Hi Darlings 👋🏾
Long time no see! I have realized that I never really shared my experiences and journey after announcing my move to the east on the blog. I thought after year later I should do just that! I felt the best way to break down this last year was by seasons. Boy does a year go by so fast!
Summer: Extra Humid & but excited/nervous 😅
As I was descending into eastern territory, there were so many thoughts and questions going on through my head. 1. Did I make the right decision? 2. Will be good at my job? 3. Will I make any friends? I knew that I made a commitment and signed a contract, so I really needed to make an effort!
When I moved I became a nanny to the cutest 8 month old you ever did see! Although I've babysat plenty of babies, I had never taken care of just one for 8 hours a day, four days a week! I'm sure you all know by now, but before I moved, I taught 3 year olds- my favorite age by far! Obviously with an 8 month old you can't do the same things to keep them occupied, so this was semi new to me! The first two weeks of nannying, I shadowed Declan's nanny at the time. Figuring out the day to day, sticking to his schedule, which wasn't that hard because I love a good schedule!! However I wasn't used to a child needing me so, so, soooo much lol! Eventually, I got into a good routine and we even made so many friends at the park. So much so, that on my off days his parents would take him to the park and everyone would always come up to him- we were popular haha!
I had only been in Maryland for a month before I took my first Greyhound bus to New York! I see why a lot of people travel by bus! It's seriously so cheap! I think this trip was $62 round trip! Within 4 hours, I was with my original blogger babes Allyssa of Simply Allyssa and Naadia of Naadia Crutchfield for a short weekend trip. I also hit up Prospect Park in Brooklyn for Curl Fest! Seeing a Sea of Curls and beautiful black women and men was so amazing!
So a few months before moving, I started searching up bloggers by hashtags and followed them, engaged with them, and after a few weeks I reached out to them. I'm so glad I did that because I have some life long friends! I was able to meet up with them take pictures, they introduced me to their friends and even invited me to events with them. They definitely made me feel extra welcomed and I'm so glad for that. Mostly because back in April when I visited, I went shopping and the cashiers were so freaking rude to me and I'm like WAIT, are all women out here this rude? Because if that's the case idk how my bubbly self is going to do out here!! Spoiler- I did just fine
Fall: Crisp & I'm in love! 🍁
Fall was my most favorite season by far. I was in love with the East Coast by now mostly because of the trees changing colors! In Arizona our fall is definitely delayed, so I was in for a treat! The house I lived in, we were surrounded by trees and it was so freaking beautiful to see the leaves changing every single day until they were the color they were supposed to be! Declan had turned the big 1 by now and was a lot more mobile. We were going to the park two times a day, which was a workout!! I was able to be more creative with the things I did with him and taught him a few signs in sign language and was so ecstatic when he finally started copying me and using the signs correctly! He was saying a few words here and there too!! It was exciting to see his growth in only a few months!
By this time I felt like I had found my way. I had a really good work life balance, I was hanging out with some bloggers and even re connected with a childhood friend from Alabama! I had started to get invited to a lot of blogger events, which were really fun! I even visited my real life twin, Krystya of Into the Wardrobe in Boston who I also did color crush capsule with! As well as Azanique of Lots of Sass - a fellow black blogger! We had such a fun weekend exploring the New England area. It's always so fun to meet up with fellow Instagramers who you've been following for a while and find out they are the same person who they portray on social media!
As far as dating goes, I started talking to this guy that I met off Hinge- a dating app. It was a casual thing, but we also went on dates here and there. He was a lot of fun, he made me laugh and understood my obsession with french fries! Then one day I realized that I had more feelings than I had intended on having for him. With having a fear of the unknown, doing what I do best, I self sabotaged lol. I ended things with him after 4 months of us talking.
Towards the end of fall I started to play the comparison game like hard core and I wrote about it here
Winter: SO FREAKING COLD & I'm legit over it!! 🥶
So it has gotten so cold by now and I'm ill prepared for this monstrosity. Even if I was prepared, I honestly think that I would still not have everything I needed! I had a Hallmark moment! You know in the Hallmark Christmas movies where the snow looks untouched and so perfect? I got a fun picture in the snow! It was so perfect for a day and then days go by and its old and gross lol. After that snow day I rarely left the house because - I lived where I worked and it was too cold to go outside to the park. A'int nobody got time to get sick and miss work lol. Even on the weekends I really just didn't want to leave. I felt like, I didn't have anymore energy to give anyone or anything after work.
Throughout the winter months there would be a few days at a time that I wouldn't eat. I had no interest in blogging what so ever. The worst in my opinion my creativity was at all time low. I also felt lost. Like I didn't know what was going to happen with my blog, if I was going to stay here after a year, and more. After a while, a friend reached out to me to see if I was okay since I rarely posting. I told her how I was feeling and she was like girl, it sounds like you have seasonal depression! Y'all, I didn't even realize that it was a thing! Being from Arizona, where the sun shines for basically 364 days out of the year to moving to a state that is extremely dreary durning winter months (too many months in my opinion) had really affected my mood. I did not like that at all, I feel as if my personality is sunny, so living in a state that's not, isn't good for me! Who knew that having a lack of sun could play such a big part in my life at this time.
