A week ago today I packed up my things and headed down with my twin brother and dad to move to Jacksonville, Florida. I had been living in Birmingham since 2013, attending college at UAB and stayed about two years post collegiate before making the leap to move away.
My goals in the move to Jax:
- Fresh start
- New job opportunities
- Personal growth out of my comfort zone
- Meet new people and make friends
- Running, better training, new trails & more training partners and community
- Friends already here
- Tired of bham, love it but too small and I outgrew it
- Most importantly, I’ve been praying for this city for about a year now and felt led to come here to use my gifts, communication skills and connections to be a light to serve the community here for Christ. However that may play out!
What I’ve accomplished so far in a week here:
- Started training at the PGA TPC Sawgrass in Ponte Vedra(my new job position I am STOKED for!!)
- Met w/ my new fitness director and started the process of getting my personal trainer schedule at the YMCA Ponte Vedra branch set where I’ll be a part time trainer to the community here
- Found a church home at Celebration church and found a small group and many sweet, fun new friends, future serving opportunities and Sub30 worship night for young adults like me.
- Reconnected with my friends who live here too including a high school cross country teammate and good friend!
- Jumped in a 4th of July race and connected with the running community and plugged into a like-minded training group. We are coordinating runs and training and races in the future!
- Stayed on my training schedule despite the grueling temps!
- Explored many niches like-avenues mall,town center, San Marco, Jax beach, Ponte Vedra, Neptune beach, Manderine(where I live!), julington area, baymeadows & many more to come.
- Didn’t get lost, use my GPS for everything!!!
- Mapped out easiest routes for grocery, coffee, gas, work, beaches & running trails and track.
What I felt and learned:
At first, it was hard. After my dad and twin brother left me on Sunday afternoon I finished unpacking my boxes and met some of the neighbors who are very nice and watchful of each other. I live in a nice community and it seems very safe and quiet here.
Even though I am 20-30 minutes from everything where ever I want to go, it’s not a bad deal. My Roomate though hasn’t been home since I moved in a week ago and the first few nights were lonely and I couldn’t fall asleep right away.
I have adjusted to the slow speed limit here(most roads are only 45mph) with highways being 65ish and there are cops everywhere!! Not like Atlanta where everyone goes 10-15 over and gets away with it.
I’ve also learned to be patient in going places that it will take you 30-45min to get out to one side of town to the other. Traffic isn’t too terrible in the summer now but the roads are long and Jax is very spread out. You just have to plan out your day carefully and fill up on gas!!
Things are a little more expensive here like food and gas. There are many places to eat and a Publix or Starbucks on every other corner.
Most people have been very friendly and helpful to me upon meeting them and welcoming.
I’ve made so many new friends in just a week and had some interesting conversations and I’m excited to keep exploring every area and nurturing my new friendships while establishing more.
This week has been rewarding, uncertain, scary, fun, exciting, HOT and wonderous.
Speaking of HOT…no more candid middle of the afternoon easy runs…I learned my lesson the hard way this week by attempting to run in mid-afternoon because I wanted to sleep in.
Trust me, here it’s worth it to suck it up and get the training done EARLY before you bake.
I definitely have my work cut out for me starting over in a new city with dreams, goals, tasks and a more open heart toward people and serving than I’ve ever had.
I’m hopeful and determined going into my second week living here in Jax.
Now I start both my position at the PGA, starting a new client base for personal training from scratch, plugging in at new church groups, coordinating training with new running buddies, meeting my Roomate finally!!, and juggling adjusting to a new routine for the week and maintaining a balanced FUN social life!
My goals going foreward here are:
- Stay in community- with my church, my friends, running community, friends
- Train smarter and believe in my goals & don’t make excuses and encourage my group here
- Excel in my PGA position and as a trainer at the YMCA for my community and use my skills to help be a light in everything I can do here
- Make new friends and be open and not ghost people bc I’m afraid they will hurt me. Put myself out there and be a GREAT friend! And listener, be dependable for everyone
- Explore new eats, craft brews, art, culture of Jax
- Be a beach bum and learn to surf!!
- Have fun being a 20’something!!
I know that’s a lot to digest, I’m still processing all of the sights, sounds, feelings and conversations and connections from this week. It will take a little while before Jax feels like home but my first week has been very successful, I’m happy and I know I’ve already crossed off a lot of immediate goals in my book.
I’m beyond thankful and blessed and I can’t wait to see what the next weeks and months here hold!
Until my next post, comment anything you want to know about my move or Jax and I’ll do my best to answer!