Fifteen months ago, my husband submitted his application for a new job opportunity. He has been working in the same office for the last nineteen years – he enjoys his job (and is good at what he does) but we decided we were game for a change.
I remember how I felt as we sat at the dining room table, talking about if we should go for it – or not. My first reaction was to say no. The pull to stay in our home of 24 years, living near neighbours we enjoy, routines we know, family in the area, was strong. It would be easy to say no, to continue on in the same way, working the same jobs, doing (and not doing) the same things.
So Many Ifs
I saw myself shrinking back from this chance at something new, something scary. As we chatted, I realized that we were holding back. The choice to apply for the job was ours to make. If (and that’s a big if…) he was offered the job and (that’s a big and) we could change our minds. There are so many steps between applying and receiving a job offer.
If we relocated and realized we weren’t enjoying our new lives, we didn’t have to stay. He is four years away from retirement. We could stick it out that long and retire. Or we could pull the plug, find another job in Ottawa and go back.
But what if we didn’t try? We would never know. Together we decided to give it a shot.
What if This Really Happens?
Six months later, he received an email letting him know he had made it to the interview stage, and he would hear back “shortly”. Little did we know that we had a seven month wait ahead of us. Seven months of back and forth. The thinking started again. What if this really happens? What if it doesn’t? How do we feel? Do we really want to move, to make a change this big? What would that mean to our day to day lives?
The interview was in June. His gut told him that it went well. Then we settled in for more waiting – and more pondering. This was getting real.
My first concern was leaving my friends. I have lived in this area for forty-five of my forty-nine years. I met some of my closest friends back in high school, thirty odd years ago. Thirty years. How can I leave them behind? And my sister! I can’t live that far away from her and her kids.
Not the Life I Think I’m Living
I recognized my default pattern of looking at the negative side of things. Ok, self. What is it about leaving these people that has you concerned? Well, we wouldn’t see anyone anymore! I thought about that. How often do we actually have people over? How often do I see my friends face to face? Hardly ever, if I’m being honest. Most of the connection with people in my life is virtual. I keep up to date through Facebook and “chat” via text. The people I see face to face the most often are my co-workers.
That realization hit hard. I’m not living the life I think I’m living. The only thing holding me back from making a change is me. My Why Move list was equal in length to my Why Not Move list. I’ve only got this life to live. Why not live it? I realized that I should stop sharing those inspirational quotes on social media and start putting them into practice.
This week my husband received the request for personal references – the last step before the final decision is made. It’s looking like a move is in our not-to-distant future. We’re both excited – looking at housing in both cities on his list, calculating commute times to his possible offices. When the time comes, we will move our lives to a different province. It sounds exciting now – it is exciting now. I know for sure that when it’s time to close the door for the last time, the tears will flow.