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Before you start reading this post, just know there’s a lot of catching up going on in it. It’s time you know why I’ve been so MIA. It’s mostly a reflection of myself and my transition into the real world. It has taken weeks for me write this post because I wasn’t sure what I should share and what I shouldn’t share. Therefore, I just wrote and wrote and wrote and when I finally felt like I had written it all, I went back and deleted. I put the post away and didn’t look at it for days. I was (and still am) a little scared to share the post, only because I’ve never shared struggles or weaknesses on my blog or with anyone. I want to share a lot with you guys in hopes that people going through the same things will find this post useful. I know a lot of you have just graduated or are getting ready to in the next year and this post may help. We’re getting real on BTG today, if you’re ready, then here goes…

As senior year came to a close, I walked across the stage and said my goodbyes to the place that for the last 3 years I called my home. My time at Wofford College had come to an end, but not before my professors, mentors, friends, and family had prepared me for the place they all called, “the real world.”

Per tradition, after graduation, the class of 2015 walked out the main gate of Wofford. Shortly after friends and families gathered to congratulate each other, capture the joyous moment, and for some, to say their goodbyes. In the back of my mind, I knew that this would be the last time my friends and I would all be together for a while. We were all going different places and starting the next chapter of our lives. It wasn’t “goodbye,” it was, “see you later.” We would all need to transition and adjust over the next couple of weeks.

Moments after I enjoyed lunch with my family, we drove home and I stood in the room that weeks before I had just finished designing. I looked into a study, which months before I converted into the dream walk in closet. Now, all I saw was clothes in boxes, furniture packed to go to storage, and items that were ready to be packed in my car. Once my car was packed to where I could not see out my back window, I knew it was time to hit the road. My father handed me money and told me not to party too hard, my sister gave me a hug and told me she would visit soon, and of course, my mother hugged me for an eternity…. then her tears came. Once she was calm, I was able to get in my car and pull away.

As I headed down the highway, I felt all grown up and ready for the real world. Later as I drove further down the state, it all hit me at once. Was I really ready? What would I do without my friends? my family? Was I ready for roommates? Was I ready for a bigger city where I barely knew anyone? A mind that was once full of confidence and excitement was now full of doubt and fear. I convinced myself that I was ready, I was prepared, and there was no turning back…. literally, I had driven too far and was not turning around (just trying to lighten the mood :)).

Once I arrived in Charleston, I met my first roommate and knew that he wouldn’t be too much trouble. Of course a move to a new city would not be complete without some setbacks. Whether it was our apartment not being ready, our furniture not arriving on time, or spending a couple nights in a hotel, we were not off to a great start. Eventually everything worked out and we were able to get settled in.

Fast forward a little bit and let me tell you about my summer job! My best friend and I knew that we wanted to spend our last summer before the real world somewhere cool, while doing something fun. While Nantucket didn’t work out, we figured that Kiawah and Charleston would do just fine. This would be the last few months that I would get to spend with my best friend, as we would go separate ways at the end of summer to face our own next chapters. For the first couple weeks of moving and starting my new job at Kiawah Island Golf and Resort, he was an ocean away in Italy. It was weird to start somewhere new without the person that had helped planned the whole thing and who would be with me the rest of the summer. Once he arrived, we were able to catch up and show our roommates what Charleston is all about. Though things have not all gone as we had envisioned down here, there are still great memories being made. As summer continues and we get closer to the day where we will go our separate ways, it does scare me a little bit. What will I do without my best friend when he’s not in the same apartment? or a 30-minute drive away? What will I do without the person I can always count on to grab a late night dinner or have random conversations with? These are the things that scare me as that time comes close to go our separate ways, but I know that we are both meant to fulfill our individual dreams. While we may be hundreds of miles away from each other, we will always have each other’s back. I cannot wait to see what the future holds for the both of us.

As you can tell thus far, this transition to the “real world” hasn’t been that easy. I thought I was confident and well prepared, but moving to a new place and knowing few people has definitely made the transition more challenging. The more I talked with friends from back home, the more I realized that I wasn’t the only one going through similar situations. Whether they were still at home or living in New York, they were going through some of the same struggles: not knowing a big city, difficulties that come with being the “new guy” at their new jobs, not knowing many people or anyone at all, housing problems, etc. I was glad to know that I wasn’t the only one dealing with some of these things. Hearing their experiences and talking about how they were handling things truly helped and gave me a better attitude about my move. I learned that while I love being in control and I may have a plan or idea of how things are going to go, there are things in life that you just cant control. You have to let go and tackle things as they come.

Lastly, as I sat and wrote this post over and over, I was reminded of why I started this blog to begin with. If you’ve read the “#About” section of my blog, my purpose is clearly stated: The Bow Tie Gentleman is a digital spot to interact, inspire, and influence…. I want to focus a lot more on inspiring and influencing, rather than just putting out content. I want to make more of an impact via BTG. I love getting all the e-mails with fashion questions or questions about me, but I would love to be able to get to know my readers more and give advice as well. I want to show that behind all the cool photo-shoots, the perfectly filtered Instagram posts, and the outrageous Snapchat stories, we as bloggers, are just like all of you…

I have fully settled in to my new home in Charleston, SC and things have been on the up. I’ve managed to make some pretty awesome work friends, met a few Charlestonians, and experienced a lot of cool things. I have also been blessed with having some of my friends from back home visit and group text have definitely kept friendships alive. Now that my time of “struggles” has passed, I am so excited to get back to blogging and focusing on a lot of things that make me happy!

What’s next for BTG ?!

There are so many exciting things coming up as the summer continues!

-I’ve decided that I want to stay in Charleston for a while. It’s a place I fall in love with each time I visit (as cliché as that sounds) and I enjoy it here. Apartment hunting is on the way!

-Kiawah is the last fun summer job before the real world. Copies of my resumes and lots of e-mails have been sent to find the perfect big boy job.

-I’m in the works of producing an awesome photo-shoot for a New England company here in Charleston. Being creative director has kept me busy, but it’s definitely a passion of mine. We’re teaming up with some of your favorite Instagrammers and Bloggers to bring you an awesome shoot and a meet up *GASP* More details to come after the 4th!

-As far as my blog, it’s time to roll up my sleeves and get back to work! I am going to be doing a lot more posts and sharing a lot more. Another struggle was not having a photographer down here. I have had my eye on a couple of people and have tried a few out, but I think I am just now getting to work with the person who will fit BTG best.

-There are several collaborations coming up and I cannot wait to share them!

-My 4th of July post will launch tomorrow with the work of an awesome photographer, the appearance of a couple special guest, and some sick apparel. Don’t forget to stop by tomorrow!

**Yes, I did cut a lot out of this post, for your sake (or else you would be sitting here reading for hours) and I know the post is all over the place, but I hope it lets you in to another side of my life. I hope its the beginning of being able to give advice, getting more questions, interacting more and influencing my readers.**

About author / The Bow Tie Gent

The gent behind the bow tie goes by Louis, a 27-year old recent Charleston transplant to Birmingham, AL. In a town with only a handful of male bloggers, Louis brings his refined style with a hint of big city living.  The Bow Tie Gentleman is a digital spot to interact, inspire, and influence.... Welcome to the Bow Tie Gentleman!