I moved to Winchester 7 years ago on July 18th. I spent my 25th birthday moving box after box in an AC-less 1 bedroom apartment while trying to act like being insanely hot wasn’t bothering me. For the past 3 years I had been living in Northern Virginia finishing college and then completing a 1200 hour Master Esthetics program. After many years of school I was incredibly excited to begin my new “adult life”. So after graduating from esthetics school, I packed up my stuff and to Winchester I went. I moved to Winchester because of a very lucrative esthetics job but to be perfectly honest I really moved here for a boy.
Neither worked out.
The very lucrative esthetics job lasted a year until my bosses turned out to be super shady and closed the business without telling anyone or paying us. Nothing like showing up at 9am at work in your spa uniform and finding out through a note on the door of the salon that you no longer have a job because your bosses closed the business without telling anyone. Great start to the morning.
The relationship with said boy lasted 2 more years and then petered out based on different needs and wants. After the breakup I thought to myself “Maybe I need to go somewhere different. Maybe I should move back to my hometown” but then amongst the search for a new job and a new home in Charlottesville, Sean popped into my life and moving anywhere away from him was not even an option. Once I opened my business the same year we got married, moving away was shoved into the file of “things that don’t make sense”, even if Sean and I struggled a lot to deal with my illness all by ourselves.
As my health has gotten worse and I have become really dependent on Sean for everything, being up here by ourselves makes less and less sense.
We don’t have close family that can pitch in regularly to help take me to appointments, pick up my medication or sit and stay with me so Sean can have some time to himself. We really need more consistent help and that help is in Charlottesville where my mom and two of my dear friends live. We would be 2 hours from my dad, an hour from my brother, and really close to a lot of good medical care which would be great since ALL of my doctors are not local to me.While driving down to Charlottesville Tuesday to look at our new rental house Sean asked me what I would miss about Winchester.
As I thought about it, my mind flipped through all that’s happened in the past 7 years. I will miss the park where Sean told me he loved me for the first time, where he proposed, and where we had our rehearsal barbecue. I will miss my business tremendously. I will miss the good friends I have made. I will miss the beautiful salon that my business was located in. I will miss the fantastic sushi, Indian, and Thai restaurants where we have eaten many fantastic meals. I will miss all the places I used to run. I will miss our little white house we have called home for the past 2 years.
This city is where I met and fell in love with my husband, where I have had a long career as a master esthetician/makeup artist, where I took a flying leap and created a successful business, and where I got certain parts of my life back on track.
I have been incredibly lucky that many of the most important moments of my life happened in this place that I have called home for the last 7 years.
There’s a lot that I will miss.
Thankfully there’s so much laying ahead of us that makes moving away really exciting. Take away all my dumb health stuff and we will be living in a town filled with tons of amazing restaurants and grocery stores (Whole Foods! Trader Joes! Wegmans! Harris Teeter!), lots of places to run and bike and explore, and lots of opportunities work-wise for each of us. Not to mention that we have good friends that already live here…instant friends!!
It’s really amazing to think about moving back to where I grew up. I lived in Charlottesville from age 4 until 19 and then lived there again for 6 months when I was 21. That city holds a lot of different memories too, some good some hard but it always feels like home to me. I pull into the city limits and drive the windy road to my mom’s and I feel completely centered. There’s just something special about being in the place where you grew up. People recognize you from when you were little, maybe a stranger says they know one of your parents, or you bump into one of your teachers from high school at the Farmer’s Market on Saturdays. Familiarity is everywhere yet so much in Charlottesville has drastically changed since I lived here 10 years ago.
Yesterday we found out that we were approved to rent the house we liked the most out of all the properties I have been trolling on Craig’s List. It’s a ranch so I can wheel around easily with 3 lovely bedrooms, 2 baths, beautiful hardwood floors, a nice yard for the dogs, fantastic kitchen, and has a fireplace in the living room. It’s really perfect for us and I can’t wait to be moved in and start settling in. Things are looking up after a miserable 5 months and I can’t wait to see what is around the corner.
Oh Winchester, it’s been a tremendous 7 years. Thanks for everything you have given me.