Disclaimer: Thank you so much to James Avery for sponsoring this post and inspiring me to share my story. As always, all opinions are my own. Thank you for supporting the brands that support Endless Bliss.
Being a military brat, home has always been such a fleeting concept for me. Growing up, I never understood the idea of people my age living in one place their entire life. Before moving to Louisiana, I never lived anywhere for longer than 3 1/2 years, and because I grew up on military bases, I assumed that everyone’s life was exactly like mine because the kids I was going to school with were always in and out, like me. It wasn’t until I moved to Louisiana during the middle of my freshman year of high school that I heard of people having a childhood home and having the same best friend since kindergarten.
When I first moved to Louisiana, I hated it because I felt left out. I didn’t understand how I was supposed to make friends with people with established friend groups from childhood. When you’re growing up as a child in the military, getting new students in school was the norm, as was having to say bye to friends you were used to seeing everyday. I was lucky that some people on the bus adopted me as a friend a few weeks after starting at my second high school, even though these weren’t the friends I kept for the rest of my high school career.
If you ask anyone who knows me, they’ll tell you that I’ve left my heart in a lot of places. Growing up the way I did and then being planted in a town with not much going on, left this longing in me to see as much of the world as possible. I spent a year saving for a trip to Europe with my sister when I was in college. I’m the queen of road trips, having driven to Austin, Nashville, Gulf Shores, Charleston and a number of other places. When I graduated from college, I took a job working at a summer camp in Pennsylvania purely because I had never been there before. Then of course in 2016-2017, I took a job working on a cruise ship. Traveling is always on my goal lists because it almost pains me to stay put for too long.
For the past 12 years, I’ve called various cities in north Louisiana home. Even while working for Carnival, I knew that Louisiana would be the place I went back to between ships. But things are about to change, my friends. In August, I will be moving to Ohio with my boyfriend, Kyle, with no real plans to return to Louisiana.
Last month, my step-dad accepted a job to work in Missouri, so he and my mom are in the midst of making that move. My mom, step-dad and little sister, Breanna, are the only family I had that lived in Louisiana. My sister just graduated from college this past weekend, and she’ll be staying, but I doubt we’ll be planning any huge family gatherings in Shreveport. It’s more likely we’ll travel to Missouri or even Oklahoma where my step-dad’s side of the family lives.
It’s a bittersweet feeling knowing that I’ll be saying good-bye to Louisiana in less than three months, but it’s also exciting knowing that I’ll be falling into the military lifestyle that I grew up in as Kyle furthers his career in the Air Force. My biggest concern is actually having to deal with the cold. Most of the cities I’ve lived in have a consistently warm climate, so no part of me is prepared for shoveling snow, driving on ice, defrosting my car or even having a winter wardrobe. I have a lot of friends who have already stepped up to give me some tips though.
One question that I’ve been getting a lot is what job I plan to pursue when I get there. My plan right now is to secure a remote job before I even leave the state. If you’ve been following my blog for any amount of time, I’m sure you’re aware that my biggest passion is writing. While pursuing blogging full-time is certainly an option, my goal is to get hired by a company that will allow me to work from anywhere in the world. Not only will this benefit the location transient lifestyle that comes along with the military, it will also allow me to travel and still be on the clock, if need be.
There are still tons of unanswered questions and things I’ll have to figure out along the way, but I’m honestly so excited for what’s to come. As much as I’ve loved the last 12 years I’ve spent living in Shreveport, Bossier City and Ruston, in my heart I know that I was never meant to be planted in Louisiana, and I can’t wait to leave my heart in even more places.
I’ve fallen in love with the quote “Home is where your story starts,” because to me, home has never been a place; home is a feeling. It’s where you make new memories. It’s where you create comfort, both for yourself and those that you invite into it. It’s where you celebrate the things that are important in life. Home isn’t a physical place, but there are so many ways for you to commemorate, not only the places you’ve called home, but also the stories and memories you created in each one.
James Avery has been helping people tell their stories for over 60 years. James Avery is more than just a jewelry store; it’s a way for you to tell your story. Do you want to chance to tell your own story? Buy two charms from James Avery through May 29 to receive a charm necklace or bracelet for free*! They have 15 free styles to choose from, so the mix-and-match options are endless. They have tons of unique charms to choose from, so you can tell your story the way you want.
I’m excited to share my own story with these two charms that exemplify both the place I called home for over a decade and the adventures that are to come in this next chapter.
What charms would you use to tell your story?
*Promo details: Purchase two James Avery charms and/or pendants and an eligible charm bracelet, hook-on bracelet, ankle bracelet or charm necklace and receive up to $70 off the transactions. Glass Enhancer Beads do not count as James Avery charms for this promotion. Customers purchasing eligible charm necklace (NK-207; $30), charm bracelets (BR-20; $40 or BR-599; $50) or ankle bracelet (BR-613; $40) will receive that item’s value only. Offer valid 4/16/18 through 5/29/18 while supplies last. Available at JamesAvery.com, James Avery retail stores, through James Avery Customer Service, at select Dillard’s Department Stores and at Dillards.com. May not be combined with any other offer or applied to previous purchases. We reserve the right to limit quantities. No cash/credit back.