About five years ago, we were in a comfortable place. We owned a home, we had three beautiful boys who were no longer infants, my husband had a good job, and we had paid off pressing student debt. But rather than sitting and enjoying that comfortable life, I decided it was time to do more with my life and applied for graduate school.
The last few years I’ve worked on that graduate degree. And when I found another degree that I loved, I decided to not only get one Master’s degree but two. My thesis defense is Friday, and I graduate in May with those two degrees. In the middle of this, we added another baby (This baby was meant to come after I graduated, but a surprise pregnancy had me juggling a baby mid-way through my graduate program.)
Joe and I had talked about how we would no longer be tied to this place once I finished school. We would be free to look for new jobs, new places to live. But at the same time, we did love where we lived and had spent lots of effort getting our home to a good place for our family. We added walls, planted trees, fixed problems, and painted. In the last little while, it feels like we finally got our home to the place we wanted. We love our neighborhood, the kids are doing well in their schools, and we finally have fruit trees that produce fruit for us.
Life would be a little easier once I graduated in May. Comfortable again. Knowing this, we decided to add one more child. I am pregnant (on purpose this time), and we will add a baby to our family in July.
As I graduate and enter a new stage in life, I started to think about my career goals. My husband and I talked a lot about our long-term career goals. I encourage my husband to think beyond his current job, which has been great for our family but lacks any long-term potential. In the last few years, my husband has only had one pay cut, no raises.
So one day, my husband mentioned that he had a job interview for a new job about an hour south of where we live. A bit unexpected, but it was just an interview. Then the interview went really well, and he got a job offer.
We had a big decision to make. To stay where we were in a life we enjoyed, that we were comfortable in, or try something big and new.
We prayed and talked, and drove down to the new location where Joe would be working. Things weren’t perfect. The housing market is good for selling but is horrible for finding an affordable home. We would be moving to a bigger city and liked the small-town setting where we had been living. The financial aspect of it was pretty much a wash: higher income, but also a higher cost of living.
Maybe not the best choice to walk away from the comfortable life we had created for ourselves. And the timing, with a baby on the way, wasn’t great. But I couldn’t feel settled with that decision, to stay where we were.
This job was exactly the kind of job Joe wanted in his career. I would also have more opportunities to advance my own career than I ever would in my small town. And if we were going to move, it made sense to do so before our children were still young, and not teenagers who needed more stability.
Joe and I had many discussions before this about how we didn’t want to stay connected to material things, like our home. I had seen many people who would probably benefit by moving but were too connected to the place they lived to do so. We loved where we lived, and did our best to make it an awesome place for our family, to contribute to our community. But we never wanted to be too attached to it. I like the sentiment in this talk, about the ability to “walk away easily.” I never want to be so attached to any type of material possession that I cannot walk away from it in the pursuit of better things.
I’ve never liked living a comfortable life. I get bored and depressed. Lately, I’ve just felt a little stuck with my life, unsure about the future. (I came to the conclusion that maybe I just needed to travel more. Which would have been a much simpler option than moving.) This opportunity would allow us to grow our life and have a new adventure. Not be stuck in the same comfortable life. And it made sense: we could be closer to family, closer to fun places to go, have a better outlook for our careers.
Joe accepted the job. And now we are working on getting our house ready to sell, thinking about moving. This year, I will graduate school, move, have a baby. Joe will change jobs, leaving the same location he has worked in for the past nine years. I’m a lot nervous, but also a lot excited about new adventures.