Tuesday, July 1, 2014

It's Your Ship, Baby, Steer It

 photo OrchidGrey_JulieSharp_June302014-1_zpsee2dd52a.jpg
So, it's time for me to tell you exactly why I've been so stressed out/anxious/excited/cagey: We're moving. To Philadelphia. In a couple of weeks under two weeks.

(If you'd like to know what I looked like as I typed that, please refer to this - I am both Louise AND Tina, at most times actually.)

It's crazy. I feel crazy. We're crazy. Unghhhh... I've been obsessing trying for a week and a half to figure out just how to announce this. How, exactly, to express my/our excitement and sadness, nervousness and over-the-moon-ness (not an actual word) regarding this next chapter in my/our lives, without coming off as... I don't know ... ungrateful? I don't know. What I do professionally is sort of in the public eye as my work is published on the Internet, so announcing any major change like this kind of makes me uncomfortable, there's always so much more going on behind the scenes, so much I don't talk about. I know I shouldn't care, but I think all anyone ever wants is to be understood, so it's hard not to care how people perceive your decisions. The last time I made this sort of announcement people thought I was being all cute-sy and coy about where I was going, when in reality I was just terrified of jinxing myself, of talking about my new job and something not working out. Anyway, what I've realized is that there's no perfect way to do it.

We're no strangers to packing up and moving for the right opportunity, that's exactly what we did when I was hired at ModCloth, after all. We packed up our lives and pointed our compass in the direction of a place we knew nothing about, and it was -- by far -- the largest leap of faith/risk either of us had ever taken. And after a bumpy first year, it worked out, things were really hard emotionally at first for the both of us, but moving to Pittsburgh was so, SO worth it. And while we always knew in our hearts that PGH would be temporary, we really came to love it, especially over the past year and a half. But the thing with temporary stuff is that eventually you leave whatever it is behind, no matter how painful it might be to do so. Our first inkling that our time here might be drawing to a close more quickly than expected came a while back when we found ourselves staring down the possibility of living separately, Chris in New Hampshire, where there were more career opportunities for him, and me in Pittsburgh, where I have a stable job in my industry. But neither of us wanted to go back to long distance (we spent the first two and a half years of our relationship 100 miles apart). It didn't help that, each time we visited home, it became more and more difficult to come back. We're fine with living far away from our families, really, but as we get older we want to see them more than twice a year.

Around the same time that all of this was going down, I came across an amazing opportunity in Philadelphia -- a bigger city with more jobs, that is six hours closer to home -- and applied. And after months and months of interviews, I got it. I got it! And so, after a great deal of deep discussion, polling of family and friends (who are most likely really sick of hearing about all of this), and some major gut checking, Chris and I agreed that this job is my next step and Philly is our next step. And so, starting July 14th I will be joining Free People as an Editorial Specialist. Obviously this decision was a difficult one, and one that I did not take lightly. ModCloth is an incredible company and one that I am very proud to say I have worked for, and of course there's a part of me that's sad to see it in the rear-view mirror. But it's time for me to move forward and for us to be in a city that can offer us both the opportunities we need to grow. Moreover, Pittsburgh will forever hold a place in our hearts as a city that challenged us, charmed us, frustrated us to no end, surprised us, and -- ultimately -- won us over. Part of this is summer talking (Pittsburgh turns on the charm in June and July), but we're going to miss this place. Hard.

We're currently in the process of packing everything up, and "overwhelmed" doesn't even begin to describe it. We'll be moving into temporary housing while I start work, which will give us time to apartment-hunt in person. Right now, we just want to find a place to live. It sounds silly, but besides the friends we made here, the thing I'll miss the most is our Pittsburgh apartment and neighborhood. We love this space and if we had it our way, we'd lift it up and plop it down in Philadelphia. But, knowing what I know now about relocating to a new city, I'm excited to start fresh. To approach Philadelphia with open arms rather than apprehension. It certainly helps that we've been able to visit a few times, that we know more about the area, and that we actually have some friends already there. I'm excited to explore, to meet new people, and to push myself creatively in a new position with a brand that has such a strong identity.

Pittsburgh has us until the 9th. Until then, we'll be visiting all of our favorite spots, spending as much time with our friends here as possible, committing every square inch of our apartment to memory, and having backyard bonfire parties and eating s'mores until we can't stand them. Oh yeah, and maybe doing some packing as well.

