I missed my blog post last week, oops! I think I needed a break after my last post.
Tonight though, I am excited to reflect on my last, and first, year here in ENC.
It happened! I made it through a whole year. I moved to New Bern, North Carolina one year ago on March 20th, 2017.
In the last year I have done so much and accomplished much more than I would have if I never move here.
This time one year ago I was exploring some of the things Eastern North Carolina had to offer, like the beach. I had one week off before I reported to my first day of work.
I went to the beach every Sunday for the first few months here.
My first week here though, I went almost every day. Why not? I love the beach and I had plenty of time! I love that I live so close to it.
That week I remember being nervous about what was going to happen next. How was I going to make friends? How would the first few weeks of work go? But I was also super excited to have an opportunity to do what I love.
At the end of my first week here I met two of my neighbors Lynsey and Lanijah. I think it hit me that I didn’t have anyone here for me and didn’t even know where the grocery store was. I kind of freaked out that night, I think. I guess that’s normal, but it was great to make friends so quickly.
Moving For My First Full-Time Job
I was lucky enough to score a job working at heritage top 40 radio station, Bob 93.3 (WERO,) just a couple of weeks after graduating from Virginia Commonwealth University. I feel like that is rare and special.
I’m glad my boss and his team saw and recognized my talent and wanted me to be a part of their successful radio station.
Having coworkers I can be open with professionally and personally is a blessing. Ya know, you spend more time with your coworkers than anyone else!
I have the best boss. He is great to work for, and with… even if he does always mess with stuff on my desk.
My coworker Gina has helped me grow in my personal, professional, and spiritual life. And my coworker Abby has kept me in check and makes me laugh daily.
So yes, work has been a great! I love my job, my coworkers, and my listeners… and they seem to love me too! Yay. 🙂
Meeting My First Friends
One of my favorite stories to share is how I met my roommate. When I first moved here I was killing it in the gym, I worked out almost every night (and I was looking pretty good too!) One night on the way to the gym a woman (my now roommate, Susan) and a guy (Tony) were hanging out by the stairs of my building with Susan’s new puppy.
I was on Snapchat video chatting one of my friends and Susan stopped me and was like “Hey, who are you talking to?” She wanted to be a part of that conversation for whatever reason. Probably the beer, haha.
Tony and Susan were having a beer and told me I should have one with them. I tried to say no and go to the gym. After all, I was doing such a great job of getting fit. However, Susan persisted. I thought to myself… “Austin, you have no friends here… they seem fun… you need to just let it go and hangout with them.”
So, I did. Cliche time… the rest was “history!”
Susan and I now live together, and even though Tony doesn’t live here anymore we still keep in touch. (Miss ya Tony!)
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These are the first two friends I made in New Bern. Yesterday Tony moved back home, and we're going to miss him so much. Thanks for being a friend, Tony. Our tripod won't be the same without you. These two people mean the world to me. They showed up just when I needed them.
I Went to New Bern’s First Pride and Met My Boyfriend
A couple of months later, in June, I found out about New Bern’s first “pride” event at LIVE at The City Laundry. I wanted to go to make some friends in the LGBTQ community, so I had mentioned going to the event to some of my neighbors. They said they’d go, but I didn’t expect what happened next.
I came home from work that night and a few of my neighbors were at my house all decked out in rainbows and bright colors ready to go out. It made me cry thinking about it later on. The fact that they were so excited for me to go to it… and that they supported me that much that they’d go to something like that.
That night was so much fun. Susan decided she’d get me to meet the only cute guy that was there. I wasn’t interested because I was just there to have fun, but she was successful.
David asked me for my number that night and we ended up going to lunch. Our relationship developed over the next couple of months into what it is now. I have to give some credit to my neighbor Bill for trying to get David and I to talk all night too. His (now wife) Megan, was an awesome sport for coming out too.
UPDATE: If you read my last blog post, you saw that we broke up. We worked through our issues and I’m happy to now say that we are happily back together and in a very good place. Almost like a new relationship. Communicating what was hurting us both seemed to help because we are both aware of the issues we had with each other, and we worked on them.
That night wouldn’t have been successful without my neighbors (Bill, Megan and Susan) taking me to it. This was when I was really starting to feel at home.
I now have lots of friends in Eastern Carolina, and I am thankful for all of them.
I Overcame My Fear of Live TV
One of my work’s biggest events was kind of scary to me last year. The thought of live TV appearances and two days of not much sleep full of competition and events made me nervous.
Bob 93.3’s Tuition Mission was so much fun once I got into it. I was on TV (NBC affiliate WITN) a bunch over those couple of days which was nerve wracking but a growing point, and I got to give away a $5,000 scholarship to a well deserved student.
We Met Celebrities
In November, MAX who sings “Lights Down Low,” came by the station. I invited my neighbors Bill, Megan, and my roommate Susan to meet him. Another great memory shared with my friends.
Focusing on Me
As you’ve read on my blog, I’ve been working on getting back in shape. I haven’t been sticking to it as much as I should, but something is better than nothing! I still have a long way to go but I’m excited to announce this week that I am officially down 10 pounds and finally below 200 pounds!
I plan on getting back into my fitness routine next week when I get back from my weekend getaway to see Betty Who in Richmond, VA.
The reason I started this blog was to reflect, make progress, and share things I think are fun.
This blog post is really made me reflect and it proved how happy this place makes me.
I do miss my hometown, my friends back home and my family all the time… but I am so thankful that life brought me to New Bern, North Carolina.
It took me a while to adjust, and I am finally adjusted and comfortable. Thank you to everyone who has made this possible. I really mean it.
There are so many awesome stories I could share from having awesome neighbors who do anything for me, to my amazingly awful birthday party, but it’s getting close to bedtime!
Here’s to another awesome year of new experiences! Thank you ENC.