A Change Is Gonna Come
Well, after a few weeks of waiting, I finally get to announce a big change that we are VERY excited about: WE’RE MOVING!!!!
Ryan mailed off his contract to the University of Alabama, Huntsville yesterday afternoon, so we can finally share our good news with everyone (including you, my dear blog readers!).
We’re really happy to be moving to warmer climates—no more 50 inches of snow in one month! And, of course, instead of being 20 hours away from my family, now we’re only 7—completely doable for a weekend trip. For eleven years now, I’ve moved farther and farther away from my family—first going to Charleston for college (13 hours) and then to Indiana for grad school (again, 13 hours). When Ryan went on the job market three years ago, I told him that I only cared about one thing: I wanted to live somewhere closer to Louisiana.
And then we ended up in Pennsylvania.
And you know, the funny thing is, for all of the bitching and whining and complaining I’ve done about Altoona, Pennsylvania for the past two years (and believe me, I’ve done a LOT), now that we’re actually leaving, I can’t help but think about everything I actually like—even love—about this place. I won’t miss the freezing winters, or the scrapple, or the scary pockets of Gone, Baby, Gone neighborhoods that seem to pop up out of nowhere on our side of town.
I’ll miss the people we’ve met here. When we moved here, I was so worried that we weren’t going to make any friends. And for a while—we really didn’t. But then, slowly but surely…friendships began to form. It didn’t take too long to realize that we’d stumbled into a rare gem in academia: a nice department. The friends that we’ve made through the English department here are ones that I wouldn’t trade for anything—when Altoona was completely new and scary to us, they told us about the best restaurants in town, and where to get our car repaired. They invited us over for dinners, and showed us dog-walking back trails, and took us to music festivals and Amish towns and food markets.
And then after a while, we began to make friends out of the English department as well. Friends who liked cooking, and running, and board games just as much as we do. Friends who liked dinner parties, and beer-making, and talking about James Franco. We made friends in State College who took us ice-skating. We made friends in the art department who met us for dog dates in the park.
We finally belonged.
And now, of course, we’ve moving. Isn’t that the way it always goes?
When we’d only lived in Altoona for about six months, we went home to Shreveport for Thanksgiving. I was complaining about all of the things I disliked about our new town, and one of my cousins told me that when she and her husband had moved to a new town, she’d cried when they pulled into town, and she’d cried again two years later when they left. “I bet you’ll be sad to leave when you eventually move,” she told me. At the time, I thought that seemed impossible—sad to leave Altoona?! Never!
But I am.
I’m sad to leave our friends and our house, and I’m sad to be leaving when we finally both feel comfortable, and secure, and—yes—happy here.
Moving to Huntsville is the right choice. It seems like a great town, and the job is actually a step up for Ryan. And of course, when I think about how easy it will be for us to take weekend trips to visit friends and family in Shreveport, or for them to come visit us, my heart swells with excitement.
But I think my cousin was right—I’ll cry a little on our way out of town. And then I’ll dry my eyes and move on, and focus on everything Huntsville could hold for our future.
That’s all we can do, right?