For the last few months, Chris and I have been wrestling with a big question: are we meant to be in Atlanta right now? This city has stolen our hearts, provided us adventure, opportunities and - most notably - introduced us to one another.
But, a few months ago, we started to notice that we were tired. The traffic, which never bothered me before, felt daunting. The crime reports, which have been there all along, seemed scarier. The hustle & bustle began to ruffle my feathers a little more.
We started asking ourselves if these feelings were a product of our city or if they could be solved by making other lifestyle shifts. And, if we were to move, where else would we go?
We tossed around big ideas (Uganda!), safe ones (Indiana?) and a lot of options in between. But, the same spot kept creeping up: Raleigh/Chapel Hill. We went around in circles on North Carolina like only two obsessive planners can do. We made lists, detailing the good, the bad and the beautiful.
Then finally, after one especially circuitous conversation on a Tuesday night, we decided we had to take a trip. We were driving to Raleigh Thursday (and staying in a tiny house along the way!).
Before the trip, we asked ourselves what we wanted in a new city. We both agreed we needed:
- A feeling of adventure, as we were both craving change
- To be near family in some capacity
- To be able to grow his career/my business
- To connect with one another and create a lifestyle that allows for more downtime and white space
We explored Raleigh and Chapel Hill on foot, drinking great coffee, eating amazing gluten free sandwiches and feeling blessedly overwhelmed by the generosity of Chris' friends who acted as our tour guides and hosts.
We landed in the front seats of Chris' car Sunday, with more coffee and a backseat full of snacks for the six-hour drive home. After a few moments of silence we were in agreement: we loved Raleigh and Chapel Hill. We could see ourselves here - possibly even starting a family. We loved the pace, the ease and the people. It felt warm and sunshiney and happy.
But! We felt like the Lord was telling us to be still. We've prayed about this decision for months, preparing our hearts for an answer and we couldn't believe that we both felt so much love for North Carolina, but so certain we weren't meant to move right now.
As we realized we were meant to stay put, I began to understand that sometimes a new adventure is really brave. But sometimes, it can take more courage to stay put, even when you're itching for change. It can feel scary to look staleness and frustration square in the eyes and say: I refuse to run from you. I will only learn from you.
It reminded me that this life is not mine to plan, but instead one to approach with open hands and a grateful heart. So, for today, hello you to, Atlanta. We meet again!