Southern Belle in Training

Fashion, Travel & Lifestyle Blog || Est. 2012 || Virginia Beach, VA

August 4, 2017

Life Lesson: Don't "Count Chickens Before They Hatch."

    A week from tonight, I thought I was going to be looking at the beautiful skyline pictured below. Back in one of my very favorite cities, my former home of 4+ years, my beloved Queen City. Instead... I will not be in Charlotte. Because well, life is like that. Today's blog post is a bit more personal, but I wanted to share a few things that have been on my heart lately, and an important life lesson I was reminded of through it all!

      It's no secret that I've been very homesick for Charlotte since moving to Vermont. Although things for the most part have gone well at my job, my personal life has been close to non-existent since I moved, and I really find myself longing for my old life back in the South. I write more about what my transition to Vermont life has been like in my bi-monthly post-move updates (next one coming soon to the blog!), but I think y'all get the hint that it hasn't been an easy transition in my life outside of work.

     I work 6 days a week, and lately I've had a lot of overtime hours as well due to extra radio events happening during the summer season. So between the homesickness and work getting very busy, I'd been feeling very overwhelmed. I'm not able to use PTO until December, but since I am putting in a lot of overtime this month, I decided to see if there was any way that I could take a "mental health long weekend" from work, to take some time for myself, recharge before work gets even crazier before the end of August, and most importantly, make a little trip back to the city that I miss so much. I'll give y'all the short version, but my bosses said YES!! I was so incredibly overjoyed. They totally understood everything I was asking about, which I was so grateful for. They gave me a weekend, and I officially had the dates. I was going "home!"

      The first thing I did was text just about everyone in my phone contacts who still lives in Charlotte, to make sure they were around that weekend. I set up a tentative blog photoshoot with Deeana. I confirmed which nights of the weekend I would stay with which friends. I even explored the option of renting a car, since I wouldn't have my car there (FYI: under-25 driver fees are NO JOKE and that would not have ended up being an option!). I brainstormed how much Southern fast food I could possibly eat in three days. I did ALL OF THIS.... before ever looking at flights or flight prices....

     The next day, I went to book my flight, and I thought that my computer was playing a cruel trick on me. Being originally from Maine, I'm quite familiar with East Coast flight prices, and I know what the average prices are to fly from CLT to New England for holidays, and also for regular times of the year. The prices that I was seeing were more normal for buying a ticket to fly during Christmas at the last-minute... not during a summer month with no holidays! They were INSANE! I had miles with one airline that I was hoping to use, but I didn't realize that miles can't be used for trips booked under 21 days in advance, and this trip just missed that mark, so that option was out to help cut the cost down. For the next 12 or so hours, I searched every possible flight website out there, as well as other airports like Montreal. Everything that I was seeing was depressing, and 100% out of my budget. I've seen flights to places like California and London for cheaper prices than what I was finding from Burlington or Montreal to Charlotte for the weekend that I had off from work! Through all of my travel research, I realized that the airports that I often used to fly out of (Boston and Manchester, NH), are some of the cheapest in New England, and Burlington is often thought of as one of New England's most expensive airports.

     I finally realized the next day that as badly as I wanted to go back to Charlotte, and even though amazingly work had given me a very rare weekend off, it still wasn't meant to be and wasn't going to happen. I have a very entry level salary right now, and about 90% of my paychecks currently go to paying Vermont's extremely high rent prices, as well as my broadcasting school payments. I don't have the type of income where I can throw around money on very overpriced, last-minute flights. And goodness, that was a tough, tough realization that was accompanied by a lot of tears. I felt very stuck and trapped in Vermont that day. Very not happy to be at work, very not happy to be in my apartment, very stuck all around.

      I've since had some time to process everything, and wanted to share a takeaway that I had from this experience: don't count your chickens before they hatch! This of course is the title of the blog post, and has been one of my favorite sayings for a very long time. Obviously I didn't take the advice of this phrase at all in the way that I went about preparing for my weekend off. After ensuring that I had a weekend off, buying the flight to Charlotte was probably the most important part of the whole thing, and yet that was the part that got away from me in my excitement. I jumped ahead to the part about announcing the news of me coming, before there was news to announce!
     This whole failed trip experience reminded me of when I was applying to jobs this past winter, and then later accepting my job here in Vermont. I was so hush-hush during the entire application process, as I didn't want to jinx anything. When I came to Vermont for my interview trip, the only people that knew were my parents, my roommate, and my two broadcasting school directors- that was it! I didn't tell anyone else about the job offer until I had received my employment offer and things were official. And in that case- things turned out well! It seems like every past instance in my life when I have gotten excited and jumped the gun on something, it always falls through before happening.

