Funemployment, Day 1.

When I initially made the decision to move back to Richmond, my mom was ecstatic. Just two months before, she called me  very emotional. Apparently, she had been secretly waiting for the know, that magical call where I proudly announced, "Mama, I'm coming home." Each year, she felt closer and closer to hearing those magic words, and somewhere deep down, she knew she'd have her baby home. It wasn't until after I signed the lease to my new apartment that she decided to give up hope, and she called to make an announcement of her own.

"Janna, the Lord told me to release you. All these years, I've been holding on to you, my baby, holding on to the idea that you'll be coming back home with me again. But I'm finally releasing you, and accepting that you're not my baby anymore. You're a woman with your own life, and that life is in New York now."

It was emotional for me, too. I had no idea she was holding on to the hope of me returning to Richmond; I'd made it clear that NYC was my new home.

Fast forward a few months. There I was, on the phone with her toying with the idea of moving home and taking my life in a new direction. She was hesitant to believe it at first, but once she realized that this wasn't just another false alarm (I'd had these thoughts of moving home many times before) her excitement grew. We talked about how fun things would be with the two best friends reunited again, and even discussed possible job opportunities as she debated reemerging from her retirement to revamp her medical practice.

Soon, though, reality hit. "I think your mom is nervous about you moving home," Derrick said to me one day. Why could she possibly be nervous? This was great! We loved having our girls' days out, I'd assured her that I'd put my all into her practice, and it'd be just like old times. "I think she doesn't want you to get bored in slow Richmond or start to feel like you've made the wrong decision."

"Nonsense," I thought.

But as moving day neared and I said goodbye to my job, I grew nervous, too, only it was a different type of nervousness. Once I actually made the move, it really hit me.

Almost exactly two weeks removed from NYC, I've experienced unexpected panic attacks and bouts with stress. Did I really just quit my job? Did I really just exchange nearly all stability for a life of adventure? What the hell did I just do? Wednesday night, while sitting in the parking lot of The Fresh Market, I broke down and cried. I mean, ugly cried. I couldn't believe what I'd walked away from. Sure, I know that I escaped the monotony of the 9-5, corporate ladder climb in order to spend my 20s exploring while I'm responsibility-free, but knowing I walked away from a steady income brought on an immense amount of stress and panic. I grocery shopped with puffy red eyes, and once I got home, I hung out with my mom in the kitchen, trying not to break down again. Finally, I told her how I'd been feeling.

"Janna, stop stressing. What is there to stress about? You have no major bills, no rent. Just relax and enjoy it. This is your travel season. Take time off from stressing and just enjoy life, go on adventures. You're young and you know you have our full support."

As difficult as it's been to fully take her advice, I've been slowly relinquishing the feeling of being unemployed. I have the opportunity many young people don't have, and will be doing myself a disservice by stressing so much that I don't realize how much God is blessing me.

So, instead of considering myself "unemployed," I've decided to rename it... "FUNemployed." My job, at least for the next few months? To enjoy life and stop trying to control everything. Remember what I was so excited about when I first decided to move: Exploring Richmond. Spending more time with my best friends from college. Seeing Derrick often, splitting time between DC and RVA. Having more family time. These are the things I've been excited to do, so I can't let stressing about non-issues distract me.

In my first day of being FUNemployed, Jimmette and I spent our morning in Carytown. We ate breakfast at The Daily Cafe, which is this adorable restaurant that sits on a corner and has a patio adorned with the most capturing, bright green umbrellas. The inside dining area had even more character, providing an industrial, outdoorsy feel with the charm of an actual city. I enjoyed the tofu scramble and grapefruit brulee, and Jimmette ordered the pancakes with fresh fruit and the delicious brulee, too. (The grapefruit was her suggestion, and one I'm not at all mad about!)
After breakfast, we walked the neighborhood, stopping for macarons (my favorite) at Jean and Jacques Bakery and then visiting Clementine consignment shop.

We ended our day poolside in Shockoe Bottom, basking in the sun and planning our next day trip before her summer break is over and it's back to teaching.

RVA, you're welcoming me with opening arms. FUNemployment: Day 1 was a huge success!


  1. A heart warming post, and lovely photos indeed.

  2. FUNemployment is awesome!! Make the most of it before marriage and my GRANDBABIES!!!

    1. Hey there family! ♡U

      A visit to your FAVORITE big cousin in Atlanta sounds like a great day 2 of funemployment!

  3. This was RIGHT on time!!! I felt you - right to the panic attacks and crying in parking lots. Proud of you for making the decision to ENJOY!


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