Iím Considering Leaving SC
July 14, 2003
When my wife and I moved to South Carolina in July 2000, we dreamed about the prospects of finally having the opportunity to settle down, have kids and make the Palmetto state our home for the rest of our lives.
Isnít it interesting what a few years can do to the hopes and dreams people conjure up? I was hired at a local retail store to be their marketing manager. Unfortunately, the job never availed me the opportunity to be involved in marketing in the 10 months I was employed there. We mutually ended the working relationship in May 2001.
Then, September 11th happened and jobs became scarce. Theyíre still scarce. I was able to finish my thesis to earn my Masterís Degree at the end of 2001, but permanent full-time employment continued to elude me working for several political candidates last year. I landed a job through Kelly Services last year and then was a substitute teacher this Spring. The fiasco I have endured trying to become a teacher in South Carolina has exacerbated me to no end.
Frustrated by the barren job market in South Carolina for the past two years, we are now seriously considering moving back to Virginia by the end of the year. We havenít decided definitely yet, but all signs are pointing in that direction.
The original move to South Carolina from Virginia was not a difficult one for me. I had moved from Florida to Tennessee and then to Virginia before coming to South Carolina. My wife, on the other hand, had lived in Virginia her entire life before moving to South Carolina. While my family is spread out across Florida and Tennessee, all of her family is in Virginia.
Without any support system in South Carolina, aside from our church family, it has been incredibly difficult without a permanent job and with all of our struggles over the past two years. Sometimes I wonder how in the world we have survived during this time with no health insurance and the instability of income. It has only been by the grace of God that we have survived.
Even still, the lack of steady employment for me and the emotional distress of an uncertain future on my wife has me at the point of considering returning to Virginia. The choice will not be an easy one to make.
There are compelling reasons to leave.
First, my wifeís family misses her. With an eye disability since her premature birth, my wife has always been very special to her family. They care about her physical and mental well-being. It is important to them that she is happy and fulfilled. That is my wish for her as well. And yet, she has grown increasingly discontent with the lack of employment opportunities for both of us. It has taken a visible toll on her both physically and emotionally.
Second, despite my educational background in both English and Social Sciences, I have been unable to obtain a job in government or education in South Carolina. With a Bachelor of Arts and Master of Arts degree, I am deemed overqualified for most nominal jobs and lacking experience in jobs that require my educational background.
Although I believe I possess the communication skills that most employers are looking for, every single door has been shut in my face. Besides substitute teaching, I have been working a temporary job at a national company with an office in Spartanburg. While it has been adequate work to pay the bills, it is not a job that I plan on doing for the rest of my life. Besides, if I am going to settle for a job like that, then I can get one of those in Virginia.
Third, although we have made many friends in South Carolina, we have friends back in Virginia we miss. That is one of the most difficult parts of moving away. And yet moving back to Virginia would allow us to reunite with the friends we know and love as well as to return to a place we can call home as soon as we get there. Itís not that we havenít enjoyed South Carolina because it has felt like home to us after we settled in. But moving back to Virginia would not be as much of a culture shock as moving to South Carolina was initially (Iíll still never forget the first time I heard someone tell me they lived in ďGrrrrĒ when they were referring to Greer, SC. I thought they were growling at me like a bear! LOL!).
On the other hand, there are also compelling reasons to stay.
We have made many friends here in South Carolina. We are active in our local church and in the community. Iíve enjoyed writing articles for CommonVoice.com and the South Carolina website for GOPUSA. All of these things have been a great release for me as we have gone through these past few years. And I have grown to appreciate what God has allowed me to experience in my life, regardless of my circumstances.
Weíve marked many great moments in our lives in South Carolina. We bought our first house in South Carolina, got two Calico cats, became credit card debt free, paid off our car, paid off a timeshare and accomplished a lot more during our three years living in South Carolina. Leaving this place that we have grown to love doesnít seem fathomable. But it may happen.
I donít know what our final decision will be regarding this possible move back to Virginia. Iíd be interested in hearing what some of you have to say about our situation. While the ultimate decision is ours to make, I value the input of the readers of CommonVoice.
This isnít a conservative or liberal issue, but rather a life issue. Itís our life and we are at a crossroads. What do you think we should do? As always, I appreciate your candor and look forward to reading what you have to say.