I moved to Virginia five years ago on a wink and a prayer. I knew no one. Had no grounding. But shoot, I packed my bags and moved. Trekked across the country. I was sure it was going to be the real deal. Forever.
Through many twists and turns, heart breaks and aches, loads of frequent flier miles, friendships gained and lost, support sought and found, hard times and good times - living in Virginia just doesn't... It just doesn't make my heart sing.
For the past few years I've dreamed of moving home. Of no longer being the one family get togethers must be arranged to include. Of no longer having the Sunday family phone calls. Of no longer being hours and hours and hours away from my nearest and dearest. Of being able to hug my grandmother whenever I want to. Of being in a place where football doesn't mean the Redskins.
But I've been very torn, too.
I've moved around a lot in the past few years. I've been decisive. But over the past five years - five years of loving my job and having very little else to show for it. And while it hasn't all been terrible, it's been a very difficult five years. Lonely. It's made me a bit gun shy. It's made me question my dreams. And that is very scary.
I jumped into the application process out of gut level desire and a whim. I hoped. I really wanted. But I still doubted. I interviewed. I got excited. I doubted. I got an offer. I was conflicted. I felt guilty. I was super excited. I doubted. My certification became a massive headache. I cried a lot. I stopped sleeping. I doubted. I hoped. I wished. I questioned. When I did start sleeping again, I had nightmares every single night.
This last month and a half has been stressful and scary and has filled me with so many unpleasant thoughts - feeling stuck and out of control, afraid that the universe's karmic alignment had shifted out of my favor, questioning most of my decisions. I even pondered calling it a day, giving up the dream and starting over again on the West Coast instead. It has sucked so much.
Two days ago I got the contract. It is official on every level.
It's bittersweet and really difficult to say goodbye to the friendships I've made and the students I've adored and sweat blood with. But I haven't felt this good in years. I've slept like a baby. It's as though the weights of the world have literally left my shoulders.
For the first time in a long time, I feel like doors are opening again. The life I've always wanted to lead is at my fingertips.