Wish us luck, and if you're a fan of Philly, tell me about it! I want to know all your favorite things. Also, tell me about beach spots, because oh-my-sweet-god, we're going to be near the ocean again!

56 comments:

Liz Lauren said...

good luck!!


http://hashtagliz.com

Kitsune-kun said...

ahhhhhh good good luck and congratulations! I totally understand the feelings- we are moving to tokyo in august and it's SUPER far away from family and anyone I know, I don't know the language, and it's for Ryan's job while in the meantime there's basically 0 career opportunities for me there, but at the same time I sound like a total bitch complaining about moving to Japan.....it's a cool place and I'm excited but also really nervous and scared and have NO idea what I am going to do while we're there. ah. I hope you guys love Philadelphia and have so much fun!

Destrehan's Daughter said...

Congrats.

jamie said...

I visited Philadelphia about two years ago and fell in love with the city. I wish to visit it again soon (maybe even consider living there!). Good luck with the move and congratulations on the new job! I'm looking forward to hearing about your new adventures!

Rhiannon Lorenzo said...

very awesome! good luck!

www.modernsuburbanites.blogspot.com

Orchid Grey said...

Kitsune - Wow, that's so exciting about Tokyo, I'd totally be freaking out too! I don't think it's bitchy to complain, it's an exciting opportunity, but it's also completely natural and understandable to be nervous (I've been having stress dreams for weeks). You guys will do amazing, and while I'm sure there will be bumps, you'll find your groove. Best of luck!

omg_nids said...

Best of luck!

Orchid Grey said...

Jamie - Thank you! We really liked Philly, it reminded us a bit of Boston :)

Rhiannon - Thank you!

DD - Thank you!

Liz- Thanks!

Amanda said...

Oh my word that is so incredible and exciting! Congratulations Julie! This sounds like a really great opportunity and definitely the next step in your career. I cannot wait to see all the great things you do at the new job. Congratulations again!

Ashley said...

Congratulations! My husband and I moved to the Philly area in July of last year for his job at another retailer. We now work for the same retailer, so we're moving closer to work (our office is right outside of Atlantic City) this summer, but we really like Philadelphia as a city. We moved from St. Louis and Philly is very similar - very blue collar, but with lots of culture and history. There are so many great neighborhoods/streets with shops and dive bars - we usually will just spend a day walking and popping in whereever looks fun.

As far as beaches go, nearly all of them in the area charge for access except Atlantic City and Wildwoods. I prefer AC over WW just because the beach is more narrow and it's easier to get to, plus the outlets are right there. Each community has it's own fun quirks, though. If you plan on driving down for a beach day, do it EARLY. On saturdays the traffic to the shore can be backed up to nearly Philadelphia by 10am, no joke.

This is so random, but over the weekend while exploring we went to Tattooed Mom's, a little dive bar, and it really made me think of you (hopefully that's not creepy, haha) - it's kind of funky and unique. You should definitely stop in some time!

Orchid Grey said...

Ashley - thank you thank you thank you! I'm so glad to hear you have such a fondness for Philly. We were really won over by the neighborhoods we visited, too (I can't wait to check out Tattooed Moms - not creepy at all!). Thank you also for the beach warning, I didn't even think about traffic!

Yelena said...

Seeing your Instagram posts a few weeks ago in Rittenhouse made me think you were moving to Philly, especially with all of your recent posts about big changes coming. Congratulations on your new job! I've lived here for the last 7 years (through undergrad and currently in graduate school), and it truly is a great city. The restaurants, the parks, the convenience of both beaches and hiking spots! It's perfectly situated in my opinion, and still a bustling city without the craziness of NYC (where I grew up). I think it's great! And there will be no shortage of new restaurants and thrifting opportunities to discover. If you have any questions about neighborhoods for moving purposes, feel free to reach out! Good luck!

holly [at] covetous creatures said...

How exciting! The job sounds like a perfect fit for you! Congratulations, and best of luck with the move.

Cat said...

Congratulations, and good luck with the move!

Kay Everyday said...

Congratulations on your new opportunity! I admire your bravery and gumption!

Veronika said...

yay!!!!

Anonymous said...

