In the fall of 2021, my husband and I started exploring the idea of moving out of the Midwest. We had talked about moving for years, especially during the winter months, but we didn’t know where we wanted to move. I distinctly remember asking my husband one week what he wanted to do with the kids over the weekend, and that’s where it all started.

We looked at job opportunities and decided to fly to Kentucky the next day and explore the area. After we visited Kentucky, we felt defeated. It didn’t feel right. We wanted it to work, but it wasn’t right. So we kept looking.

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A few weeks later, a job opportunity for my husband popped up in North Carolina. We dropped our older two kids off at grandma and grandpa’s and got on a plane with our youngest. My husband had an interview scheduled with a company he used to work for, and we felt pretty good about this one. We decided to look at houses while we were there, and in four short days, my husband accepted a job offer, and we put an offer in on a house. We fell in love with a small town in North Carolina, and it felt right.

Moving was exciting, but there were a lot of other feelings mixed in with the excitement.

I felt guilty and sad to be leaving my family and friends. I felt scared to leave everything I knew. I wondered if this was the right decision for our family. My husband and I had countless conversations about it. We knew if we didn’t move now, we probably never would. We knew we would always wonder what if. 

In December 2021, we moved. We packed up our entire life and loaded it onto a truck. My husband drove our van, and I flew with the kids a few days later. We were stuck in an Airbnb for a few weeks while waiting for the closing of our house, but in January, we finally moved into our new home, and I was feeling pretty grateful.

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Shortly after we moved into our new house, the girls started their new schools, and that’s when I had my first “oh crap” moment. The schools asked for a local emergency contact, and I didn’t have anyone to put down. I can still feel the panic I felt at that moment. I didn’t know anyone except our realtor. Not one single person. That was a weird feeling. I’ve always known people wherever I moved.

I needed to make friends.

I’ve never considered myself outgoing but moving here forced me to step outside my comfort zone and meet new people. Even in my 30s, meeting new people and making new friendships have helped me gain confidence. This new confidence has helped with my personal and emotional growth. This growth has helped me do things I’ve always wanted to, be who I am, acknowledge and improve my mental health, and do things I never thought I would.

I was meant to be here. Our family was meant to be here. Our family, friends, and the Midwest will always have a special place in our hearts. But for now, we are North Carolina living.

Originally published on the author’s blog

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Alisha Bisbee

My name is Alisha Bisbee. I am a licensed professional counselor but am currently a stay-at-home parent. Writing has recently become my outlet and a way to share my knowledge and experiences. I started to normalize, educate and offer insight into adult mental health-related topics.

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