March 11 marked my three-year anniversary living in Rhode Island. It’s hard to believe it’s been three years, especially when I stop to think about how much has happened. Since I moved here:
- I’ve changed jobs and started looking into graduate school, including working my way through GRE prep and establishing where I want to go and what I want to study;
- we adopted our cats, who will be three years old (!!!) this Christmas;
- we’ve moved! from an (honestly shitty) apartment to the beautiful apartment we live in now (two years in June!);
- I sold my car, got a bike and started walking, biking and busing everywhere;
- I started seeing a therapist to deal with all of the crap that’s just hanging out in my head;
- we got engaaaaaaaaged!!!!!;
- and last, but definitely not least, I filed for bankruptcy after years of poor financial decision-making and started actively trying to save.
That’s a lot for someone who really doesn’t like change. Deciding to move to Rhode Island was, at the time, easy. It meant moving in with my partner, getting out of my parents’ house, and leaving New Hampshire (a state I loved, but didn’t fully appreciate until I went somewhere else). It felt like Real Adulting, something that didn’t fully kick me in the ass until a few months into my living here.
I wasn’t prepared. That became really apparent really fast, but I persisted. Now I feel like I’m in a pretty good place, generally.
Rhode Island is a really beautiful, really unique state with a lot to offer. It’s got tons of coastline, great bike paths, amazing food, and cool history. Living here has been a whirlwind and I’ve genuinely loved most of my time here, but it’s also been hard in ways I never could have predicted. Cost of living is high, the public transit system is often unreliable, and being without a car is increasingly difficult as Reed and I try to pursue more time out of the city.
I have no regrets about moving to Rhode Island, despite how rough parts of it have been (especially the whole first year). I think moving here really forced me to examine a lot of my shit and figure it out, which has been amazing. I’ve probably grown more in the last three years than I have for the rest of my adult life combined, just because life has dealt blow after blow and I’ve been forced to deal with those blows while also trying to maintain a sense of balance.
Three years really isn’t a long time, when you stop to think about it, but it feels like I’ve been here much longer than that.
My goals three years ago are different than my goals now. And as I’ve changed, the world has changed. Everything has changed. Some of those changes are horrifying. I’m doing my best to grapple with those without getting too bogged down.
But one thing has remained constant: the support and love of my absolute favorite human, without whom I would never have moved here or pursued any of the other major changes I’ve made since.
People ask me all the time why I decided to move to Rhode Island, especially when they find out that I grew up in northern California and then went to college in New Hampshire. My answer is always, “my fiancé lives here.” And maybe that seems stupid or ridiculous to those people who ask, but in my opinion, it was a perfectly valid reason to stop driving up and down three states once a week to see the person I love. And it’s been really good for me.
In honor of three years in Lil Rhody, expect to see some upcoming posts with recommendations for what to do in this tiny state, including a vegan restaurant guide for Providence and some cool pics of the bike paths I’ve ridden — as well as some more posts this summer when I tackle more of them (hopefully with Reed!).
Want to see something specific? Hit me up in the comments or on Twitter!