Y’all. I still can’t believe I get to live here.
So far, living in Winston Salem has been nothing short of magical. In a span of a few weeks, I found the communities I so desperately needed: a grief group made up of incredibly thoughtful and resilient people, an amazing gym full of kind, encouraging, and motivating group fitness instructors, and an awesome liberal church community that actively supports social justice issues. I’ve met new friends with shared passions and life experiences, and I get to see them on a regular basis. It’s amazing and exactly what I’ve been searching for.
Also, I now have access to a Target, Tropical Smoothie, Sheetz, and a Trader Joes… I’m still wrapping my mind around the fact that we get to STAY here and call this place home. It doesn’t feel real and I never want to take it for granted.
I read a line by Nora McInery that stuck with me: “I know on a daily basis that I am so lucky to be alive… This is me just trying to earn it.” Traumatic grief wore me down in difficult ways, and living in Boone made my recovery harder than it needed to be, but I want to enjoy the days I have as much as possible. Moving did not cure my pain, but the SUNLIGHT and support systems I’ve found here are making everything feel more manageable. So far, Winston has been full of new adventures and so much gratitude. And exhausting, challenging work travel. But honestly, I’m grateful for that, too.
Here are FIVE things I’m loving about Winston-Salem so far:
- Foothills. For years I’ve been drinking a beer called People’s Porter and believing it came from a brewery in Asheville, NC. Well, it’s actually made right here in Winston-Salem! Their Pumpkin Ale is also the best. I was so happy to discover that in addition to the big brewery downtown, they also have a tasting room close to our apartment.
2. Our Apartment. In Boone, we were renting a house with the intention of becoming homeowners in the near future, but having to do regular yard work and deal with dangerous, unpredictable maintenance issues made us seriously reconsider that plan. Our apartment has air conditioning and functional heat and so much natural sunlight, plus some wonderful amenities including a pool and gym and BEAUTIFUL landscaping. The staff is awesome (we never even have to change a lightbulb!) Our neighbors are wonderful. I love living here.
3. The Art Scene. We spent approximately 2 hours in Winston Salem before deciding to move here. One of those hours was spent at First Friday Art Crawl in August. During that hour, we listened to live music, discovered a locally owned chocolate factory, and saw so many local galleries. It took me two hours to say yes, okay, let’s move here, but I’m pretty sure Bret was convinced in two minutes. The official Winston Salem’s slogan is the City of Arts and Innovation!
4. Downtown Winston has an adorable, walkable downtown scene with a record store, bookstores, so many breweries, and the best festivals. My favorite coffee shop serves giant pieces of cheesecake by the slice. We still have so much to explore, but it reminds me of our beloved Tallahassee and that means I LOVE IT.
5. Movies One of the most annoying things about Boone was it’s movie theater that hadn’t been updated since 1993. Who needs more than 4 movies playing at a time? Stadium seating, what’s that? Well, Winston Salem has multiple movie theaters including THE BEST independent movie theater. We’ve seen so many movies there already like Eighth Grade and The Miseducation of Cameron Post and they offer FREE outdoor movies in the summer which is just another reason Winston Salem is perfect.
In short, I’ve lived here for two months and feel at home for the first time in three years.