I was able to go to New York so I was really thankful to get out of my funk a bit during February for my middle school best friend Amber's birthday! I also hosted my first event with my fellow black blogger Adeola, it was a galantines brunch! So fun and I loved meeting some new gals and a few that I had been following for a while!
This was the point that I basically decided that I was moving back to Arizona once my year was up. I also knew that every time left Arizona- which I had been back 3 times since June, saying goodbye to my family kept getting harder and harder. It didn't help that it seemed like winter was never going to be over, but I WAS COMPLETELY OVER IT.
Spring: BIPOLAR & I just want to wear sandals! 🌦
Winter dragged on for so long, and once spring was finally upon us I was actually excited to not wear 10,000's of layers of clothing Watching the flowers bloom was a beautiful sight to see and I would go back just for cherry blossom season. I honestly feel like we had spring for 3 weeks were it was the most perfect weather and I started to fall in love with Maryland again. However that stopped once April was upon us and it was raining like non-stop. Every time I had planned on doing a photoshoot with friend it always got rescheduled. I honestly could not catch a break! I'm so not used to having to check the weather app every few hours to make sure I wouldn't get rained on. I just wanted to create content and wear sandals everyday, okay! 😩
Jennifer, Declan' s mother was on maternity leave and Declan and I had access to a car! So we started to make arrangements with fellow nannies and neighbors! We went to museums, aquariums, the playseum, the train park, library and of course Target! Hey, Jennifer said if I ever needed to run errands with Declan, I could! My errands just so happened to stop us at Target a few times! After his 18 month check up, Declan's father Eddie, has now put me up to the task of teaching Declan 50 words before I leave for Arizona. Honestly Declan already knew about 25 words, so 25 more wouldn't be that hard from April to June! So I said challenge accepted! Declan and I got to working even harder! Over the next few months, he had been loving learning new words and sounds, shapes and colors! He loved to dance, read books, (he memorized some of the sounds from his favorite books!) climb on everything in sight and he loves running away from me! Declan has had a cute baby brother by now and he always wanted to give Emil a kiss! It was the cutest thing.
During the Spring, I was able to travel to Virginia Beach, Charleston and Charlotte!
When I was a kid we had a family reunion in Virginia Beach and I thought there were sharks in the ocean so I refused to get in lol. Charleston has been on my bucket list! It's the type of town I could imagine myself living when I retire! I was legit obsessed! While in Charlotte, I was able to visit my best friend and some of our friends that we grew up with! When it didn't rain, and the weather was perfect, I would have to say that Spring time was my 2nd favorite season! I was also able to celebrate one of my first church friends from Arizona's graduation from Law School, and was able to plan her graduation party and take her graduation pictures too!
Towards the last week of me living there, I couldn't help but to reflect on the past year there. I was so proud of myself for venturing off to wayyyyyy on the other side of the country. I had learned a lot about myself and knew that if I could do this, I could do anything- well except living in a state that has a real winter (future husband, if you're reading this take note of this!!) haha. The Woods family had really taken me under their wing and treated me like family and I am so forever grateful for this! And Mr. Declan will never know how much he had an impact on me and how much I would miss him after my move. On my last day in Maryland,I gave Declan a suitcase because he loved playing with his dads and he loved it! It was the perfect size for him and he would not let go of it even when we tried to get him into the car haha! Declan, his mom and brother, and myself all met up with our neighbors at our favorite playing spot, played for a few hours and ate a yummy lunch! The family treated me to my favorite frozen yogurt spot out there and then drove me to the airport. They came inside with me hugged me goodbye. I honestly had held all my tears back until at that very moment! Overall I think this move, journey, experience- whatever you want to call it was indeed good for me!
Arizona: Sun Kissed ☀️
On June 13th just 2 days shy of my 26th birthday, with two 50 pounds suitcase and a 75 pound suitcase, I was headed back to my sunshine state!! I honestly was so excited to be back in my favorite state, with the people I loved, and start my 26th year on the best foot possible. I didn't make a public announcement at the time because I really wanted to get settled in, and have a smooth transition! I also started working as a nanny to a former student and his sister! These two kiddos are older, so we get to do A LOT of fun things! Arizona has so many museums that I didn't know about!! This past month has been really great, I've been low key, securing the bag, and even went on a mini staycation with my family, overall relaxing!
As if on cue, descending into Arizona, the lyrics I found my way back a played in my ears. (Way Back by Amber Mark) I indeed found my way back. This song just reminds me, that even though sometimes we have rough seasons, no matter what we will always find our way back! ♥️
Now I'm so excited to be back in my most favorite creative space! I've already had 3 photoshoots and I am planning on getting back on track with posting content daily on my Insta and more on the blog! If you've made it this far, thank you for reading all the way through! I can't wait to share more with you guys in the next coming months!!