I’m no stranger to major moves. I’m not talking about moving from city to city; I’m talking about moving from one coast to another.
I grew up in the suburbs of Los Angeles, CA. I went to elementary, jr. high, high school… and even college in the suburbs of Los Angeles. I loved living in L.A. and absolutely loved the beautiful weather, busy-ness of the city and experiencing celebrity encounters at the local Whole Foods, coffee shops and… well, anywhere! I’ve seen Alec Baldwin, Jane Seymour, Christina Applegate, Jenny Garth, Christina Aguilera, Britney Spears, etc. I was even good friends with some well-known artists, actors, dancers and models (which I will not name because that’s irrelevant to this blog). L.A. was everything to me… until it wasn’t.
After I got married and had a baby, my husband and I desired a different life for us as a family. We wanted to raise our daughter in a slower-paced and a more family-oriented environment. At that time, one of my best friends and her family decided to move to Dallas, TX. I had no idea what Dallas was like (I assumed it would be like the TV Show Dallas, which cowboys and rich southern folks), but we wanted to visit them… so we flew out to Dallas to see them and to determine whether or not it would be a good city for us to consider moving to. Less than six months after visiting them, we packed up our car and drove almost 1,500 miles to our new home state. We loved being Texans and raising our daughter around southern hospitality and manners (I quickly got used to being called “ma’am” and “Ms. Jheni” by anyone under 18). I could not ever imagine leaving Dallas because it was everything to me… until it wasn’t.
After 9 1/2 years of living in Dallas, my husband and I felt called to go spiritually serve somewhere else, in some capacity. To make the long story short, Charlotte, NC became the place we felt called to move to. So in August of 2015, we flew out to Charlotte to check out the sister church to our congregation in Dallas. We also realized that we had friends from our past that were now living in Charlotte as well, so it became a reunion visit. By the end of our trip, we were certain that this was the place God wanted us to be in the next chapter of our lives. Two months after our visit, we packed up once again and moved to our new home state of North Carolina. I quickly fell in love with the beauty of North Carolina. It was so cool to live in the state that I’ve only read about in Nicolas Sparks books. 😁 I was able to build my yoga and wellness business pretty quickly, and I was given the opportunity to teach yoga and mediation at the Southeast Women’s Retreat to over 800 women. My husband and I started volunteering as Teen Workers, mentoring teens in The Charlotte Church Youth and Family Ministry. I also got to serve in the Worship Team as a vocalist, and I had the opportunity to perform with the Dance Ministry dancing ballet, contemporary, jazz and hip-hop. By the end of last year, I could not believe how I was living my dream life: Teaching Yoga classes so close to my home (one facility was 12 minutes away, and the other facility was literally 3 minutes down the street!), becoming a certified group pilates instructor, debuting my first published book, teaching workshops in-state and out of state, still homeschooling my daughter, enjoying long walks with my husband… I couldn’t have asked for anything more… or could I?
Even though I was grateful for my life and the capacity that my family was able to serve in the community and in our church, we felt a certain pull back to Texas. We tried to ignore it for many months, but we came to the decision as a family to move back to Dallas. One of the reasons why is because my daughter wants to go to a university in Texas (in-state tuition is much more favorable). Another reason is to be closer to our families in California (we didn’t realize how much more challenging — and more costly — it would be to fly from North Carolina to California).
So here we are — April 27th, 2020 — driving back to Dallas, TX. Some would question our choices: I’m sure some people would call us transient souls, but I prefer the term adventurous.
Next week, I will let you know how our move in the midst of COVID-19 went!