I was twenty-six years old when I flew the nest and moved to Charlotte to end The Captain and I’s very long long-distance relationship, and begin our lives together. I left a fun job teaching biology at a great university in the middle of Ohio, with my own office, and phenomenal colleagues. I didn’t know anyone in the South other than The Captain. I didn’t have a job yet, and a mountain of student loan debt. The boldness of youth.
The month prior, the apartment building I was living in caught fire. I lived in a tiny loft on the third floor, and the fire started in the attic, so my place was one of them that was a total loss. That is a story all of its own, but it relates to the move because it meant that I had virtually nothing to move to Charlotte. The only thing was was recognizable after the fire was a few pages from Lord of the Rings. It certainly made the move easier.
We packed my little Jeep Liberty with everything that I still had left – clothes and nick-nacks still at my folks’ house. And away we went! Every time we stopped for a break, we grabbed a bag of the local brand of cheese poofs. Even now in 2017, this is something we still do when we roadtrip.
So this next part is pretty self-indulgent – for me to look back on later. You can probably stop reading now.
When I finally settled in to the apartment, I took a bunch of photos to show my family back home where I was living. I can still remember every inch of this place. It was decorated with mostly hand-me-down and secondhand furniture and stuff from Target, and it was perfect.
I miss this place, so much.