This born and raised Florida girl was shocked to find out she’d be living in a state called Arkansas- as a transplant. Seriously though, I couldn’t even pick it out on the map. For a hot minute I thought we were moving a state near the Rocky Mountains! Fail. I knew it was westish, but when in Florida everything is- westish? So there’s that. And just in case you need a visual too… here ya go.
As all happy endings begin, I looked at my husband and reminded him that this was his fault. Deep down inside I knew those were selfish words and way not cool, but it’s how I felt. We had just spent our second year of marriage living apart for schooling, and my friends had become my safety net. I didn’t want to leave them. I didn’t want to be a transplant.
Side note: I prefer to own how I feel even when it makes me sound horrible.
Before I knew it, I was turning down an assistant director position, packing up our town home and moving out of my home state for the first time ever. To a place with no family or friends, for hours and hours, and the complete unknown at my feet.
July 2015 we pulled up a Uhaul and dumped all of our stuff into an 900 square foot 2/1 in a cutesy neighborhood called The Heights. There’s a story for how we ended up there, but that’s not this story! After a few days of bug bombs, hotel night stays, and a twisted ankle (think lots of spiders….lots…) we finally hung a wreath and put out my favorites bird feeder– which essentially meant we were now home. It took another month for us to realized what a gem of a community we had landed in. Maybe being a transplant wasn’t so bad after all?
Our steps had been ordained long before I found the grace to accept my reality.
I went from being needed every moment of the working and non-working day, to not being able to find employment. Dropping from 60-70 hour work weeks to zilch sounds fab until you’ve been hanging at zilch for 5 months. Desperation set in. I was willing to work anywhere, I just needed work. Walking down my neighborhood shopping strip for the third time, resume in had, I offered to sweep floors and clean toilets over the holidays. I just needed in the door. One such door opened and welcomed me, with the warmest of embraces, and made the next 3.5 years filled with memories, life lessons, and friendships I’ll never forget. Ever.
From that moment on so much changed.
Even though I started freelance writing, actively managing social media accounts, and helping found/lead Women Influencers Arkansas, Eggshells Kitchen Co. was my constant. Along with a work constant, we had amazing community constants known as neighbors. Before Little Rock, I waved at neighbors. Maybe. On a good day. I didn’t know their names, or even really their faces. This place was different. We became integral parts of each other’s lives.
We are only ever strangers because we prefer to stay that way.
When all it takes is inviting someone to dinner or for drinks. I’ll never go back to half smiles and not knowing who my neighbors are- never. Through the tears of 4 years of hell… I did say med school took us to Arkansas…I constantly asked my Heavenly Father for a double portion of grace. Because just one grace was not enough. The stories that are yet to be verbalized or truly and fully understood by myself will be shared soon enough. All I can say is I am here and I am His, and that He has proven Himself faithful to finish every good work that He has started.
To date, Arkansas has been the most beautiful part of my and our story. I legit went form an angry transplant to a happy transplant…crazy, right?!
Best part. I know we’ll go through this again in 2019 when Dan matches for residency! And then again when he sets out to look for his first official job as an attending. For someone who would have preferred not to move, it’s gonna be wild!
Hugs, because handshakes are awkward~