I’ve always been impressed by people who are living “alternative” lives, whether that’s on a sailboat, an off grid farm, a tiny house or whatever. I like people who quit the rat race and do things differently. I try to stay off social media as much as possible, but I can get sucked in to a YouTube video about life on a sailboat real quick.
Our move to Hatteras Island is about as alternative as it’s going to get for someone like me, who is married to a man that works in corporate America. (The only way it’s possible is because he works from home now, and I can do my job remotely as well.) This move is something I’ve wanted for years, and it’s a dream come true for me. We are moving to my idea of paradise- at the beach, surrounded by a national seashore, in a tiny town where slow living is the norm, not the exception. It does have its downsides though.
I’ve been in Atlanta for 14 years and even though I like to complain about the suburbs, I’ve built a nice little community here. I have a group of “horse friends,” women who ride and have horses, and the people that I work for have become like family. They have unofficially adopted me, my husband and my children. We do holidays and Sunday barbecues together, and we help each other out. All that is gone when I move. Of course, I’ll have my own family, but I will only have a couple of friends, girls I went to high school with that still live on the island.
I meet a lot of people through my work as well, and I have “a guy” for everything- handyman, painter, plumber, carpenter, power washer, you name it! Anything I need done I can get for less than retail. That’s all gone when we move as well. I grew up on the island, but that was years ago, and the island has changed since then. I will be the newcomer, and I know from living there that newcomers are always viewed with a healthy dose of skepticism.
I’ll have to start all over at building my community. I’ll be like the new kid at school, navigating a whole new social scene in which I don’t know where I fit. That’s difficult when I’m used to being at the cool kids’ table, surrounded by friends, accustomed to doing the inviting rather than waiting to be invited!
I do believe that change is good, and that I’ll find my place on the island. As the move gets closer and I get more and more excited about starting a new kind of life, I’m starting to realize the good things I’m leaving behind. Like most of adult life, it’s bittersweet.