Catch-Up: Life Update Edition

So much has happened since I last updated! Well, 2017 as a whole was super crazy for me, actually. I thought about it a few weeks ago… three surgeries, a wedding, quitting my job, traveling to Florida and South Carolina (multiple times), oh and moving 12+ hours away from everyone and everything I’ve ever known.

Before getting into everything that has gone on, I just want to admit one thing — I’ve always been someone who refused to encapsulate things, good or bad, into a calendar year. To me, you can’t gift wrap a set of 12 months, tie a bow around it, label it “The (fill-in-the-blank) Year I’ve Ever Had,” and put all your chips into the “Next Year Will Be (fill-in-the-blank)” basket. This opinion has grown from the countless social media posts I’ve seen over the years where various users claim (fill-in-the-blank) happened because the next year hasn’t occurred yet. Why does the 366th (or 367th if it’s 2016) midnight get to be the one that changes everything? It just never made sense to me.

With that said, I absolutely could not wait for 2017 to be over! I’m guilty of saying this countless times in the 2nd half of last year and I meant it. It was stressful. There were definitely points where I was the happiest I’ve ever been, don’t get me wrong, but oh my gosh was it stressful.

1. Our Wedding

Our wedding was so fun! From what we’ve heard from our guests, they thought it was fun, too. Everything went as planned. It was warmer than expected, for sure, hitting around 80 degrees during the ceremony, but I’ll take that over rain and freezing temperatures any day. Erik & I can’t complain at all. We have our photos & I hope to share some here in one of my upcoming posts very soon.

We felt sort of lost as to what to do with ourselves after everything was over. We spent 18 months planning everything and after a single day there was… nothing. As I’ve mentioned before, I really did enjoy wedding planning. I liked harvesting ideas and bringing them to fruition. Seeing everything on the day of was so cool. During the process, we decided on certain details but we weren’t sure if they would go with everything else we had decided on. What I came to learn was: yes, it did go with everything else because it’s what we wanted and when you see everything as one cohesive end result, you get a picture perfect idea of our style and tastes. There’s literally no wrong way to do it!

2. My surgeries

Three in one year. If I had it my way, I’d have spaced out my 3rd procedure into the new year, but sadly deductibles have the upper hand. I wanted to make this as inexpensive as possible. Luckily, my second surgery of the year was free. In my first catch-up post, I explained my first surgery: the breast reduction. In October, I had to have a revision to my breast reduction due to some asymmetry. Then, in December, I finally had my gallbladder removed to complete my medical hattrick. What a difference that makes! I can’t remember exactly how much detail I went into with my gallstones, but I dealt with them for over 2 years, so to finally not have that pain anymore is such a relief. My surgeon only saw my original sonogram when I was first diagnosed with gallstones in 2016, so when he performed the procedure in December, he was unaware of exactly how many stones have accumulated since then. He actually had a hard time getting the organ out of my incision, which caused more pain for me in recovery than he expected. I’m just glad it’s all done and over with!

3. Quitting my job

My job was always a high source of stress for me. The environment was not very positive and it was difficult to get things done the correct way due to the way the office was run. There’s only so much you can do if you don’t have the support of the people in charge to make the business produce better quality work. It was a constant uphill struggle and toward the end I lost all motivation to try anymore. Back in 2016, I told my therapist that my goal was to be out of there by the end of 2017 (after the wedding). I’m happy to say that I was able to accomplish that goal, however it really had nothing to do with me. I’d still be stuck there if it weren’t for Erik.

4. Moving 12+ hours away from everyone and everything I’ve ever known

Back in May of last year, Erik tagged me in a real estate post on Facebook for a planned community he had always admired, architecturally speaking. He said, “Maybe I should start looking at [architecture] firms in South Carolina,” with a goofy smiling emoji. I saw it and replied that he should! Neither of us were being 100% serious, until a man replied to Erik and said, “If you’re looking for a job, call my office,” and left his number.

That’s how Erik got hired at his dream job by a stranger on Facebook.

It turns out that the owner of the firm had been talking to the developer of the planned community about needing more help. That developer saw Erik’s comment and told the owner about it. Within minutes, the owner — Erik’s new boss — was replying with his phone number.

Long story short: In July, Erik made plans to fly down to South Carolina to meet with the owner of the firm. He stayed in the developer’s carriage house for a few days while he did an extended interview of sorts at the firm. After he got back home, the owner sent him an offer. We made plans to go down together in August with my mom and Erik’s parents. We stayed for a week and got to see the area as well as visit Savannah and Charleston — both places my family & I have never been. Erik’s family have vacationed down in the Lowcountry multiple times. Toward the end of our visit, we went to meet the owner at the firm and Erik accepted his offer of employment.

Thankfully, he was okay with us waiting until after our wedding to move. Erik, my mom, & I drove back down in the beginning of November to move all of Erik’s stuff & most of my stuff into our new apartment just 5 minutes away from Erik’s new office. I flew back to New Jersey with my mom because I had to finish things up at work and to have my gallbladder surgery in December. Erik came back up for Thanksgiving and Christmas, and we drove down together after Christmas with the remainder of my belongings. So here we are: 12+ hours away from our homes in New Jersey trying to navigate southern living.

A very early concern of mine is the lack of walkability in this area. My favorite part of where I lived in New Jersey was that I could step outside my front door and safely walk, run, bike to a multitude of locations. That’s not an option here and it’s really hard to get used to. Our apartment complex is set back a little bit from a major, tree-lined, highway. We could go downtown and walk around, but that’s still 10 minutes away in a car. It’s just not the same.

On the other hand, I’m enjoying the mild temperatures. It’s been unseasonably cold here, and we even had snow last week (which was a mess!), but it’s much better than the single digits back home in New Jersey. I’ve also had a lot of time to decompress from the end of last year, which was really hectic for obvious reasons. I’ve made myself a schedule for keeping the apartment in order, as well as time to get back to blogging. I hope to learn how to cook better (Don’t laugh. I can hear you laughing. Stop it.) and get a job doing lifestyle photography in the area. The main thing holding me back from getting a new job right now is that I’m currently in the process of changing my name and moving everything over from New Jersey to South Carolina.

I think that pretty much gets me up to speed! I’m very much looking forward to a mellower handful of months now that 2017 is over. Oh! The photos in this post, with the exception of the header image, were taken on my Yashica T4 film camera back in November when we came down to move Erik in. It gives a little bit of a feel of our new home here in the Lowcountry.

Thanks for reading,

P.S. — Here are a couple of photos I took of Dexter. He’s a good boy.

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