Thursday, April 21, 2011

It's My Birthday!

I've been planning to do a birthday blog for weeks, now that the day is here, my mind is begin very uncooperative. I'm going to give it a go anyway, hoping that the act of writing will spur my mind to join in.

Today, I am 36 years old. I am not where I expected to be at 36. Is anyone really where they expected to be? I know that often when people say this, they are complaining, that's not the case here. I'm happy with my choices, even if they took me in a different direction than I originally intended.

I think back to the dreams I had as a teenager and wonder how I ever thought that those things would make me happy. Those ideas seem very strange to me now, almost as if they were thought of by another person. I guess that in a way it's true, I'm not the same person I was at 18.

I remember wanting to be a vet as a child, and a lawyer as a teenager. If I had the skills in math and science, I think I could have been happy now as a vet. I look back on my plans to be a lawyer, and to marry one, with utter dismay. I can't believe that I ever thought this was something that was a good idea or that I actually started out as a political science major. I'm just glad that my spouse helped me realize I would have been miserable in the field of law. I frequently border on cynical now, I'd be bitter and hard-boiled if I had become a lawyer.

I'm very glad I didn't go that route. I've always been a bit too serious for my own good, I definitely didn't need to marry someone with just as serious a mindset. I needed someone more relaxed than me, and prone to laughter. I needed someone that could make laugh in spite of myself (and my mood), someone that would challenge me to expand my experiences and take risks. I got just that in my husband.

Case in point, my family and I are about to uproot ourselves and head across the country. We did this once before when our daughter was very small, but it wasn't the giant leap it is now. When we did it the first time, neither of us had a full time job, I was fresh out of college, and our daughter was too young to have made real friends or to miss them.

Now, I have resigned from my stable teaching job and neither of us have employment in place in Minnesota. I realize that to most people this seems to be absolutely insane, especially in this recession economy. Sometimes it feels completely insane as well.Yet at the same time, I know that it's the right thing to do. We have felt the need to make a change for a while now, just never had sufficient funds or motivation to do it. We were in a rut, and unhappy about it, but felt like we had no other choice.

Then things all seemed to fall into place at the same time to push us into doing what we've desired for years, return to Minnesota. First, the district offers a 10% bonus to any teacher that quits in order to balance out the state funding cuts. We tossed the idea around halfheartedly at this point, in that day dreaming sort of way that people never follow through on. Second, over Spring Break a family member in Minnesota became ill. This made us realize that we are very much needed up North. We took a couple of days to really discuss the idea, and came to the conclusion that returning to Minnesota is not only what we want to do, but it is what we need to do. And who wouldn't want to return to such a picturesque place?

So now with 44 days left until we hit the road for Minnesota, I waver between elation and stress. I'm elated to be headed to a beautiful place full of friendly people, and terrified of leaving the stability of my job. Excitement about seeing distant friends, and fear of not getting one of the "hundreds" of jobs I'm applying for. Relief that I'm ahead of the packing game, and panic that I need to pack faster. Eagerness to get on the road, and terror at the likely gas prices. Excitement about the Girl's new school, and worry over her making new friends. Anticipation that it's almost time, and consternation that it's so far away. I admit that my nerves are a bit raw from all the conflicting emotions. But all I have to do is remember how relaxed I felt on visits to Minnesota, the physical feeling of weight being lifted from my shoulders as I crossed the state line, and once again I know that we are doing the right thing.

There are friends we will miss, and family too, but deep down I know that my family will be where we truly belong. That we are going to a place where we can all truly flourish.


dawn turner ricks said...

That was wonderful Amy! I truly hope the best for you 3 on a new chapter. Keep in touch through fb and blogs. You gave me a new sense of bweing. Thank you. Congatulations and best of luck. I know ur atheist but I will pray for u.

RebeccaD said...

Truly where I am right now - and I am glad that someone I know is acting on the urge to shake it up! You have the courage that I lack in freeing myself from stability to follow my own bliss.

Harpy Queen said...

It's not easy, it's scary as hell. Circumstances sort of pushed us into doing it, though we've wanted to do it for years. You'll find the courage when the time is right.

Anonymous said...

When you hire people that are smarter then you are, you prove that you are smarter than they are.