This whole blog is devoted to my love of home… my love for creating home. And soon, for better or worse, we will have the opportunity to pick a new one.
You see, my husband has been training to be a physician since I met him during our freshman year at the University of South Carolina. Ever since then, the city we’ve called home has been designated not by us, but by some someone else, often through a match process (if you don’t know how it works, Google it… it’s kind of scary). And while that was at times frustrating, it also brought with it a sense of relinquished control. We knew we would make the best of wherever we ended up and it would be fine. But in June of 2019, a little less than two years from now, after 4 years of undergrad, 4 years of medical school, 3 years of residency, and 3 years of fellowship he will officially be done with his training. And we will be free to choose where we go next.
I spent last week visiting my parents in Atlanta, a place I swore to myself I would never live again. But time and distance are a funny thing. There’s nothing like living 8 hours from your mom when you have two small kids to make you appreciate what it would be like to be close again… to have family dinners on weekends and have your parents be able to attend dance recitals and t-ball games… to have a babysitter when you have a cold and just need some help… to have somewhere to take the kids when your husband is working nights and desperately needs some quiet in order to sleep. And so Atlanta has wiggled its way back into my life. Sam and I decided that since we may not have many more visits there in the near future that I might as well check out some neighborhoods and see if living there is even a viable option. And oh my… did things suddenly seem so real. Two years sounds like a long time, but when you’re talking about interviews starting in 9 months and then negotiating and signing a contract shortly thereafter, you realize you have to start making plans well in advance… like now. Whoa.
See, the thing is… I’m happy here. If I told my 4-years-ago self that she wouldn’t believe me, but it’s true. I love our school and the thought of leaving it literally brings me to tears. Things are simpler here than other places. I wish I could explain it, but I don’t fully understand it myself. I honestly think if our family lived closer we might not even leave.
Alas… it’s just not the case.
Possibly the hardest part – harder than uprooting our kids, selling our house, buying a new house, finding a new school – is that I know both of our families want to be near us. I mean, we currently have the only grandchildren on either side of the family, so you can imagine how much our parents want to be with them. And while it would be amazing for that to happen, it just isn’t going to because our parents don’t live in the same place. Before, it wasn’t our choice to live where we did, so it wasn’t really anyone’s fault that we lived far away. But now, no matter what we choose, someone is going to be disappointed. I know they won’t be mad and they’ll understand… but I still hate to disappoint.
Then, of course, there are the other things… mere minor details like cost of living, salary, and the ins and outs of Sam’s contract… it just feels like so much to balance. I’m not going to lie, I feel like my head has been spinning for the last week, just thinking about all these things. Decisions, and big moves, and new schools, and a bigger mortgage, and the list goes on and on. I’m a type-A planner and this uncertainty is not easy. I find my mind wandering off to what-if land about a million times a day, trying to imagine what our life will be like in 2 years, wondering if we’ll make the right choices. But that’s not where I want to be. I want to be here in this moment. So I’ve decided I’m going to work hard to tear myself away from the future for now. In my heart I know that everything will work out the way it’s supposed to. In the mean time, I’ll be here – spending time with my children in the place we are now, soaking up this stage of life that isn’t going to last.