A Year Dating Chuck: A Love Story

It’s been exactly one year, but I remember January 7, 2013 like it was yesterday. I woke up early Monday morning in Virginia. It was cold, my Honda was packed, and mom cried (which inevitably swelled tears in my own baby blues). I snapped this picture before crossing over the railroad tracks of my Chester town to highway-it down six hours south. I was on my way to a new home: Charleston…or also commonly called as Chucktown…or just “Chuck” if you ask me.

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My CD mix (yes CD because my car doesn’t have an ipod connector) blared Ellie Goulding’s “Anything Could Happen” and Little Big Town’s “Pontoon”—seemingly perfect songs for a new adventure by the sea.

And when I say I blared those songs, I questioned if a cop could pull me over for noise disturbance. You see, I needed to drown out the inner dialogue inside that went something like this:

Shea: “Shea, whaaaat the hell are you thinking moving to the beach? JOBLESS? HOMELESS? COMMUNITY-LESS?”

Shea: “Anything could happen, oh oh ohhhhh…

Shea: “What if you hate it?”

Shea: “Who said anything about skiin’? Floatin’ is all I wanna do…”

Shea: “What if you fail?”

Shea: “After the war we said we’d fight together, I guess we thought that’s just what humans do…”

Shea: “What if it’s nothing like you imagined?”

Shea: “Anything could happen, oh oh ohhhhh…

Shea: “What if…”

Shea: “Reach you hand down into the cooler, don’t drink it if the mountains aren’t blue, try to keep it steady as you recline on your black inner tube…”

The drive was long and the days that followed included one too many Smoothie King stops, filling my gas tank countlessly, and a lot…dear Lord…a lot of self-pep talks. I was terrified and excited, fearful and brave, and adventurously naïve.

January 7, 2013 marks the day I took a noise-dive off an uncomfortably-comfortable cliff into the unknown. That inner dialogue or risk, fear, and failure was loud but my faith and trust in a faithful God to pursue a dream was louder.

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I learned that I was brave. I learned that I was extremely particular. I learned that anything could happen.

New workouts have been tried, toes have been sanded, community has surrounded. Friends have come to say hello and FaceTime has been a lifeline.

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And door… after door… after door… was opened. Friends were made, a house was rented and decorated, a job was created, and a full-time job was offered! When I think it’s only been one year in Charleston, I’m amazed how it’s flown, yet I feel like I’ve lived here my entire life. It’s become home.

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Moving here was the scariest decision I’ve made, but the thought of not pursuing my whim to move to a city I had fallen in love with…well that was scarier. I refused to let “what if” rule and decided to pursue a life that I had imagined. It’s been the most incredible ride of my life!

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My life is simple and beautiful. It can be tragically boring (per my own request!). I wish I lived closer to family and friends, but for now, Charleston is where I’m to be. I am so grateful that this has been the sweetest transition I could have asked for. Thank you Charleston for being so damn charming. Thank you family and friends (both old and new) for your support and embrace. Most importantly, thank you God for walking every single step of this journey with me—for giving me the boldness to pursue my heart’s desire and for paving the road. I am so humbly grateful.

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6 thoughts on “A Year Dating Chuck: A Love Story

  1. I loved reading this! Glad you shared the pics of your house – Your decor is so fun and chic. & Yay you included the pic of us & our “little piece of heaven.” Fun night!

  2. Wow, a year plus since our visit at Tates learning of your adventure, thanks for taking us along on your ride! Hope 2014 is equally great for you…

  3. You are brave Bird. Those tears I was crying that day were proud tears! Happy to know we nutured those wings of yours. Just fly back every now and then again please. I love you.

  4. Mecca, thank you so much for sharing this. Shea you are an amazing young woman and I know your parents are so very proud of you. It was such a brave thing to do and has probably turned out to be everything and more than you ever expected. Kudos to you……may you continue to find joy and happiness….make more new friends and have wonderful life. I really enjoyed the pictures, particularly of your lovely home and I will continue to check back in to follow more of your adventures in your new life. Take care.

    Sharon Bowker

  5. Shea, Can’t believe it’s been a year! And you have accomplished soooo much in that short time. I’m very proud of you and hope the coming year brings even more awesome unknown (now) surprises. And stop in for a visit here on your way home sometime. Love to see you….Happy New Year!!!

  6. Bird!
    What a neat house. Clean, fresh,……yes fresh is the word. I love it. A bit too rigid in some areas. Stools too perfectly aligned. Books with tapered heights as they are stacked. I love the French provincial desk chair. Red leather might look nice!
    I would love to see it some day but that is impossible. Keep sending pics from time to time. Its so reFRESHing. It makes the viewer want to be there. Sorta like a travel poster!
    Lucky girl!

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