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Hey everybody. It’s Friday, and I hope you’re all having a great start to your weekend. I try to keep things pretty light on here. And I never like posting anything about a problem without also leading to hope or some sort of solution to that problem. But today I’m just going to be honest, and hope that maybe one of you will have an idea to help.

I want to go home. I know you’re probably wondering what that means. I’m a mom and a wife and obviously I have a home. All of that is true, but I’m not at home.

I moved here to Savannah a little over 6 years ago to be with my husband. We had been in a long distance relationship for much too long, and we both decided that it would be easier for me to move here than for him to move to California. At the time I was so excited to start a new chapter of my life that I didn’t realize all the things I was going to miss by leaving the only home I’d known.  Of course I thought about how much I would miss my family, and my church, and my job that I really liked; but there were so many things I couldn’t have accounted for.

When I arrived I had a pretty bad case of culture shock. Moving from progressive California to the much more conservative South was disorienting. Suddenly skills I’d spent my whole life building were useless. I thought I’d be able to find a job quickly. It took me 6 months.  I thought it would be easy to find a new church. I still haven’t. I suddenly felt like I was living in a fishbowl because everywhere I went strangers stared openly at me. The whole adjustment was very uncomfortable.

But after a while I got used to living here. We got married. I worked in a cool hotel. It was OK. I never really started to feel like a native, but I was navigating better. Then I got pregnant for the first time. I had just quit my job and it was a pretty stressful time.  I had trouble with the pregnancy and eventually miscarried. I was far away from my mom and my brother, and it hurt. I was blessed that my aunt was able to visit from Atlanta while I was in the hospital. But when I went home I felt overwhelmed and alone. I prayed and got through it, but it cemented the idea within me that I really wanted to get back to my home and my family.

Like most things in life, moving would take the perfect alignment of so many of life’s moving parts. My husband has a steady job here, and California’s economy is infamously unstable. If we moved I’d probably need to go back to work  because of the huge increase in the cost of living. Which means we’d need childcare and another working vehicle. We’ve been trying to figure all of this out for years now. Sometimes we joke about just leaving everything here and driving off into the sunset.

Over the past two years, my level of homesickness has increased. I have a son now. I want him to know his family. I want him to grow up in a different environment. And honestly it would be nice to have some people around we could really depend on. We don’t have anybody we can leave the bean with just to go to out for dinner and a movie. I know! I could be less picky, but my child is my treasure and I can’t  leave him with just anybody. Heck, forget dinner and a movie. Last month both my husband and I were sick at the same time. It was hard to take care of each other and the baby, all while trying not to get him sick.  Thankfully, God blessed our kid with an amazing immune system and we pulled through.

And that’s just it. With God’s help we’ve been surviving. But I know that He wants more for us than just survival. I never imagined settling down here for good. So I’m asking you all to pray with us. Pray that we find some solution. Pray that God guides us through this time and grants us wisdom in all we do.  And if you happen to know anyone in California looking for an awesome Network Administrator with web design skills, let me know!

Have you made your home far away from friends and family? What are your tips for making it bearable? I’m grateful for whatever help I can get. :)

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This is my list of the top ten things anyone moving from the west coast to the south should know. These are only my opinions, and I assure you it’s not to be taken as law. As a native Californian, some things came as a shock to me when I first moved to Savannah, so I thought I could compile this list to give other people in similar situations a heads up. This list is not meant to be offensive in any manner. It’s just meant to illustrate a difference in lifestyle (and maybe give you a little laugh).

1. Everything that comes in powdered form will become one solid brick in a matter of moments. This list includes but is not limited to: laundry detergent, baking soda, table salt, etc.

2. If you don’t want a little tea with your sugar learn to order un-sweet tea. I know, it should be unsweetened, but it’s sweet tea here NOT sweetened tea. And sweet tea is the default. Do not be fooled; you will never be served any rational amount of sweetener in sweet tea, so order it un-sweet and add your own. (Also lemon does not come with the tea make sure you ask.)

3. Bugs are 24/7 -365. Those aren’t GIANT cockroaches- they’re palmetto bugs. Because everyone has them and it just sounds classy that way. Mosquitoes are not just a summer pest, they’ll be around for Christmas too!

4. Old is good, older is better, new is nothing. No, really if there aren’t at least 5 generations behind it don’t expect it to last long here.

5. Every city is the “first” something and it’s very serious business. It may be the first city with an electric stop sign made by the grandson of Thomas Edison or whatever, but there will be a plaque for it prominently displayed somewhere in the city.

6. Salad as a meal is still an emerging concept here, and produce options are limited unless you grow your own. This is slowly changing with the addition of local farmer’s markets, but can still be a struggle when shopping commercially.

7. Rain is a fixture, get used to it  The city of Savannah averages  110 rainy days a year. I’m from the desert, it rains roughly 44 days a year there.

8. There are places here that get dark- I mean blackout dark after the sun goes down. There are still very many rural areas around here and there are NO street lights. If you don’t know where you’re going  leave well before sunset, or you might get spooked.

9. People will talk to you out of nowhere, even if you don’t know them. For someone not used to this, it can be quite jarring. I’m still not completely used to it after more than 5 years.

10. Mexican restaurants will have menus with a little key at the bottom that gives the definition of each type of menu item. This stunned me the first time I saw it. I really didn’t know that for some people the difference between a taco and a burrito needed explanation.

Have you ever moved to a new area and had culture shock? What were some things you couldn’t have anticipated that threw you for a loop?

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