I was born in Syracuse, NY in 1991. I grew up in a suburb of the city, attended Syracuse University, then moved to a suburb on the other side of the city. For the first 27 years of my life, it was all I knew.
There’s so much about Syracuse that I love. I have 27 years of family ties and amazing friendships there. In Syracuse, I experienced so many firsts in life, so much growth, and a ton of fun. But there was also a lot I was missing.
For one: I’m happiest when the sun is shining. It’s something I don’t even realize in the dead of winter, but once the sun comes out, I feel like a completely new person, full of energy and excited to do things. I am truly my best self when I have that kind of energy. When the sun isn’t shining: I find myself wanting to stay home. I noticed last year that I was having a hard time finding the motivation to do things that I loved, like coaching HIIT, because it meant leaving my house after 5 PM when it was dark out and I had no energy. After weeks of endless grey, I’ll find myself completely thrown off. Syracuse averages 63 sunny days per year. Charlotte almost doubles that at 109. As I learned this about myself, having more sunshine moved up high on my list of priorities in life!
I was also ready to be somewhere that’s experiencing growth and has a lot of opportunities. Syracuse isn’t exactly a booming economy, and the job market for millenials is less than ideal. I particularly knew I wanted to work at a marketing agency. All of my experience pointed me in that direction. I love working with other young marketing professionals and I love all the cliche millenial perks, like kegs in the office and work happy hours. Syracuse just didn’t have a lot of options in this realm. It’s also not a hotbed for young people, and I prefer a work environment where I have a lot of peers close to my age. Charlotte, on the other hand, IS a hotbed for young people, and has SO many marketing agencies to choose from. I had a hard time deciding where I should apply with all the options available! I ended up interviewing a ton of places before landing at a place where I already feel so at home, Pinckney Marketing. The office is aesthetic and fun, my coworkers are great, and there’s a huge emphasis on growth, with the processes and goals in place to back it up. Work takes up a significant chunk of time, it was really important to me to land someplace that I’m happy, and I knew I would have better odds in Charlotte!
The other big thing on my mind was the opportunity to experience new things. Charlotte has so much going on! There are so many bars and restaurants I’ve never been to, tons of breweries, and a huge beer fitness scene. The city is alive with young people. After watching Syracuse be a place that most people my age moved away from, I wanted to see what it’s like to live somewhere that 60 people a day are moving to. I’m an active, experience-loving person and I was drawn to a city that would have a lot to offer.
Moving is something I’ve always thought about doing but never pulled the trigger on. I was so comfortable in Syracuse. For 4 years, I had the same routine of going to the same gym every morning and heading to work in Armory Square. I went to the same bars and restaurants because I knew what I liked. And while there’s nothing wrong with that: I also wasn’t growing. I was so. comfortable. Everything in Syracuse was comfortable to me. I’m a firm believer that outside of your comfort zone is where the magic happens. I needed to take a leap and do something scary and figure out who I am in a new place without all of my comforts to fall back on. That included moving to a new city without a job (and proving to myself that it could be done, and in fact, work out better than I ever expected!).
So now that I’m a month in: how do I feel about it? I AM IN LOVE WITH THIS CITY! I love the weather. I love the skyline. I love my apartment. I love my neighborhood and all the ice cream shops, breweries, and restaurants within walking distance. I love my job and my coworkers. I love walking around Uptown on my lunch. I love being a Work For Your Beer ambassador and attending beer fitness events. I love how active the city is. I love the CrossFit workouts I’m doing. I love that I can bike to work. I love having nitro cold brew on tap almost everywhere I go. I love interacting with people who are so different than central New Yorkers. I love relearning things as simple as where to grocery shop and how to get there and how to navigate the store efficiently. And most of all: I love the space and freedom my husband and I have had to be with each other, and all of our adventures exploring the city we now call home.
A month into this move I can say that I’m so happy I made it. Do I miss my friends and family? Of course. But I am resoundingly ecstatic with this decision and look forward to all that’s to come!