Monday, November 12, 2012

When Life Imitates Art: Changes in the Wind

I'm finding it pretty ironic lately that I wrote a novel about a girl who can't wait to get away from her hometown.

Especially since the hometown in said novel - despite the made-up name - basically *is* the town I've lived in for a good chunk of my life. I always thought that, like my main character, Kelsey, I'd jump at the chance to move somewhere more glamorous, someplace a little further from my roots.

Until the opportunity hit. Like a freaking tidal wave.

My husband's company announced last month that they're closing their corporate office in Connecticut and relocating to Georgia.

We knew it was a possibility though, granted, we didn't expect it to happen this soon. I'd always told my husband that if he was offered a position in Georgia, I'd move without question.

I was wrong.

The realization of how alone I will be has been hitting me like a hail storm. My entire family is here, and I'll be down there. By myself. Working from home while my husband goes to the office every day. Granted, I will probably get a ton of writing done this way but...

I can't watch movies with my sister anymore

When my whole family is gathered at my grandmother's house every Sunday for lunch, I won't be there

My little nieces and nephews will barely know me

If I finally have a child, no one from my family will be there to watch him or her grow up. Or help me.

I will literally be ALL. ALONE.

When I wrote LAST YEAR'S MISTAKE, I wrote it with my high school mentality that change was awesome (and yes, it can be). It's escape. It's a new chance, a new start, especially if circumstances haven't been the greatest. And honestly, if I'd been presented with this opportunity when *I* was in high school, I would've jumped just as quickly as Kelsey did.

But while I know this move could be a fantastic thing for myself and my husband, I can't help but marvel at how my adult worries and fears have made my reality so much different from my young adult fantasies.

Funny how things change in the real world, eh?

Have you ever found yourself facing a situation similar to one you'd written? Would you make the same decision as your character? And for the love, can anyone out there tell me some relocation stories with happy endings?


  1. Thankfully I haven't faced any of my character's situations, but I guess I'm still a teenager who's always wanting to get out of town. I'm a moving addict. Since I left home when I was eighteen I've lived in Paris, France, Los Angeles beaches, Phoenix and Flagstaff, AZ, New York, Las Vegas and more. I love moving to a new place--exploring, meeting new people, changing the routine. I moved from Washington State to Colorado this September and I'm still experiencing my "moving high". The telephone and Skype can help you stay close to family and friends. I also suggest you research your new home and make a list of things to do close by that will fill your creative well. (((HUGS)))

  2. I love you so much <3 You will be magnificent wherever you are!!! :)

  3. Three days after the hubs and I got married, we moved 900 miles away from our family to Miami. I'd lived in the same small town (heck, on the same ROAD) for 20+ years. My husband's in the Coast Guard, so almost immediately after we got there, he had to report to a boat and leave me all alone with the dog. In Miami. At first, I thought I was gonna go insane.

    We lived there for a year before moving again, and I wouldn't change that experience for the world. When he was home, we became so much closer because we were all we had. We had no family close by, none of our old friends - just us. I became a LOT more independent because I was on my own so much, and I grew so much as a person. It was definitely hard at first, but looking back on it, it was such a blessing in disguise. And while it was tough being away from everyone we loved, Skype and the phone were lifesavers. My mom was just a phone call away whenever I needed her.

    Huge, huge *hugs*. You can do this!

  4. Moving away from my family was the hardest thing I've done. For some reason, it was so much easier when I moved away for college. But now I miss family Friday night dinners and my niece struggling to say my name and watching Vampire Diaries with my sister-in-law. I have to keep focusing on what I want from this move and keep working. I hope your move goes smoothly and you get a lot of writing done!

  5. Moving to Georgia isn`t so bad. I`ve to different countries growing up. Now that`s tough. Especially when you move to the Texas from England. And you`re only 11 years old.

    Good luck with the move, Gina!

  6. Oh yes. About eleven years ago, I came to the realization that too much change is not-so-exciting when my family left ME! Same deal, my father's job was relocated and my parents and siblings relocated to South Carolina. without me. I was at UConn at the time and had no interest in going to school down south. It got easier, though.

