How I Ended Up in Woodstock, Georgia

Some of you may recall that I had planned a cross country journey to head back to my hometown in Pennsylvania. Due to my financial situation at the time, I had started a GoFundMe campaign at the urging of a few friends that thought it would help. It was a huge blessing. Though I hated having to rely on the kindness of others, I had to stay humble and accept that it was what I needed to do at that moment.

I wanted to stop at a few places along the way, Chicago to see a friend, and then Ohio to see my two "sisters", before heading to PA. I had zero travel issues outside of really horrendous rain leaving Chicago. I made it to PA in good time and settled in where I was staying with my friend Annie. It was then that my plan began to evolve.

Though I did secure a part time job after arriving something felt off. I couldn't get comfortable. I even had a few panic attacks. It wasn't where I was staying or anything of that sort, my friend Annie and her family were more than welcoming. It was just this overwhelming feeling of failure. So much of my life had changed last year, and I don't think I ever gave myself the chance to actually feel it. I basically went in to survival mode and just existed in this state of denial. Denial that my best friend left me, that I had no substantial income, and that my dog Castle may not have the medicine that he needs to survive.

It was just too much for me. So, without much warning, I left and went to stay with my ex-husband's cousin Jami and her husband Brandon. She is like the kid sister I didn't get to have. I tried to find work there, but had no luck, and began to feel that I was not where I needed to be. I also knew being there was temporary so I needed to figure out what I needed to do. I know they will say different but I was totally in the way, and Castle was a huge distraction. It was then that my cousins Andrew and Yvonne offered to rent me their town home in Georgia.

It has been the best thing to have happened to me.

I found a full-time job as a store manager at Sweet River Rough River within 10 days of being here. Castle settled in nicely and somehow managed to survive the long hours I had kept until I could hire part-time staff to cover the nights and weekends. Castle has a great vet (who likely saved his life recently - but more on that another time). I am even now getting back to running and have a few friends and family here as well.

There is a lot of gratitude to be handed out and I know I have said thank you to many of you prior to today. However, I don't think anyone knows how difficult this was for me, not really. I still have days where I panic but those are few and far between now. No one knows the future but for now at least this is where I need to be.

I have a lot to get accomplished this year. I won't be doing any "Goals of 2017" post though. It seems that life wants me to be a little more flexible so I am going with it. I am going with my gut and what feels right for me and Castle.

It seems this Northeastern gal has gone Southern.


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