Finding Home

Published on by David A. Kennedy

Thanks, David. Stay in touch. –Philip.
A note on the back of my last paycheck, handwritten by my former boss, from the grocery store I worked at in Asheville, N.C. We moved from there to Greensboro for the first time in 2008. I found the note this week while packing.

I’m lucky. I work for a company that allows me to work from anywhere. Knowing that, it almost seems counterintuitive to want to tie yourself down to any one place. Why settle for home being one place when it could be different whenever you wanted? And if you could live anywhere, where would it be?

I found myself trying to answer those questions over the past year. We’ll load a truck in just a few days, but it doesn’t feel that soon. I didn’t expect the answers I found, but I know they feel right, so I’ll be saying goodbye to the Washington, D.C. area and heading back to Greensboro, North Carolina.

I lived in North Carolina for almost three years from 2007 to 2010 while finding my way to my current career and attending graduate school at Elon University. I left looking to land a job, and did that, working in downtown Washington D.C. for a national nonprofit and later a government agency. It turned out to be a chance of a lifetime because I got to help out with some amazing projects. The Washington, D.C. area turned out to be where I made myself professionally.

It was here where I learned WordPress deeply and got hooked on its community of passionate, friendly people. I met many of them at the regular WordPress D.C. meetup. I also dove into the world of accessibility thanks to working for a disability organization and in the government, places where accessibility is paramount. I leave a better person and web developer than when I arrived.

In the almost-six years here, my wife and I also had a daughter who’s become the center of our lives. She surprises us each day with how she learns and grows. As a result, she pushes us to learn and grow in new ways too. I’m excited more and more each day with what she does and where it takes all of us.

This area never felt permanent or like home. We came here, both my wife and I, to better our careers. Now that we’ve done that, and our lives have evolved, we wanted a change. I confess I never imagined moving back to North Carolina. We looked at Florida (where I’m from), Pittsburgh and a few other spots. Turns out Greensboro just felt right. It’s a place we know, because we lived close by before and always visited. It has a lot of the benefits of a big city, but few of the hassles. It’s central to the mountains and the beach, perfect for quick trips and vacations. The cost of living is reasonable and the weather is terrific. Plus, we already have friends there, and it’s an easy trip to get to many family members.

That doesn’t mean leaving the D.C. area will be easy. We’re leaving behind some great connections and friends, but are excited for new beginnings in Greensboro. I can’t wait to start this part of our lives!

Tagged Personal