We signed the first two-year lease of our lives and later that exact same day, someone emailed Rob about a dream job in California that he had applied for in November. The timing felt like a slap in the face, and I resented myself for dreading what I knew would end up turning into a job offer. We had planned to stay in Charlotte, probably for good, and settle down, continue to nurture the wonderful friendships we've made here, have kids, stay close to our families, easily make weekend trips to Virginia or South Carolina.
But the opportunity was great, and after a few calls, an offer was made. Rob and I talked about nothing else for days, and finally we decided that it wasn't something we could pass up. My heart felt broken--one half was overflowing with pride for my husband and his work, and the other half was, honestly, straight up devastated. I thought about the new friends, coffee shops, hair salons, and doctors I'd have to find again. When we moved to Charlotte I thought okay, this is it. And I put down roots for the first time in a long time.
When we left for Minnesota, I was ready for something new. I looked at it as an adventure, and I was excited to make the move. This time, it felt less exciting, but over time Charlotte became our home--I have friends here and a coffee shop where the baristas recognize me. We're regulars at several restaurants and on Friday nights the manager shakes Rob's hand as we walk back to our table on the patio. I teach SkillPop classes every month and when I miss my mom one of us drives only three hours to see the other.
But Rob and I are 26 and 27, respectively. We don't have kids yet, and in so many ways we are still so young. Now is the time. I still feel overwhelmed about it, but after a few weeks I realized that, as usual, my reservations were rooted in fear. At the age of only 27, I had lost my sense of adventure and replaced it with a need for consistency, even if it got in the way of dreams coming true.
So for now, until September, Rob is doing a lot of traveling back and forth between North Carolina and California. And then, probably right around the time summer is winding down, we'll pack up and head west.
I wrote most of this post in April, when we had just made the decision. Since then I've found myself feeling more and more enthusiastic about starting a new adventure.
"I just want to be normal," I told my friend Daci a couple of months ago, as I tried to figure out if I was excited or scared. I didn't want to keep moving every year or two. I didn't want to constantly have to make new friends and miss my old ones. I wanted to be able to hop in the car and see my brother. And yet, I want more for us. I want Rob to be happy at work. I want us to both be able to chase our dreams and create exactly the kind of life we've always imagined, because it's out there for the taking.
"You have plenty of time to be normal," Daci said.
I think she's right. California, here we come.