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Reflection: Four Years Ago Life Was Pretty Crazy


I’ve spent some time reflecting recently – I always do this in the springtime. Generally, I take a little time out of each day and journal some of my thoughts/feelings. I consider how far we’ve come (myself personally and us as a family).

Our lives as a married couple started four years ago. We got married on March 18, 2019, and promptly moved to Atlanta from Charlotte four days later. At the time, my husband had got what seemed like the job offer of a lifetime. So, we canceled our larger wedding plans, got hitched at the courthouse, and moved within two weeks’ time.

When we made the decision to move to Atlanta, we both thought it would be a positive change. However, when we arrived there, we discovered it was anything but that. Not only was my hubby’s dream job not what it seemed to be, but we were also close to being homeless again as soon as we got there. Here’s how it all unfolded…

Discovering The Scam

Before making the decision to move to Atlanta, my husband and I went down to scope out the area. Plus, he would be in charge of running a Porsche shop there. He had to sit down for an interview and get to know more about his responsibilities. Over the weekend that we visited, we both felt like this would be a great opportunity for him. Both of us were also excited to live in a new city too (we’ve always had the travel bug).

After getting back to Charlotte, we told our family and friends that we’d decided to make the move. We set a date for our quick wedding and made our plans to leave.

We were in Atlanta for less than a month when things started going wrong. It was clear that there was something amiss at the shop my husband had been put in charge of. His paychecks were irregular, if they came at all. Eventually, customers started coming to the store asking about the owner and accusing him of stealing their expensive cars.

As it turns out, that is exactly what happened. The owner stole these Porsches, put them on a boat, and sent them to Germany – where he was. He had no intention of coming back and things were going down hill quickly. On top of that, we were staying in his home (as part of my husband’s pay).

When the mail came, we were getting foreclosure notices, along with a lot of other worrisome details. So, I decided to do some background checks on the employer. He was an international criminal and we were stuck living in his home, my husband working for him. At the time, we didn’t have any connections in Atlanta. It was just the two of us. And it was beyond stressful.

One of my husband’s clients came in and they were talking. As it turned out, he had a studio apartment available to rent. We worked it out to at least get out of the owner’s house. However, we were paying $1,300 per month for a 450-square-foot apartment that had bed bugs, outdated appliances, and plumbing problems.

Better than being homeless though!

And Then COVID Happened

My husband found another job in the area and we started making a life for ourselves in Atlanta. We made a few friends and life was improving. As you know, about a year after we got married and moved there, COVID turned the world upside down.

COVID selfie

In Atlanta, COVID restrictions were difficult. Then, the summer of 2020 brought a number of protests to the city. My husband’s shop closed down, he was home with me throughout the day. Things were difficult. In fall of that year, my family in NC needed some help, which had us traveling back and forth to Charlotte a bit.

After some consideration, we both decided moving back closer to home would be a good decision. My mom offered to help with moving costs and that was that. We were back in North Carolina by December 1. Luckily, too, because we found out one month later that we were expecting our first child.

Four Years Later

Things have drastically changed in the last four years. My husband now works from home full-time. We work alongside each other for two very different companies – and I wouldn’t change a thing. It’s great having him home throughout the day and he has a much more fulfilling career. We don’t have to scrape change to buy the things we need and we are making progress towards our goals all the time. It took a lot of hard work to get here, but I couldn’t be happier with how far we’ve come.

All of this to say, if you are standing in the middle of the hellfire that can be life sometimes, hold on. Things can and will get better, especially if you put in the work.


  • Reply Anonymous |

    I realize this is only one sentence of your post, but can we please say protests instead of riots?

  • Reply Anonymous |

    The choice of the word “riots” says a lot about this writer, as well as the implication that a time of legitimate social and political protest somehow played a role in the decision to move to another city.

    • Reply Amanda Blankenship |

      Hi – thanks for your comment. While I understand that the term “riots” may get some people upset, it is absolutely what it was. If it was peaceful in any way, I would have called it a protest. I had to watch buildings within hundreds of yards from my home be set on fire and try to decide when we should decide to leave if they decided to set our high-rise on fire too. It was a huge part of us wanting to move away from the city, for sure. Not many of these “protests” are happening outside of heavily populated areas – not just Atlanta. I agree with the cause (BLM), but not the manner in which they chose to set things on fire, loot stores (including locally owned businesses that chose to shut down after this), or inflict harm on other people. I’ll never agree with that – and it’s rioting.

  • Reply James Hendrickson |

    To the three anonymous posters responding above me.

    While in some cases it may have seemed like legitimate protest, in some parts of the country the term “riots” is entirely appropriate.

    Specifically, here in Portland Oregon, we saw months of sustained protest-related property damage, looting, and at least one politically motivated homicide. These fit the definition of the term “riot”, per Websters.
    : a violent public disorder
    specifically : a tumultuous disturbance of the public peace by three or more persons assembled together and acting with a common intent
    : public violence, tumult, or disorder

    • Reply Anonymous |

      OK, but the blogger isn’t talking about any place other than Atlanta. To call a peaceful protest a “riot” is inflammatory and borderline racist.

      • Reply Amanda Blankenship |

        If it was a peaceful protest, I would have absolutely called it that. It was not. Things were set on fire, people were hurt, and I felt unsafe in the city I lived in for several weeks. I’m sorry if you feel it was inflammatory – but it’s simply the truth. There wasn’t anything peaceful about it.

        • Reply Anonymous |

          It’s true. A Wendy’s was set on fire after a man who’d fallen asleep in the drive thru was shot and killed by police. I would not have done that but it’s hardly surprising.

          Sorry, but just because you personally felt unsafe doesn’t mean that it’s a riot. That’s not how any of this works.

          • Amanda Blankenship |

            Other things were also set on fire – cars, restaurants, and businesses. These actions made it a riot, not my feelings. Anyone calling it a peaceful protest at that point needs a reality check because, again, there’s nothing peaceful about it.

  • Reply Anonymous |

    I’m confused by your comment. All the comments above are pretty clear in that “riots” is not an entirely appropriate term to use no matter what part of the country. These were “legitimate protests”. As far as the homicide you’re referring to in Portland, are you talking about the mass shooting that occurred at a protest? If so, this was not politically motivated, it was racially motivated. As professional writers, word choice matters and respectfully I think you should take feedback like this from your readers.

    • Reply Anonymous |

      The people blogging here are hardly up to professional writing standards.

  • Reply Amanda Blankenship |

    I’ve taken all of your comments into consideration and have changed the wording in the post. While I disagree, I see how it can be upsetting to readers and that’s not what I’m here for. I heard each of your concerns and made the edit accordingly.

  • Reply Ty |

    As a resident of Atlanta. They were absolutely riots during that time period. Sorry you felt pressured to reword your post due to this overly offended audience who clearly don’t respect your experience and are trying to turn a single word into a new narrative.

    • Reply Amanda Blankenship |

      Thanks for your comment! I understand that it can be a controversial topic, but it was a very difficult summer in Atlanta that year, for sure!

So, what do you think ?