By the time you read this post (if, in fact, anyone is reading) I will be on my way to my new home in Atlanta. I haven’t been around, haven’t made a single peep in little over a year, and it seems like it would take just as much time to tell you what I’ve been doing as it would to say goodbye. The short version is: grad school, teaching, applications, getting engaged, finishing my MA, wedding planning, moving and getting married. The long version is basically the same, plus a few mental breakdowns.
When I started this blog FOUR (!) years ago, I was coming out of a bad relationship, working in my first post college job, and trying to figure out who I was. I was trying on uptown and everything that goes along with it, trying to see if that was the life I wanted. And I realized pretty quickly that it wasn’t. But knowing what you don’t want isn’t quite the same as knowing what you do (which then isn’t quite the same is actually having it).I’m not there yet. I’m so, so far from there. But I’ve been working to figure it out, and compared to the girl I was when I started this blog–the person who just wanted to snark and tell semi-true stories and force narrative sense onto my life–I feel whole galaxies closer. Now going further means I have to leave.
In a week I will start work on my PhD in Fiction/Creative Writing. It’s my first time at a new school since 2003. I’m proud and I’m terrified and I still kinda can’t believe that it’s something I’m really doing. So here I am, at the tail end of my twenties, and I’m definitely not “growing up” anymore, in uptown or otherwise. It seems right to be leaving now, not just because I have to, but because it’s time. After nearly a decade–a crazy/tumultuous/wonderful decade–this in’t just relocating, it’s closing this chapter of my life.
If you’ve read any of this blog or my tweets, you know that I haven’t always loved it here. Charlotte has a lot of problems. It can be fake, judgmental, cliquish, overly sanitized, unfair, unbalanced, unfeeling, underwhelming, whatever that particular southern version of xenophobic is, and suffocatingly small. But it’s also warm and charming and quirky. It’s family and friends and friends of friends and even kind strangers who have tweeted me back from the edge more times than I deserved. It’s good food and trees and the smell of humid air and comfort. And love. At it’s most beautiful, Charlotte isn’t a world class city; it’s just a small town with big buildings. It’s home. And that’s how I’ll hold it in my mind. That’s how I’ll tell it in my stories.
See you around, Charlotte! And goodbye for now.