This afternoon, I was feeling lethargic and unmotivated at work today, so I decided to take advantage of the lovely area that my office building is in. I took a stroll along the lake next to my building and then just sat next to it for about 10 or 15 minutes. It was warm with a breeze, there was hardly anyone else around, and the fountain in the middle of the lake was creating peaceful water noise in the background. I felt incredibly calm and relaxed. I sat there thinking for a while…I wished that I had my laptop there with me so I could have written this post right then, but here’s what I was thinking about…
First, I realized how limited my perspective of the world was and still is. Being in Charlotte is so much different from Phoenix, but for so long, I had been ignorantly content with my small circle of the world and unaware of what I was missing. I love it here. I love the weather (even the humidity), all of the green and the trees, the style of architecture (especially the houses), the flowers, the bodies of water. I love that it’s still a major city while it still feels like a small town (even a rural one in some parts). It made me want to kick myself for not moving out of AZ sooner. I realized how much I was missing out on.
Second, I realized I had become socially lazy. I’ve always preferred a small group of close friends to a large group of kinda friends and acquaintances. I have a handful of close friends in Phoenix, which made me reluctant to venture out and meet new people. I had the perspective of, “I already have enough friends – why make an effort to get more?” Being an introvert really compounded that attitude. However, coming to Charlotte means I have to put in the effort to meet people and I resolved that I would. I joined MeetUp.com and went to my first event on Sunday (not even a week after moving!) and met some great people. I already signed up for my next event – trampoline dodgeball – hell yeah! It reminded me that the world is full of awesome people, and you can never meet too many. You can still appreciate the friends you have without being complacent about your social circle.
It’s surprising, but it only really took me a few days of being here for things to feel…normal. Yes, I still use my GPS every time I leave the house (although I rely on it a lot less) and I still don’t know a ton of people here, but I already feel comfortable here…like this is where I am supposed to be. I still have moments where I got homesick or emotional or lonely, but those moments a far less frequent than I expected. That being said, I’m already thinking about when I will come back to Phoenix to visit and am super excited for when friends and family can start coming out here to visit me!
One of my next bucket-list items is to hit up one of the greenways for a run. I didn’t even know what a greenway was until today:
Greenways are linear parks and trails which connect neighborhoods to schools, shopping areas, downtown, offices, recreation areas, open spaces and other points of activity. Often located along natural landscape features like streams, rivers and ridges, or along built features, such as railroad corridors and scenic highways, greenways provide valuable greenspace for conservation, recreation and alternative transportation. Greenways provide all citizens with barrier-free access to natural resources and recreational opportunities.
There are three connected greenways that together total 5.8 miles near where I live – can’t wait to check them out!