     I have been seeking comfort in my failed trip experience by trying to remind myself daily of things that I still have to be grateful for, namely the fact that even though I'm not headed to Charlotte, I still get to enjoy my first three day weekend since starting work four months ago! I've also been re-reminded of the fact that although right now feels a lot like I am "stuck" in Vermont, this stage of life is temporary. I didn't make a lifetime commitment to being here, and if I learned anything from the past year, it's that a lot can change in a year! I also have been trying to remind myself that I would always rather be here in Vermont working at this job that I love with my talented and friendly coworkers, rather than in living Charlotte working at a job that I hated, struggling to get into the industry of my dreams.

      Have any of you learned any life lessons or had any great realizations lately? Share with me in the comments- I would love to hear! 😊 Also- I have a survey running right now about upcoming New England (and Vermont!) travel content for the blog. It's only seven questions and takes just a minute or two to complete. If you would take the survey here, I'd be so grateful!

     God Bless,

     xoxo Annaliese (or Charlotte XO on the radio!)



  1. Oh sweet girl, I'm so sorry your weekend fell through! I lived in Kansas for 2 years post grad and was at the mercy of airline prices to come home and see friends & family in Fl and I remember that disappointment when j would have to miss events bc I just couldn't afford it. It is a hard stage but let me continue to encourage you that it is temporary :) enjoy your long weekend!

  2. Sorry to hear it didn't work out. I too, moved away from my family and a low budget means I only see them a couple times a year. It gets easier with time and Facebook Video Chats where you can have multiple people at one time!

  3. Ugh, sorry to hear you couldn't go home! Airlines are insane lately. My husband's family has a vacation home in FL and, you would think, tickets would be about $250 roundtrip from NY? HA! Every time we book they're $400-800 each and we book about 4+ months in advance. Craziness!

  4. I'm sorry to hear that it didn't work out. Sometimes life gives us lessons we don't understand

  5. Aww I'm sorry to hear your trip home didn't work out! Homesickness is so real!
    But at least you get a long weekend off!

    xo Deborah
    Coffee, Prose, and Pretty Clothes

  6. I'm so sorry you didn't get it make it back home but you deserve a breather!!! Take the time to enjoy your new city on your long weekend. It will eventually feel like home!

  7. I'm so sorry about your trip, Annalise! Airline ticket prices are outrageous, and that's so disappointing. I can commiserate with you somewhat though; my husband and I were planning to go on a trip to New Orleans this summer and we had told our friends & family, I had done research on where to eat and what to do, I even mentioned it a little on my blog-so my readers knew we were planning on going...and then we looked at hotel prices for the only weekend we could go and were so disappointed-they were out of this world expensive (in all the "safe" parts of the city). It was really disappointing at the time, but we've saved money & planned and are heading to another one of our favorite cities later this month for a fun vacation. This super long comment was just to tell you that just because it's not working out now, doesn't mean something better won't happen in the long run!

    xoxo, SS

    Southern and Style

  8. Aww thanks so much for sharing that story with us Annaliese! It is so tough I know. Back in January my aunt suddenly died and I wanted to fly home for her funeral (I live in Australia and she in New Zealand). I couldn't because flights were twice the price due to some recent earthquakes. I was at a conference the next day and all I could think about is "Alyssa, don't cry you'll ruin your mascara." lol) It took me weeks to get over it. Anyway, it is hard but God has a reason for it and he was crying right along side you. You'll have another opportunity one day. :)
    Love in Christ, Alyssa xx

  9. I'm so sorry about your trip! That sucks! I can SO relate to this lesson though, I am so nervous all the time about the bottom getting pulled out from under me that I never jump ahead or try to get excited about something until its actually happening. <3

  10. This is such a hard lesson to learn when you are feeling homesick and are in much need of a weekend home. I am from MA so I completely understand the high costs for flights going just about anywhere! I get super excited about things before they are set in stone too and I usually end up disappointed about things too. I hope things get better in VT and it becomes more "home-y" to you soon!

    xo CourtneyDrew

  11. I am so guilty about this with just about everything. It's never a fun lesson to learn and I'm sorry your weekend didn't go as planned!


  12. Such an important lesson to remember! So sorry you weren't able to make the trip back to Charlotte!


  13. Not really a new life lesson, but I remembered how important self care is!

  14. That skyline is dreamy!! I'd love to find a similar location in my hometown for a shoot.

    Stay inspired,

  15. ugh that sucks about your weekend. keep killin it on the radio though lady! x


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