Time for life updates, y’all. I’ve been trying to write this blog post for weeks and I get overwhelmed every time, but in the interest of defeating writer’s block, I’m just going to start with the facts.
1. In mid-April, I moved to Columbus, Ohio. I quit my job, packed up all my stuff, said goodbye to friends and family, and left.
2. I’m unemployed/freelancing. To clarify: I’m working as a freelance writer and editor, but I don’t make enough money to support myself. But the whole reason we moved was for my husband’s new job, and since I paid our bills while he was a full-time grad student, this seems like a fair arrangement while I job hunt. (Plus, this is just what marrieds do for each other sometimes.)
So, those are the new facts of my life. It looks plain on paper — people move for jobs all the time. In fact, we’re actually very lucky that my husband landed this job just a few months after graduation. It felt right and so we made the leap.
It was a big leap, though. I walked away from a promotion at a job that, for the most part, I enjoyed. I gave up my breadwinner status along with my steady income. I left some of my best friends. I left my church. I can’t drive down and see my parents on a random weekend anymore. Almost everything was stripped away — my job, my community, even the familiar dynamic of my marriage. And here I am, trying to pick up the pieces.
During the move, some people questioned my decision, and I was one of them. Was I nuts to move to an unknown city with uncertain employment prospects? Maybe. But the people I love and trust the most said, “You don’t have to know what happens next, you just have to think ‘if the status quo is good, then what would be great?'” And so I packed up my life, guided by a deeper conviction that this move will open up new opportunities not just for my husband, but for me as well.
Of course, now that I’m here, I feel sad and homesick a lot. Columbus is thrillingly new and intimidatingly unfamiliar. I want to artificially speed up the time it takes to learn a place, to find the best neighborhood dive bar, the best felafel wrap, and the best cup of coffee. I want to know how the streets intersect, and what’s happening on the weekend, and where I belong.
But I have no regrets, so let’s talk about the good stuff. First, this painful process has jarred me out of autopilot. I’m forced to stop and consider things like, “Where is my career going and where do I want it to go?” My husband remains one of my number one cheerleaders and sources of support — things are different, but I feel happiest when we’re just hanging out cooking dinner together like we’ve always done. And my parents might be far away, but I’m reconnecting with extended family members. (Did I mention that I was born in Ohio? Yeah, the irony of this isn’t lost on me either.) And I get to wear yoga pants pretty much all day, every day.
The novelty might wear off on that last one. We’ll see.