Congratulations and best of luck! I'm in the middle of a long-distance job search (NYC to Boston) right now - did you have any advice or tips you found particularly helpful when looking for a job in another state? I feel you on the stress dreams. :(

erin said...

i just made my big announcement today, too. i know exactly how you feel about putting all of this out there, so it's nice for me to know that there's someone else going through something similar. i'm so excited for you and i'm sure this next step is going to be an awesome one. i'll miss being co-workers even though we were all the way across the country from one another!

laniza said...

Best of luck with your move and job!

Niki said...

Oh wow! Good luck!!! I can kinda relate to how you’re feeling as I moved from my home in the UK to India for two years, before moving to the US. It’s so hard to know how to break the news, especially when you yourself don’t really know how you feel about it. I didn’t mention anything about the move on my blog until yesterday…we’d been in Pittsburgh for two weeks by then but I just didn’t know what to write or how to write it. It’s a huge upheaval and super scary but I know that living here will become the norm soon (reading your blog has shown me that Pittsburgh is a pretty cool place to live) but for now, it’s all just really strange and pretty difficult…made harder by the fact that I share my life on a blog.

I wish you a TON of luck, it sounds like it’s going to be amazing!! Taking a leap of faith and grabbing those opportunities when they come around is such a rewarding thing. I look forward to reading more and seeing some pics :)

Seeking Style said...

Congratulations!! Free People will be amazing for you!

xo Jennifer

http://seekingstyleblog.wordpress.com

Teddi said...

julie, what a fantastic opportunity! thrilled to pieces for you. living 6 hrs closer to family is a HUGE plus. wish i could say the same. anyway, best wishes on your new adventure. thanks for taking us along for the ride. :)

FRUIT SKELETONS said...

holy crap! this is awesome! I live in Pennsport right by Grindcore coffee house & I cannot recommend both enough. there's so much to do here, you're gonna love it. you don't even have to give up the backyard parties!

Ayesha said...

I grew up outside of Philadelphia and have many friends who still live there. You'll love it! Other NJ beaches to try are Cape May and Ocean City (the latter is dry and family friendly but still so sweet). Other good places: PYT and Pub & Kitchen. Also, it is only a 2 hour Bolt Bus ride from NYC (my former home). I hope you love your new home!

giselaandzoe said...

So very excited for you! I can't wait to see pictures of your new town!

Kim Hall said...

All the luck and good things to you! I'm contemplating a move across town and it's giving me butterflies; I can only imagine what you have been feeling. I hope your move goes as smoothly as possible.

Nicole said...

you should check out Little Babies ice-cream!! its the best!! they have a ton of vegan flavors (as well as dairy) but also they make really interesting flavors like everything bagel! its a lot of fun. I think there are a few of them but there is one in Fishtown that is attached to Pizza Brain. The very first pizza museum (and also, good slices) good luck! philly is awesome

skunkboy said...

So, so happy for you guys! Philadelphia is one of my most favorite places ever and you will be a great addition to the Free People team for sure! xo.

e.m. ricchini said...

I live in Philly and work at a television station here! I love it so much. There are so many great things here, let's grab coffee and chat :)

Lindsay is Broke said...

Wow, congratulations! Enjoy your adventure. :)

Elliementary, My Dear said...

I'm making a big life change soon that involves moving so I can definitely relate :) Sounds like such an awesome opportunity that you've been given, good for you for taking the risk. Hope you enjoy Philly!

Laura Neal said...

Congratulations Julie! Life is funny whilst we all try to find our feet. Transitions and moves are stressful and exciting and everything gets all jumbled up. But with family, friends and each other at the core of your decisions, you and Chris know what feels right deep down. This is exciting! Enjoy the summer adventures in Pittsburgh and look forward to the fall explorations in Phili. Also, if there is anyone more perfect for Free People than you, I can't think who they might be. This is fantastic news!
xxx

Chambray & Curls /

Gwen said...

OMIGOD! Congratulations!! This is such a fantastic opportunity for you, and I am so happy for both of you! A couple shouldn't have to live apart, so I'm glad that's worked out too! Yay, yay! :)

thotlady said...

I am happy for you. Philly is a great town and to be closer to home is a big plus. I live in Virginia and my entire family is in the Midwest, so I feel your pain. I just recently discovered Free People. Love there stuff, so good for you.