    And now, well, I've been living 'far away' from friends and family ever since. But I still feel close to them. I skype with my parents every weekend, call and text with my best friend in CT, and vacation and holidays together are so much more special and exciting than they used to be when we used to see eachother all the time. Plus, I really learned a lot about myself in the time I've been away.

  7. Eight years ago we moved from UK to Canada. All family and friends left behind. Yes, it was scary. The biggest thing that has got us through is appreciating what we're moving to and embracing our new surroundings with no looking back.

    I believe that is a big factor in a happy ending, and the best (or worst?) part is - it is a choice! It means that a happy ending is largely in your own hands.

    We keep in touch with phone and Skype. Yes, there are some things we miss, but we remind ourselves what we'd miss more if we ever moved back.

  8. Thanks, everyone, for sharing your stories with me. I appreciate knowing others have been in similar positions and have done just fine... your encouragement is much appreciated!

  9. Gina, it will take some time but you will find new places. I have a friend who just moved to Macon, Georgia and she's a pubbed author - do you want her info?? :) LOL Her book comes out tomorrow.

    I am a traveler. I HATED my home town and couldn't wait to get out. I grew up in New Jersey, and went to college in Massachusetts (4-5 hour distance driving from home), studied abroad in England for a week, went for 2 weeks to Israel and studied 5/6ish months in Australia(where I literally knew NO ONE). I cried for MONTHS in Australia to the point my parents told me I could come home. You know what I told them? "No." And 2 weeks later I joined clubs on campus, and made some of the best friends and discovered new books to read and new places to see.

    It is ALL an adjustment. No life is easy. I promise you you're going to be fantastic and you WILL be able to come home to New England to see your family - it is all about how you deal with it and what you do to change it to make it better for you. My mom has a brother we never really saw him in Maryland and my cousins from him I barely know it sucks...had we really made an effort I'd know them really well

    Good luck and safe/easy moving Gina :)

  10. One of my books is about a girl who can't wait to get out of town, and out of her house. We are looking to make a big move this June (Maine to No. Carolina). I'd be lying if I said I wasn't freaking out. Even though I think ultimately it will be a great thing, as yours probably will too.

  11. Relocation used to be my middle name. I can't even count how many times I've moved cities... here's the thing, no matter where you go, you'll be with your husband, your life mate, your other half. Yes, you will miss your family, but you will appreciate them all the more when you see them.

    You can still watch movies with your sister... there are such things as Netflix all you have to do is hit 'play' at the same time, keep the phone to your ear and chat as you watch.
    You will make friends; you are a friendly person, right?

    A little over five years ago we moved, it wasn't my family I was moving from it was my best friend in the whole world... I was heartbroken. For months I had no desire to make any other friends, if I couldn't be with Debbie, I didn't want to be friends with anyone else. Then my sweet husband introduced me to a guy he'd met at his men’s bible study and his wife.

    To be honest, I didn't think we had a thing in common... I mean, I'm loud and borderline obnoxious and Mandy's a quiet little kindergarten teacher for heaven's sake! Turns out, she wasn't as quiet as I thought she was. She and I are now as close as can be. I miss my other friend something terrible, but I wouldn't trade my friend Mandy for the world. She later told me, she hasn’t ever had a friend like me, someone she’s this close with, a best best-friend.

    When you live far from your family God will bless you with friends that become a new branch of your family. Mandy and her husband, who has become my husband's best friend, always host Easter and Thanksgiving at their home. We go. Their extended family has become our family.

    No, it's not quite the same, but you will learn to love your new family, too.

    Besides, I'll just bet there's someone out there who is, or knows someone who is, living right where you're looking to relocate, they may even be a writer like you. Get the word out and someone will get the two of you together. You may be able to move there, with a friend already waiting to greet you.

    If I lived in Georgia, I'd come say hello, hug your neck, and help you unpack. Someone out there is need of a friend like you - she's waiting for you to be her best best-friend, don't disappoint her.