My year in North Carolina has been educational.
I’ve learned the grass is NOT always greener on the other side. I always wanted to leave Iowa. But that’s my home and it’s what is comfortable. I have missed the less populated smaller towns and familiar faces that I felt trapped with before. I’ve missed it. A lot.
I’ve learned that city living is definitely not for me. Especially not a big city like the Raleigh area. Too much traffic. Lines no matter where you go. A simple trip to pick up a couple items at the store can typically take up to an hour.
I have learned I don’t need help to get the bills paid. Jarrod and I can do it all on our own. I can be very resourceful if needed, even away from anyone I know. This is something I should have learned long ago. It was a welcomed lesson.
I’ve learned I can forge new professional relationships without my mom having gone there first and referring me, like I always did before. No need to hide behind her and my anxiety.
I’ve learned that I definitely HATE the cold winters. And I loved the more mild winter months. (That was the best part of the year).
I’ve learned that it is very difficult for me to make new friends. I made some online friends, but in-person friends was a whole different deal. Part of that was the pandemic, but part is that no one wants to actually meet in person anymore. They say they do, but that’s all that ever comes of it.
I’ve learned that wildlife is different 1000 miles from home. Giant wood roaches and mosquitoes, slugs, snakes, and so much more I’ve never had to deal with. Gross!
And most of all, the biggest lesson I’ve learned, is that home is where family and friends are. And they are irreplaceable, important, and essential. I’ve learned a lot, but being without many of my loved ones for a year has been miserable.
In just over a week, Jarrod, Andy, Cory, Felix and myself will all be back in Iowa. Back in the company of our families and friends, and back to all we know and now have a newfound appreciation for (except the winter, lol). This year “abroad” wasn’t what we thought it would be, but it was certainly eye opening. As much bad came of it, at least I learned lessons I never would have learned staying in Iowa.
Thanks for the wisdom, North Carolina! Farewell.