Monday, October 12, 2015

She Needs Wide Open Spaces

Hello from yet another unintentional blogging hiatus.  I have wanted to write for some time now, but you know… life.

I actually had to laugh because I was reading old entries from last winter, and I shared my frustration with the people who kept telling us, if we didn’t like the weather in Boston, “just move.” 

Well, SURPRISE.  We did.

Greetings, from the Mile High City, Denver Colorado, for the next chapter of this journey.  I know right?

So here’s what happened.  After that cathartic, terrible, eye opening winter in Boston, we realized that our lives were just not what we wanted them to be in that city. It wasn’t anyone’s fault, it just turned out to be a lot more than we bargained for, without a lot of pay off (aka, things that made us happy, to balance out the crappier parts)

Another thing that happened, which I will be transparent about, because I don’t think we do enough of that when talking about transition- is that we actually couldn’t really afford to stay in Boston.   Before I graduated, we got the letter that they were raising our rent (as well as taking away things we had, charging for others, etc. but that’s another blog) Owen and I had talked about what we were going to do after I graduated, and although we did not want to “settle,” in Boston, we figured we might be able to make due for another year until we had a reason to relocate.  When the letter came, saying that they wanted us to pay $1950 (with nothing included) for our tiny studio, we made the decision to not sign the lease.  We didn’t know what that meant, or where we would go, but it was the kick in the butt we needed to realize we actually didn’t WANT to stay in Boston.

To dart around a little bit, after we attended AMCHP in January, before Snowmageddon hit, I began to see that I had options.  MCH was my home, my family, and although there were times I actually didn’t feel wanted or needed in Boston, people elsewhere seemed pretty interested that I was graduating in May.  

Not to toot my own horn, but Owen compared it to the NFL draft (toot, toot).

Now, I had been to Denver before, actually it was four years ago today that I was here for some transition work, and met some of the people I’d ultimately be working with (small world), and we had sort of been joking about Team Denver for some time, but after the conference, I really started thinking about it.
  • The weather is better
  • Closer to Owen’s family, and lifestyle (Boston doesn’t know much in the way of hunting, etc.)
  • Amazing support system
  • Good health care
  • Good economy (thanks weed)
  • Potential job opportunities
  • Decent transportation
  • Nobody we talked to had a single negative  thing to say about Denver (some people actually said it’s the best city in the world.  When we told people we were moving to Boston they asked if we were crazy)

Soon, when people asked what I was doing after graduation, I found myself saying “I think we’re moving to Colorado!”  Before I even realized the words were coming out of my mouth.

The other thing I have to laugh about, is that, in my speeches about transition, I always say how, “We don’t have the luxury of just going somewhere and ‘figuring it out.” Like many young people who simply want to move somewhere, but once again, that’s exactly what we did.

After recovering from a vacation, and multiple graduations, we took the plunge and booked a trip to Denver.  We packed clothes for potential interviews, slept on my best friend’s couch and checked it out for the week.

People once again, laughed and said, “Oh cool, you’re going to out there for a week and find a job, and a place to live?”  and HA. HA.  WE DID.

Ok, not exactly- we didn’t get the first apartment we wanted (transition transparency) because it was a little out of our price range just starting out, but when we got home, we put down a deposit on a studio in the building we had just stayed in and ended up getting approved- ON OUR VERY OWN (without a co-signer) It was  A BREEZE, compared to finding housing in Boston (when I was terrified we actually were adopting a child…there was so much money, paperwork and screening involved)

Here's the before and "after," of our new apartment!

And after some meetings while we were there, I had a job description in my inbox for a position at the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment.  We had to take it as a sign that it was meant to be.

There are a lot of things I want to write about, but I wanted to just let people know WE JUST MOVED before going forward writing about our life here.
The weirdest thing about this move has really been how I have felt about it.  For some reason, leaving Boston, I keep having to tell myself, “you have not failed. You are not letting people down.”  For some reason it feels like a foreign concept to people when you say, “We moved because we weren’t happy.”  It seems that since we had an apartment and jobs, we should have been content. Why leave?

But one of my mentors who kept me moving forward in the job hunt/grad school/life in Boston thing, said as I was contemplating this transition, 

“You have not failed.  You actually have achieved ultimate success because you can CHOOSE to really go anywhere and you have built those networks. Nobody else did that for you.”  

And I began to see it differently.

It still feels weird sometimes though, because Boston was everything I THOUGHT I wanted.  It was a life that the “old me,” had created, full of things I thought I wanted to do and changes that the world was not ready to make.

The hardest part of leaving Boston wasn’t about leaving that studio apartment in Allston, or selling our Bob’s discount furniture, it has been about accepting who I am not, and who I really am as I continue to grow up and create my life with Owen.  I achieved my dream, only to realize it was not the dream I wanted anymore.

Now, as I sit here, in a new, much bigger studio, with my pumpkin spice coffee and the sun shining in the window, I realize, the dream is really just beginning, and for the first time, in a really long time.  I’m happy.