M.Aguilar said...

Hi Julie,
Congrats on the big news and the up & coming move to Philly. I love Philly and my favorite spot is Bob & Barbara's, which is a dive bar with a trio of old-timers playing jazz (at least the last time I was there). It was also the first time I've ever paid $3-4 for a shot and a can of beer, which left quite an impression on me. Good times, def ck it out. I look forward to reading more about your Philly adventures.

Be well,
Martha xo
(aka - kidbrody2013 on IG)

Anonymous said...

Congratulations! Sometimes following your heart is the scariest thing to do even if it makes perfect sense. Well done for taking a leap! I hope you have a relatively stress-free move! Good luck!

iris said...

Capogiro's. It's the best. Hands down.

As for the beach...I'm more of a Jersey shore traditionalist. I sort of like all the people and the noise. Wildwood has a boardwalk, as does Ocean City (although Ocean City is also a dry town). I suspect the beaches down near Cape May might be more peaceful...

Becky said...

Congratulations! I grew up about an hour south of Philadelphia, so while I haven't spent enough time there to really give you any local insights, it is a fun place to visit. As far as the beaches go, I do know most Philadelphians tend to go to New Jersey. My husband says his family always went to Ocean City growing up, and he seems to have liked it, though I've never been there. Me? I'm a Delaware girl, and was completely shocked that you had to buy passes to walk on the beach in addition to parking the one time I went to Cape May! But if you don't mind driving a little further every now and then, give the Delaware beaches a try-- Rehoboth has a decent boardwalk, and Cape Henlopen is a state park so the parking is the cheapest out of the bunch. I've spent most of my beach time growing up at Lewes, which is on the bay and therefore much quieter. But one of my aunts has a house down there with her siblings, so it was an easy way to get yearly beach vacations!

Good luck with the new job and the move and all!

Alison Colby said...

Really excited for you and Chris, Julie! Glad you are taking the plunge. Though I will be coming to Pittsburgh pretty much one week after you're leaving. Too bad since it would have been fun to maybe meet up for a drink! Perhaps someday at a blogger meet up.

Good luck on the move and your first day at Free People!

XO Alison
looksharplansing.blogspot.com

Anonymous said...

you should check out the Mütter Museum, it's pretty interesting, and blackbird pizzaria was incredible.

Anonymous said...

Congratulations, all the best!

The Littlest Smitten said...

Congratulations Julie! Sounds like great opportunity. One of the my band mates lives there. I will have to ask him for recommendations on places and things there for you guys. Happy 4th of July! Have a great weekend!

Shannon said...

Congratulations! Before I visited a few years ago, I reached out to Chaucee, author of the blog Streets and Stripes, to get some direction of which areas and shops to explore. She is a resident of Philadelphia who offered wonderful recommendations and was super friendly. It was one of the best day trips I have taken and cannot wait to go back. Enjoy your journey!

Jen said...

Such exciting news! I lived in Philly for three years and absolutely loved it. I wouldn't have moved if it weren't for a long distance relationship with a person I couldn't live without! I still visit Philly about once a month and I'm sad to leave every time.

Lisa said...

Hey lady!

We'll be almost-coworkers, as I started at Urban Outfitters in February. You'll love working in the Navy Yard. Let me know if you ever want to get lunch or chat! I'm starting my third year in Philly and my fifth in Southeastern PA (I'm originally from a dairy farm in the no-man's-land between Philly & Pittsburgh).

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Colleen Beaty said...

Wow, moving to Philly! I grew up in the suburbs right outside the city, and I still visit my family and friends up there at least a few times a year. Chestnut Hill is by far my favorite neighborhood in Philly proper - there's lots of great, small restaurants and bars and shops. You might like 10,000 Villages, which is a fair trade shop on the main road.

In terms of beaches, go to Avalon or Stone Harbor, NJ - they're quieter, cleaner, and have better beaches than other parts of the shore.

It's already the 20th, so you're probably there and getting settled already. Wishing you lots of luck in your new digs!

Lynda D'Souza said...

Hi Julie, I used to follow your blog avidly some years back and while moving countries I lost the link for some reason and then found you were working for Free People ! YAY ! so happy to reconnect again..............good luck to you, I am already enjoying your posts and look forward to spotting in them ayday !

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