It’s official. Jake and I have lived in the DC area for two years now. Almost two years to the day we packed everything and flew from Washington State to Washington D.C. I can’t quite believe that I moved away from home over two years ago. I moved away from comfort, my friends, my church, my favorite restaurants, the best coffee, and so much more. Thinking back to our lives in Spokane feels like a lifetime ago, and it’s only been two years. TWO YEARS!!! So much has changed. I’ve changed. My husband has changed. Our family has gone from two to three. Our jobs, dreams, desires, and passions have changed. Anything that was once familiar to me is different.
One of the main things I learned about myself in this journey is that I’m horrible at adjusting. The reason Jake and I moved is across the country is because we prayed. We prayed and we felt a green light, so we went. It was as simple as that. Little did I know, that decision would be one of the most painful ones I’d make in life up to that point.
As a little girl I remember telling my mom that I didn’t want to live an ordinary life. I wanted to live in a BIG city and do BIG things. As I continued to grow up I always had those thoughts in the back of my head. I loved the world of beauty and fashion and always knew that opportunities in that industry would lead me closer to cities. But I never could have imagined the level of sacrifice that would come with it.
It has been one crazy journey, but I’ve learned a few things on the way that have helped me find peace and start to make the most of my time here.
Make Your House A Home.
Our first week in D.C. Jake and I shared a condo with my parents. Our belongings were in trucks being driven across the country. That was my worst week here, to date. Not only were we dealing with the stress of moving, but we didn’t have our bed, shower curtain, dishes… ANYTHING! I didn’t realize just how much of a toll that was taking on me until our belongings got delivered. The movers started unloading our things, and as soon as I started opening the first box I cried. That was the moment Jake and I decided to invest more into furniture and decorations that would make our place feel a bit more homey. Even if things were crazy and unknown outside of our apartment, we were determined to have a little piece of peace inside.
Culturally, D.C. and Washington State are VERY different. I am as West Coast as they come, and I was thrown into the heart of the East Coast lifestyle. The fast paced, business minded, professional, ain’t got time for nobody attitude threw me for a loop. I am a laid back, chill out kinda, social butterfly, who loves her some Hipster style and Birkenstocks. Needless to say I stood out like a sore thumb. I felt pressure to change my appearance and attitude to fit in. It wasn’t until a trip home, that I had a revelation that I could live the same lifestyle I loved in Washington, in D.C. Why that had never occurred to me til then… I don’t know. So now I am a natural haired, laid back styled, friendly customer and coffee lover who loves being kind and open with strangers. And I’m happy.
Invest In Relationships.
Invest into your current relationships and into building new ones.
When Jake and I moved out to D.C. we were the only person the other knew. Therefore, it was incredibly important for our relationship to be strong. We talked about EVERYTHING in the first few months and had to make sure that we were 100% open and honest about how we were doing. Through a lot of effort, love, and understanding I am so thankful to say that Jake’s and my relationship has grown and deepened in so many ways since moving out here. He is truly my best friend.
On the other hand, building new relationships is also super important. Now this is the area I probably struggle the most. One of my number one tips for people moving is to try and invest into new relationships as soon as you arrive. Especially on the East Coast, you have to be the one to initiate with people because it takes a lot of work and time to build community.
Take Care of Yourself.
What do you love doing? I love doing my makeup. I love taking baths. I love watching Youtube videos. During the the transition from Washington to Washington D.C. I spent more time then normal taking care of myself and doing the things I loved. I tried to keep a gauge on how I was doing emotionally. The more I was in tune with how I felt the better I could take care of myself. And truth be told, I felt pretty down a lot of the time in the first few months, so I would intentionally have a more me time.
One of the main things that keeps me going on hard days is thinking about my next trip home. When I’m missing good coffee and the best pizza in the World, counting down the days brightens my day. There is something about home that is so refreshing and brings peace to my soul, so I try and go back as much as possible. Each year since Jake and I moved out to DC, I have gone home at least three times. We’ve always made it a priority and I’m so thankful for that.