Like much of the country, Alison and John faced difficult financial times in 2012. John lost his job and Alison’s salary as a freelance writer wouldn’t be enough to support their family of four. After months of searching in the Miami area, John needed to expand his search. John felt unhappy about moving, but he couldn’t find anything local. When a job listing came up in a suburb of Atlanta, he knew they would need to relocate.
The job in Atlanta sounded ideal… until they learned that this “suburb” was actually two and a half hours away from Atlanta. As time passed and no other job offers came in, John felt like he didn’t have much choice. Despite the bad location and a boss he wasn’t crazy about, he couldn’t turn down a good job. We all make trade-offs in life.
Life took Alison and John to small town Georgia.
We’re Keeping Our Old House (For Now)
The couple knew it would be difficult to get back into their Pinecrest, FL, neighborhood at the price point where they bought their home. Instead of selling their house, Alison and John decided to rent it out. Alison says, “We didn’t know whether the move would work out for us. NOT selling our house was the smartest thing we did.” They used Trulia and found a renter within weeks. On Christmas day, the family moved to Georgia and the renters moved in one month later.
She Feels Okay About It, But He’s Unhappy About Moving
Alison felt optimistic about the move. She attributes this to the fact that she doesn’t get as attached to people and places as others might. Although she loves her friends dearly, she’s able to move forward without keeping her focus on the past. She would tell John, “We’re doing something new and different and there’s something to be learned from it.”
John felt differently. He didn’t want to leave his family and everything that they knew. He was unhappy about moving, because the family didn’t have a choice. While Alison understood John’s point of view, she believed they did have a choice. They could’ve lived with their parents until they figured something out. Instead, they chose to move to Georgia to see how things would play out.
Deciding Where to Live in a New Town
A few months prior to their move, Alison and John did a whirlwind weekend trip to check out neighborhoods. With two school age boys, the school would be a priority. The problem they faced, though, was that the best school district was far away from town and the neighborhood felt isolated. Instead of picking the school, the couple decided to move to a place where there were things to do. In retrospect, Alison can say, “We definitely made the right choice.”
This realization that they needed to be near things made a big difference to the family’s happiness after the move. Alison would take her kids to school and still have time to do a quick Target run and be home before 9 A.M. so she could start work. She and the kids would walk to the local grocery store, which held free concerts from March through October. This center of community life provided an outlet for Alison to meet other families and to feel like part of the neighborhood.
Finding a Way Back Home
Even from the beginning, Alison and John seemed to know that living in Georgia would not be a forever thing. They wisely rented when they moved there, so they wouldn’t need to deal with a home sale if the opportunity arose to move back. After a year and a half of hard work, John received an incredible job offer back in Miami. They moved back to their old neighborhood, forever changed by their move to Georgia.
We Wouldn’t Be Where We Are Today Without Our Move
It’s years later now and the family continues to talk about their move to a small town. Alison explains why they still feel so impacted by the move, “It changes your life. John will say to this day, had he not taken the job in Georgia, he wouldn’t have had the experience for his job here. He needed that piece and that background for his career. He thanks God every day that we’re back and that we can afford to be back.” Although John felt unhappy about moving before they relocated and during the time they lived there, he now sees the benefits of their move.
The family survived a move to a town where they didn’t want to go and they made the most of it. More importantly, they learned to appreciate the things in life that they do have. Even the kids feel blessed for what they have. Any time they’re at a family event, the family says grace and they ask the kids, “What are you grateful for?” “A J-0-B!” Alison and John will never take a good job for granted and neither will their kids.