If you’ve read any of my past blogs (the 38th move, Comfortable Misery, etc), you know how I have always felt about the place I moved away from. Which is why it’s so crazy for me to write that I’m going back. I can hear you now… “what the f*#k, you say?!” I get it. Believe me. Just hear me out.
If you had told me a year ago that this would even be on the radar as a possibility, I would have told you you’re crazy. Had I intended to stay here? Does part of me think I’m nuts for leaving a solid position? Absolutely. I agonized over this decision, even trying to talk myself out of it, but my heart is screaming at me telling me this is what I need to do. It’s time I listened.
And I’m not going back exactly. Here’s what happened…
As it was for everyone, the pandemic was challenging, though in a different way for me. Truth be told, as an introvert, I was made for quarantine. I didn’t mind being home at all. Didn’t mind not having much interaction most of the time. I ate better, worked out every day, lost weight. One could really say that quarantine was TOO easy for me lol. Because of that, I had a growing fear that I was on a path to become someone who hisses at the sunlight or random people on the street once the world opened back up. It was fortunate for me that my school started going back in person so we could stave off that nightmare and I could start feeling human again. (Now the trick was to not be so socially awkward😐). But honestly, it worried me how easily I feel into a rhythm and routine of being alone knowing that it isn’t healthy.
And through all of it, there was one thing I did mind- not even having the option to see my family.
I am 2000 miles away in a place that is isolated on a normal day by expense and location, so add in a pandemic and forget it. I thought maybe it was just a pandemic thing and that once things opened back up I would feel different, but that wasn’t the case. My priorities had shifted. I wanted to be near my family and friends, my true support system. As it happens, at the end of March I called my mom for our morning chat and could tell something was different, something was up. Turned out she was in the hospital having been admitted late the evening before. While she is ok now, and I knew she would be ok then, I had to ask myself: Am I ok being this far away, helpless when something like this happens, or not? I’m not. Could I stay here and have a successful career in a beautiful place? Sure. Would I ever feel completely settled if I’m so far away? No. Once I realized that, the decision was easy and the rest was just details.
Because my life is of the blessed kind, after the decision was made the pieces just fell in place. Within a week I had put in my resignation, put out some feelers for jobs, and ended up getting my dream job- a position I had been trying to get for 13 years! That led to getting interviewed on a podcast (listen here) and within another week I had my home and everything set up and ready to go.
Boom, boom, boom…
Now I say I’m not going back exactly because I am not returning to my hometown. I know that wouldn’t be a healthy choice for me, but I will be in the town I always wanted to be in, close enough to be with my family whenever I want to be. Close, but not too close. I am fighting a million different emotions about it. Sad to be leaving my amazing school and colleagues, the friends I’ve made, and this beautiful place, but so excited for all that is ahead and being with my family and the friends I left behind when I came here. I see endless possibility- how could I not be happy about that?
I’ve lived everywhere and tried everything. I’ve had an extremely full life, and it hasn’t even begun yet in so many ways. It’s time to come full circle and go home.