“Perhaps home is not a place but simply an irrevocable condition.”
Today, May 25, 2019, marks exactly one year since we moved to Charleston. The entire move was a total whirlwind, to say the least. I had just delivered our second daughter, and exactly two weeks (!!) later, we moved to Charleston. We sold our very first home, and it is something I have yet to fully process. We lived there for 4.5 years before selling and moving, and it was the home that we brought both of our children into. We were happy that they both share this bond, even if it was only for a mere 2 weeks for our little one. We had many great memories in that house and in North Carolina. I don’t think either of us were 100% ready to leave, but life happens when you least expect it, right?!
Because the process of moving the Charleston was so rapid-fire, I missed the opportunity to even walk through our home once everything had been packed and cleared away. On top of that, my attentions were mainly on my newborn child and her needs! I was fortunate to have another 5 weeks to settle in to our new house and new way of life before starting fellowship. To some, this might not seem like much time and it really isn’t. However, I think the universe knows what you need sometimes because my newborn and post-partum experience this time around was worlds smoother than with my first child. Looking back on it now, even though it was a stressful and emotionally challenging time, things fell into place at exactly the right time. This is not to say that unforeseen and altogether unfair things don’t happen too — they definitely do, and have! But overall, the process was as seamless as it could have been.
When initially moving here, I always noticed some things that were lacking in comparison to where we used to live. I also found myself comparing this city frequently to New Orleans, where I lived during residency and which is very similar to Charleston in many ways. At first, I felt slightly disheartened by the negatives (the heat! the bugs! the LOUD sounds of the frogs at night! The questionable new daycare we enrolled our kids in! The house that is half the size of our old house! What have I done?!) But slowly, and without me noticing it until now, I grew to really appreciate and love Charleston.
Charleston has become our home away from home, and our home on the way to a new home. It has shown me, yet again, that home is not a location or a building. It is a feeling. It is where happy memories are made. It is where difficult times are fought through. It is where challenges are faced and battles, internal and external, are won. It is where love abides. (Along this same vein, I previously wrote about Permanence and Place, if you’re interested).
As an aside, Charleston also happens to be an amazing place for a staycation! It’s a great destination for travelers and weddings with its beauty, great food, and rich history. I wrote about my weekend staycation here which I took to recharge my batteries. Honestly, that weekend energized me for MONTHS afterwards! Sometimes you just need to treat yo self.
We do have another 6 weeks or so remaining, but since the hubs is not here for it, it doesn’t feel complete. So I’ll look back on the past 365 days and share some of my favorite memories from living here.