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A Change Is Gonna Come

May 26, 2011

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?


39 Comments leave one →
  1. May 26, 2011 12:00 pm

    Why oh why do you want to leave this BEAUTIFUL Pa weather where it rains every day and gets muggy without sun?!?! 😉
    Happy for you guys!!

  2. May 26, 2011 12:05 pm

    Congratulations! This means that you’ll have to take road trips to Atlanta, right?! I’m not sure how far it is, but it’s only one state away, can’t be too bad.

  3. May 26, 2011 12:09 pm

    Congratulations Anna! I’m so happy for you two. Sounds like a great opportunity. I know it’s sad. We are in the same boat right now and it is heart breaking, but in life, you have to do what you have to do. Best of luck to Ryan in his new job!

  4. May 26, 2011 12:11 pm

    Congrats Anna! What an exciting time for you both!! good luck with the move!

  5. May 26, 2011 12:20 pm

    I am so happy for you guys. I know how close you are to your family, so this is great. But I can definitely see being sad to leave a place you’ve made into your home. Just think of all the new adventures you have ahead of you though (maybe a trip my way??)

  6. May 26, 2011 12:45 pm

    Congratulations on the good news!! It is sad to leave the old and familiar, especially when it’s just become that for you, but there will be so many new and exciting adventures to come!!

  7. May 26, 2011 12:48 pm

    Wow that’s big news but so exciting! I miss Texas and the south so much…can’t wait to live there again via your blog 🙂

  8. May 26, 2011 1:14 pm

    I empathize about the snow, I live in Pittsburgh (not terribly far from Altoona). Congrats on the awesome news and good luck with the move! 🙂

  9. May 26, 2011 1:26 pm

    Congrats Anna!! Based on your last comment on my blog I had a feeling you’d be moving soon 😉

  10. May 26, 2011 1:31 pm

    Congats on this next (albeit, bittersweet) step! What will you be doing in Huntsville?!

    • May 26, 2011 1:40 pm

      I’ll be teaching creative writing at the university as well!

  11. May 26, 2011 1:45 pm

    Congratssssssssssss! That is so exciting. You know I’m all about the warmer climate AND being closer to family rocks.

  12. May 26, 2011 2:44 pm

    Congrats, and best wishes!!

  13. May 26, 2011 2:48 pm

    Congratulations! That is awesome news. I hope you didn’t jinx yourself talking about the snow. lol 😉

  14. Stacey permalink
    May 26, 2011 3:02 pm

    I’m a new reader and I have to say Huntsville is great!! I went to high school here and moved back after being away for college and in DC for a few years. My husband and I both love it and can see spending the rest of our lives here. It’s so different from the rest of the state…people from all over the world. It’s also an incredibly intelligent area. Vegetarian food is also becoming more readily available–very happy about this myself! I’d be happy to meet up with you once you are in the area! As a side note, both my hubby and I are finishing up our master’s at UAH right now.

    • May 27, 2011 4:55 pm

      Thanks Stacey!! We’re really excited to explore the area– I’d love to meet up with you when we move down there at the end of the summer!

  15. May 26, 2011 3:32 pm

    Congrats to Ryan on the new job!

    I felt the same way when I moved from Toronto… I bitched and complained when I lived there but once I moved I missed a lot of it!

    Are you going to be working at University of Alabama as well?

  16. Ali permalink
    May 26, 2011 4:02 pm

    Woo Hoo. I know you are excited to be closer to your family! Welcome ‘back’ to the South!

  17. May 26, 2011 4:19 pm

    Congrats Anna and Ryan! As hard as it will be to leave you have so much to gain and you’ll have tons of fun new adventures in your new town!

  18. May 26, 2011 4:37 pm

    Congratulations! I’m sure your new home in Huntsville will be just as lovely! But I know what you mean, some things will be missed. I’m leaving Ithaca and I’m slightly sad about that 😦

  19. Ginger permalink
    May 26, 2011 6:16 pm

    Congratulations to you both!! We’re so proud of you and very happy for you, too! Next step – finding of house!!

  20. May 26, 2011 8:57 pm

    Congrats- how exciting! It must be a relief to be moving closer to your family- seven hours is much more doable!

  21. May 26, 2011 10:57 pm

    Yay for the move! It’s hard though isn’t it. I am going to be so sad to leave my little apartment even though I am over joyed and thrilled to be moving in with IC.

  22. May 26, 2011 11:31 pm

    You know I LOVE this! But only because we really don’t have to say good-bye. Can’t wait to celebrate with you and Ryan … and visit you in your new home!

  23. patti permalink
    May 26, 2011 11:59 pm

    We’re excited about you new job opportunity. Now you will look forward to the cooler weather when you visit Seattle!

  24. Erin permalink
    May 27, 2011 1:22 am

    Congratulations! One of my classmates lived/worked at University of Alabama-Huntsville for a few years about 5 years back. He and his wife LOVED it.

  25. May 27, 2011 1:50 am

    Wow, so exciting! Congrats and so glad you be closer to your family!

  26. May 27, 2011 3:31 pm

    Congratulations!! I would love warmer winters, too, so I completely understand the joy 🙂 Moving is almost always a bittersweet experience, but it sounds like a wonderful step for the two of you!

  27. greensandjeans permalink
    May 27, 2011 8:43 pm

    That is SO exciting! Congrats to you guys, even though I’m extremely disappointed I won’t get another opportunity to discuss The Hills with you over beers. I guess I’ll just have to come down to Alabama…

  28. JenATX permalink
    May 27, 2011 10:10 pm

    yay how exciting! now you can see your baby niece grow up and not feel like she’s aged so much in between visits… I can’t wait to see the new house!

  29. May 28, 2011 3:40 am

    Anna, I am soooo happy for you guys!!!!! I know you have wanted, prayed, and begged the universe for this, so I am thrilled for you guys.

    Yes, you have made friends and it will be hard to leave them (for a bit) but when you are back in warmer weather you’ll be happy!

    I have moved 10+ times in 10 yrs, I know how it is…but put down your roots now where you really want to be and it looks like you are. Awesome 🙂

  30. Jacqueline permalink
    May 28, 2011 6:21 pm

    I have been lurking on your blog for awhile, and have really enjoyed all of your posts and pictures of your travels. I moved to Huntsville last July from Ohio and have been very happy. As you well know the weather is very different than that of PA and up North. UAH is a great school. If you need any advice or just info about the city I would be happy to help.

    • May 30, 2011 3:52 pm

      Thanks so much!!! We’ll have to meet up once we move!!

  31. Elizabeth permalink
    May 28, 2011 9:08 pm

    That’s one smart cousin! 😉 How cool that you have blog friends in Huntsville! Congratulations!

  32. Kaitlin permalink
    June 1, 2011 5:30 pm

    Hey! I’ve been reading your blog for a while now, and just had to comment on this post. I was an undergrad in English Education at Purdue at the same time that you were finishing up your MFA, and Bich Nguyen was one of my favorite professors. After I graduated, I moved to Montgomery, AL, where I’ve been teaching 8th grade English. My fiancee (who I met in Bich’s class) is from Charleston, so we’ve also spent a lot of time there. We’ve also both recently gone vegetarian. It seems like a lot of coincidences! Anyway, I hope that your move back to the South goes smoothly, and that you enjoy Huntsville–Alabama takes a little getting used to.

  33. June 20, 2011 1:00 pm

    Thanks for sharing the link! I am happy for you guys! And now you will be close to sophie!!! YAY!

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