I drove up to Cookeville Sunday night with my car full of clothes, and pretty much the rest of my room from back home. I unloaded my car and stayed my first night at my new apartment. I think I only got a few hours of sleep because I was nervous and obviously in a new place. I woke up super early to get ready for work. I still didn't know how to get around Cookeville then so I typed in the address of my new job on my GPS and tried to follow it the best I could, I still got lost but made it to work on time.
I started my first day of training and then trained for 8 weeks. It was rough going from 20-25 hours a week to working a full 40 hours. I think last summer I went to bed every night between 9:00-9:30. It took me some time to adjust but I finally got the hang of it. I built friendships at work while learning something completely new. Matthew had started an internship with an accounting firm back home but drove up every Wednesday night to go to church with me so I didn't have to go by myself.
My first few weeks up here in Cookeville I went back and forth from being homesick to loving Cookeville. I struggled a lot at first with thinking about if I did the right thing, moving up to Cookeville or if I would fail and not be able to support myself and it be a mistake. I worked so hard and took on extra hours the year before to move to Cookeville but I wasn't sure at first if I would be successful or not. I mean, it was the first time I had ever moved out and had only my income to support myself.
Matthew drove up to Cookeville on my first day of work and surprised me with flowers and took me to dinner at one of our favorite Mexican restaurants, El Tap. You can read about that here.
8 weeks flew by and summer was coming to an end, I completed my 8 weeks of training, which you can read here.
Moving out for some people is no big deal and for some people it is a big deal. For me, it was a big deal. I honestly had planned on living at home until I got married, find a house, and live in Murfreesboro for the rest of my life.
Looking back now all I can do is laugh because my life is anything but that and I want anything but that. Matthew and I have both come to the decision that we would rather not end up settling down in Murfreesboro after we get married. We love our hometown but we realize there are more job opportunities other places. We are very open to moving to wherever our jobs take us in the future. However, we would like to settle down closer to Murfreesboro when we decide to start having children (Chattanooga, Brentwood, Mount Juliet, etc.) so that our children can have a close relationship with their grandparents.
So now you can see why moving over an hour away was a big deal for me. There are still some days where I can't believe I actually did it. Matthew and I had talked about it for so long and planned out things we would do once I moved up here, and you know what? I am loving it.
Over this past year I have fallen in love with Cookeville. It's going to break my heart to leave in a year or so but Lord willing, I will love our new town just as much if not more. I have learned so much this past year with living on my own, in a new town and supporting myself. I have become apart of a campus ministry that I love, made friendships with people that I know will last the rest of my life and I have grown as a person.
I will forever be grateful for my decision to make this big step a year ago.