Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Sunshine Bound

I quit my job.


I have done a lot of things in life. I've traveled to Europe without my family. I've flown cross-country and nearly had my luggage sent to the wrong place on a connecting flight. I've run a half-marathon. I've made friends with homeless addicts in Baltimore during my quest to get my Masters degree (I survived the streets and graduated with my M.S. in Counseling Psychology, go me!). I've even walked a mile and a half in snow up to my waist in a state of emergency, just to get some good Chinese food.

Never have I quit my job and up and moved a thousand miles away from the dirty Jerz, not knowing what life has in store for me.

I'm a pretty cautious person. Spontaneous to a degree, but I think every major decision through. So I find it kind of strange that, after thinking THIS situation through, I decided that the best route for me to take is the route of not knowing.

This is how I got to this point in my life:

I met my fiancé, Eric, when I was 21 years old in my senior year at University of Delaware. After some ups and downs and surviving a long-distance relationship for two and a half years, I moved back to New Jersey from Baltimore, where I had moved to get my Masters degree. I had always planned to come back to New Jersey anyway, but it made our relationship that much stronger to actually be able to spend time with each other. Plus, I got a job in NJ as a part-time outpatient therapist for children, and this past April, I got a full-time job as a psychiatric community home counselor. It has been a great experience to live a day-to-day life with these teenage girls and REALLY get to know them well.

Blah blah blah, we were very happy together and he proposed this past June 14th, 2013, at my family's shore house in Longport. Just the two of us, sitting in the kitchen after a nice dinner out. It was perfect.

Shortly after that, we took a trip down to Florida to visit my best friend, Kristin, who Eric had never met in our 3+ years of dating. Kristin moved to Florida when we were 15. Not gonna lie, it pretty much sucked living away from one of your best friends for 10 years. We've visited each other several times since she moved, the last time being 3 years ago when she got married to Ben. I was a bridesmaid. It was fun :)

ANYWAY, Eric is quite a talented graphic designer and very smart with technology, but he hadn't been able to truly break into that field in terms of getting a steady job. Freelancing is cool and all, but what do you know, Kristin's husband Ben works at a growing web development company! They set Eric up with an interview while we were visiting. Lo and behold, Eric was offered a 3-month internship, where he will train as a front end developer and graphic designer. After the internship, if all goes smoothly, he will be offered a full-time position at the company.

Less than two months after getting engaged, here we are, quitting our stable jobs and moving to Florida! Luckily, both of our supervisors were very cool and supportive about the whole thing. You may be asking yourself, "What the hell are they thinking?" Well first of all, we're thinking that Eric would kick himself if he didn't go for this opportunity. He really, really, wants this. I'd move to Nebraska if it meant he was pursuing his dream job. This job just happens to be in Florida. But also, you have to understand that this is pretty much my dream come true, to live in a place NAMED AFTER THE SUN. Ah, the Sunshine State. How could anything ever go wrong there?....

Okay, I know there are bad things about Florida, just like there are anywhere. But there is NO SNOW. NO TRUE COLD. Do you know what that means? Less depression for me from November - March. Less anxiety. I'm a therapist, but I'm a person just like anyone else, and everyone has their own issues. Mine happen to be the weather having an extreme pull on my mental state. No clue why. Just the way I am.

Other pros of the Sunshine State: palm trees, boats, beaches, snorkeling, awesome seafood, living near one of my best friends after 10 years of separation, lots of opportunities for me to work in substance abuse rehabilitation centers.

But there are also so many things I will miss about my home state: family and friends obviously, people pumping my gas for me (hah), the change from summer into autumn, crisp air, changing leaves, the Jersey shore (even a Florida beach can't replace it), Philly sports, and most importantly, FOOD. Just kidding... sort of. I'm actually really nervous about how I'll handle the lack of good pizza and cheesesteaks. Maybe I'll start leading a healthier lifestyle? Let's try to be optimistic here...

You may have picked up on the part about Eric and I being engaged. Yes, we are still doing the wedding in Jersey. How are we going to plan a wedding from a thousand miles away? Good question. Eric leaves on Monday, I leave in a few weeks, and we are jam-packing our schedule NOW to interview wedding vendors before we both leave the area. We booked the venue and we're meeting with photographers this week. I'll probably check out a florist after he goes, and I'm going wedding dress shopping TODAY (I'll let you know how THAT goes...). The whole point of a wedding is to celebrate the joining of two people in love. We aren't traditional people. We don't need a perfect traditional wedding. I have faith that we will make the wedding "us", and it will be perfect to us, even if we plan it from Florida. All we really need is each other and all our family and friends to be there, and that will make it perfect *cue sappy music*.

Ugh, sorry, guys. I'm done. I won't always write this much. That's just how this crazy chapter in our lives has opened. I feel like everything is completely different from what I imagined life would be like at 25. But this is good for me. I need to learn to let go and just take life each day as it comes. I'm excited for the future, even though I have no clue what's coming next. That's kind of what makes this whole experience fun :)


  1. Yep I am so going to love following your blog! What an exciting time for you two! There truly is nothing like discovering new places together. It can be challenging at times but its fun! You two will do great!!

    1. We will probably be talking to you and Brandon a lot, getting support and tips for surviving life in a new environment! It's going to be hard, but I feel so adventurous and excited!


    1. You're kicked out of the wedding party