I have been plugging along in Charleston for months now. At first, I hated it. Then, I made some friends and found my rhythm, but at no point, have I ever really thrived here.
I have been using these months to strengthen myself mentally, physically, and emotionally. There were times that I felt unbearably trapped. I felt as though I was just marking time. I have learned to embrace it, knowing that when the time was right, my term in Purgatory would end. Happily, I believe that the time is soon.
This decision to move back home was based on getting a fresh start away from my ex. Unfortunately, for all of the culture and vibrancy of the city, there are some entrenched and systemic problems that are insidious in their influence. For example, the wages here for many are completely stagnant. There is great wealth here, but the average worker is in debt and works for far less than their counterparts in other areas. You would think that would be ok, based on the cost of living, except that this area has seen vast growth, driving up housing and expenses. As with any bubble, developers and city planners seem drunk on expansion, without the thoughtfulness of making the necessary infrastructure changes to accommodate the massive, growing population.
How this manifests as a challenge in my life is that the population here has neither the time nor the money, to invest in their health. I have worked at multiple locations since moving here, and until recently, have barely eked out a living. I’ve made enough to cover my expenses (thank God, I had embraced minimalism) and little else. I have stayed, though, because I have fallen in love.
My beau is from Europe and has been here working for the past year. As our relationship has progressed, we have been searching for solutions with an eye to his impending contract completion. Usually, he has something in place before finishing a project, but nothing has worked out just yet. I have remained philosophical about it, understanding that there must be some reason, namely, we aren’t meant to stay here.
Just this week, my darling suggested that, while he is away soon, that I return to SWFL, which is the place nearest and dearest to my heart. We shall see what becomes of it all.