new condo is, according to Google Maps, 0.1 miles away from our old place.  Seems simple, right?

Sunday, August 5
Maddie had to work from 2 pm – 10 pm on Sunday, but I had made the U-Haul reservation for 4 pm that day.  Thank goodness for my friend Sean, who agreed to take me to pick up the moving truck (which I would then drive by myself) and help me load it with the entire contents of our place.  Approximately three sweaty hours later, Sean and I had packed the U-Haul to the brim.  The picture makes it seem like we carelessly threw everything in, but let me tell you, there was strategy.  We filled every last crevice of that truck, including crevices that required me scaling over the tops of furniture.  I should also point out that I backed the U-Haul into my yard from a busy intersection, avoiding two tree obstacles and leaving enough room for the ramp to come out.  I’m practically a professional mover.

On Sunday night, Maddie and I slept on the floor of my bedroom.  We had packed our beds, our couches, all of our clothes…anything remotely soft, cushioned or comfortable was in the back of a 14-foot U-Haul.

Monday, August 4
We woke up bright and early on Monday morning, backs and necks aching (and my arms aching from loading the truck the night before).  I took off in the new whip to Uniquities, a furniture consignment store where I had to pick up my newly-purchased dresser.  I met the shop owner at 8:30 am and she helped me load the dresser (my mother is cringing as she reads this because it’s actually a chest of drawers, but I prefer referring to it as my dresser) into the truck’s tiny space we’d left reserved for it.  I then DROVE TO STARBUCKS IN THE U-HAUL TO PICK UP MORNING DRINKS.  The downtown Starbucks in Gainesville has dismal parking, so I simply left the U-Haul in the middle of the aisle, with room to pass on both sides, as I went in.

Let’s flash forward now to about 10 am.  We have cleaned our apartment and there is very little left inside of it.  We have to be entirely cleared out by noon, and the moving truck has to be returned by 1 pm.  We head to our new place (which is, by the way, on the second and third stories of a building) and what do we find?  SQUATTERS.  I’m being dramatic, but seriously…the tenants who were supposed to have already vacated the condo were still inside.  With all their stuff.  So, I did what any girl would do in my situation.  I started placing all their belongings on the sidewalk outside.  Chris and Michael, two of our guy friends that Maddie and I enlisted to help, looked around uncertainly. “Take their stuff outdoors,” I told them.  I started vacuuming the feathers that were inexplicably all over the living room floor.  Eventually, all of their stuff was outside and we were able to start unloading ours.  The only issue: the carpet was disgusting.  It needed to be professionally cleaned.  So, we did what any sane people would do.  We piled, from floor to ceiling, all of our belongings on any surface that wasn’t carpet.  This includes the guest bathroom, a small pantry, and the kitchen.

Just before 1 pm, I drove the U-Haul back to the store to return it.  Maddie followed so she could give me a ride home.  I sat trapped beneath her television and mirror in the front seat for the car ride home (because obviously, in addition to a 14-foot moving truck, we filled both of our vehicles with stuff too).  By this point, we were starving, soaked with sweat, irritated (those messy SQUATTERS), and beyond tired.  Did I mention that I had to go into work after lunch that afternoon?

My angel of a boss let me leave the office an hour early (in addition to coming late) because she was so stunned by the absurdity of my situation.  Thank goodness for this.  Later that evening, when the carpet was dry enough to have furniture on it, Maddie and I began the laborious task of getting the couches inside.  Maddie was in front, steering the couch around the corners, and I was in the back, putting all my weight into trying to shove this thing through our doorway.

We were convinced that the couch was stuck in the doorway and was not going to go inside.  I was holding up the back end as Maddie put her end down and collapsed in laughter on the floor.  “Take a picture of this for the blog,” I told her.  I envisioned a picture of me, sad and lonely trying to wedge a square peg in a round hole.  But, just when she got out the phone, I gave one final upward push and proclaimed,I just Hulk-ed it!”  The couch was inside and I was shout-grunting like a 300-pound man with ‘roid rage.  Note: I did this in my dress from work.  The above picture is my resulting satisfied smirk that the couch was, in fact, inside our unit.

The rest of the night, Maddie and I did our best to unpack and organize.  As you can see, we still have a lot to do.  But today is Friday, and that means the weekend is almost here!  How else would I want to spend my weekend except unpacking and organizing?  Let me see…I’d rather give a stranger a foot massage.  I’d rather eat a soap-flavored jelly bean.  I’d rather have the smell of wet dog perpetually under my nose for 24 hours.  I would rather do just about anything than work in our place this weekend.  But duty calls, and if you need me, I’ll be the one grumpily cursing the squatters and trying to make my bedroom look more like a twinkly dreamland and less like a war zone.