Today marks the fifth anniversary of me officially becoming a Charlotte resident, and I’m just as surprised as you are.
It’s actually sort of a cute story, which many of you have probably already heard. For those who have heard this story before, my apologies… But it’s an anniversary, and you’re supposed to tell sappy stories over and over again on anniversaries, right?
I had been made a job offer back in December, so I knew that I’d be moving to Charlotte after I graduated from business school at the University of Florida. (Go Gators!) I’d been up in Charlotte a few months before, looking for a future home, and had settled on a condo. I’d made the arrangements for the movers to meet me in Gainesville a few days before, and had booked a flight to head up to Charlotte.
I arrived early Thursday morning, grabbed a rental car at the airport, and headed straight to the lawyer’s office. About a hundred signatures later, and I had my keys to the condo. And wouldn’t you know it, the movers were there waiting for me when I arrived at my new home. The power and water had been turned on in advance, and the cable guy arrived while I was arranging boxes. Cable and Internet were on by lunchtime, and I had the next few days to really settle in.
I spent four days unpacking, driving around town, unpacking some more, watching television, and meeting a few of my new neighbors and future BFFs. Oh, and studying — I still had a few days of final exams to worry about if I wanted to graduate with my MBA as planned, and I figured my future employer would probably like me to finish.
Sunday, I headed back to the airport and flew back to Gainesville. I arrived to a nearly empty apartment, as almost all of my belongings had been shipped up to Charlotte. I lived out of a suitcase and a few scattered pieces of furniture that I’d planned to donate to charity anyway.
Exams flew right past, and before I knew it, I was finishing up the last question on my last academic examination. What few things I still had in Gainesville were already packed into my car, and I literally walked out of the Business Administration building, hopped in the car, and headed north. Eight hours later, I was sitting on my couch looking out at the Charlotte skyline.
The five years since? Like any long stretch of time, there’ve been highs and lows. I’ve made some wonderful, fantastic friends… As they say, I’ve loved and lost… I’ve been pleased with my career growth, and I’ve certainly grown as a person. Hell, I even made it to 30.
I talk a lot about how I want to move to New York City, and I’ve been planning that move for more than half of my tenure in Charlotte… But all things considered, a person could do a lot worse than the Queen City. This city has been good for me, and when I do move away, it will be with lots of fond memories.