How Living in Charlotte, North Carolina Changed My Life

Filed in Business Idea by on July 6, 2022 0 Comments

Charlotte north Carolina zip code: People come to Charlotte for all kinds of reasons.

Some look for a big city experience with small-town charm, others are drawn to the abundant job opportunities and some just need to get away from home.

For me, moving here was a combination of all three. I came here for work, but stayed because of the way it changed my life.
In many ways, Charlotte is the perfect place to unplug and rediscover yourself.

It’s not too big and not too small; you can find everything you need without worrying about feeling like you’re stuck in a rut.

The cost of living is reasonable enough to support an extended stay.

But also high enough that you actually feel like you’ve achieved something once you do leave again.

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How Living in Charlotte, North Carolina Changed My Life

Everyone has a city that changed them. Some have many, but for me, my transformation began when I moved from New York City to Charlotte, North Carolina.

Living in Charlotte made me grow up, mature and take responsibility for myself.

It wasn’t easy; there were plenty of moments where I missed the fast-paced lights of New York and the constant stream of shows and concerts, but in the end it was all worth it.

A Brief Background of Who I Am

My name is Joshua, and I’m a 20-something aspiring writer and musician who was born in New York City and grew up in the suburbs of New Jersey.

I’ve been living in Charlotte for the last seven years. I studied music in college and have written for a few different music blogs over the years.

I also have a couple of music-related side hustles (e.g. teaching guitar lessons and managing artists).

I’ve always been a creative person, but for the last few years I’ve also been focusing on building a more stable career in marketing. I’ve always loved cities, but nothing compares to New York City.

I can’t imagine living anywhere else; it’s my home.

I’ve been back to visit a few times since moving to Charlotte, but it’s not the same.

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The Culture Shock

I was completely blindsided by the culture shock that came with moving to Charlotte.

I had no idea what I was getting myself into. I had grown up in the suburbs of New Jersey.

Which were a whole different culture in and of themselves, but Charlotte was something else entirely.

I’ve never been asked “Where are you from?” so many times in my life.

It was ridiculous. In New York, it’s about where you live now.

In New Jersey, it’s about where you go to school. In Charlotte, it’s about where you’re from, but with a Southern accent.

I don’t know if it was because I was surrounded by people from different walks of life or if it was just a matter of me not having a Southern accent.

But it felt like people just wanted to know where I was from. It was a very “other” kind of feeling for me.

The Good, the Bad and the Ugly

The good was that the weather was nice (i.e. not too hot or cold), the cost of living was way more reasonable than New York City, and the city itself was beautiful. The bad was that pretty much everything else was different. I had a hard time finding my community; I didn’t know anyone, I didn’t even have a place to live yet. I felt really alone and like I didn’t belong in the city at all. I felt like this weirdo trying to blend in.

I remember going to a local grocery store with my roommate and not being able to find anything. I had never been in a grocery store that was so overwhelming and where I didn’t know what anything was. It was a nightmare. We had decided to look for an apartment in the suburbs to save a little bit of money, but we didn’t know the area very well and ended up in a very sketchy neighborhood.

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Charlotte north carolina zip code

We were driving around and kept seeing the same run-down, abandoned-looking houses. My roommate was driving and I was in the passenger seat when we saw a police car in the middle of the street. We pulled over and a cop came up to the car and asked what we were doing there.

We told him we were looking for an apartment and he told us that we had to get out of there and to stay out of that area. The ugly was that I was really homesick. I missed my family, friends, New York and the people that I loved. I felt so far away and disconnected from everything. I tried to keep busy and meet people, but the feeling never went away.

New Friends, New Experiences

I started to meet some new people and go to some events around the city. I was living with a roommate at the time and ended up meeting some of his friends, which was nice.

I even went to my first Carolina Panthers game! However, I didn’t feel any lasting connections. There’s only so much you can know and experience with one or two people, no matter how great they are, before you exhaust the conversation topics.

I was constantly trying to do things and go out to meet new people and experience the city, but it didn’t feel natural.

I didn’t know who I was or what I liked, so how could I meet people and share my interests? It felt like I was trying too hard and being too “on” all the time.

I was trying to fit into a new city, new culture and new people; it was exhausting.

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Final Words

I was constantly on a search for meaning and trying to make sense of it all.

I wished there was a guide book or something to help me navigate the transition and meet new people, but I had to learn it all on my own the hard way.

I definitely had my fair share of self-pity moments, but I tried to use that time to get to know myself better and figure out what I wanted and didn’t want in my life.

I was able to reflect and assess where I wanted to go with my life and what I needed to do to get there. It was a growing and learning process, but I’m so grateful for it because I wouldn’t change a thing.

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