It has been two years since we packed up and moved our family across the country. I’ll get this out of the way up front – this move has not been easy for us.
If you are new to this blog, in late 2017, we picked our family up from Texas and planted ourselves loosely in Northern Virginia. I say planted loosely because we just can’t bring ourselves to plant deep roots here yet.
Yes, I’m a native Texan and love my home state. But my issue isn’t being homesick.
I have lived in New Mexico, Colorado and California and I was reasonably happy there. There are several factors that are getting in the way of me going all in on this place, but mostly I think our family had too much change in too short of a time and I’m just jaded now.
In the midst of adjusting to living in a new state, I have also had to adjust to a new work life.
Over the past two years, I have dealt with a ton of change at work – an acquisition, a reorganization, a rebranding. The job I moved here for no longer exists. It’s not bad, just different. But man has it been full of stress and long hours and constant struggling to find my footing.
Aside from that, we work a lot more here. That is truly a Metro D.C. culture thing.
In Texas, we worked a lot, but we had a ton of down time. The pace of life in Houston is slower. Maybe it’s the humidity? Maybe it’s always being stuffed with amazing food? Who knows. But I also worked remotely then. I was home to see Ava off the bus most days and I could go to her assemblies and school parties during the day. I had time to work out and socialize. Now, I have to choose one or the other because there isn’t enough time in the day for both.
Chuck is working a ton, too. The space business is a 24/7 gig and we are in the thick of it. It’s hard for us to juggle a teen and a toddler and two very high stress jobs. We haven’t been at our best since we moved here and we need to work on that.
Surprisingly, the one family member I worried about adjusting to the move is the one who is loving it here.
Ava has fit in very well and has found a rather large group of girlfriends who are smart and sweet and low-drama. She isn’t really happy about the “boy situation” here (they grow them much smaller here than in Texas apparently … ha!), but she is thriving. We found her a voice teacher who helped coach her well enough to get a named role in the school production this year. This is a big win for her.
We do try to love it here. I mean, this place is beautiful and it has WINERIES!
I have always loved wine and living so close to almost 50 wineries is actually very cool. We try to visit a new winery at least once a month and have hit up about 14 since we moved here. They are all unique and gorgeous and the staff at each are friendly for the most part. We bought memberships at two wineries and visit them regularly now, but I still feel out of place each time we go for some reason. After a couple of glasses of wine that goes away, though. Ha!
But to be honest, the scenery and so-so wine don’t make up for the outrageous cost of living, the isolation, and the “live to work” culture. I’m hopeful that this year will be a pivotal one for us, though. Our only family resolution for 2020 was to decide where we will set roots down permanently. We may not move there until Ava graduates in ’25, but we will at least have something to work toward.
And wouldn’t it be ironic if our feelings shift and this becomes the place we stay? Who knows what will happen, but I’m really hopeful for our future no matter where we land.