Unless you have me hidden on social media, have been on an Internet fast or just flat out didn’t care to know, most of you know that I left my small town in Oklahoma and moved to the big(ger) city of Denver.
I packed up my house, threw the Kid and the dog in a U-Haul, hitched my car up to the back and drove 11.5 hours, over the course of two days, to Denver. I completely uprooted our comfortable, small-city life and traded in the plains for the mountains.
I was terrified through the whole process. I still am.
The main questions I get are why, how, when and what’s next. Some of those are easy to answer.
Why: I was presented with a job offer that I couldn’t refuse. It made sense to me career-wise and financially to accept the offer. It isn’t that I was unsatisfied with my old position. It’s that I was unsatisfied with where I saw my career going IF I continued living in my state of birth. Quite frankly, I didn’t see myself thriving and accomplishing much if I stayed in Oklahoma. That’s as raw and as honest as it gets.
I didn’t just move for career reasons. I felt stuck in Oklahoma. I felt discontent and flat out unhappy. Of course I love my home and I love my state. However, one thing that I realize is that sometimes, you have to leave home to know what you’re truly made of. Sure, some people stay where they’re born and are completely happy. I’m not one of those people. Since I finished my undergraduate degree, I’ve had dreams of leaving the Great State of OK and spreading my wings somewhere else. It took me 12 years of dreaming, planning, wishing, hoping and praying for me to get the courage to finally go. *Note: Don’t let this be you. Sure, I started my career and got my daughter off to a pretty good start at life and such, but never, ever put off your dreams for that long. Life is so uncertain…you don’t want your final thoughts to be full of should haves, could haves and would haves.
My biggest fear is that some of the demons that haunted me in Oklahoma will follow me here (mainly financial…oohwee!). However, I know that I have the power to change that. So, I’m working on it!
How: I consulted with the Kid, my parents and my friends. I was looking for job postungs related to my career, but I was looking more for information purposes. I didn’t intend on moving just yet. However, I found a job posting that I really liked. I applied. I was interviewed twice. I was offered the job.. We left. U-Haul, boxes, dog…we left.
You may be interested to know that when I drove to Denver for the second interview, I had a panic attack in our hotel room (I brought the kid and dog with me to town…road trip!). I felt dizzy. I couldn’t breathe. I just couldn’t believe that there was a strong possibility that I might be moving. It took two or three minutes for me to calm down and mentally prepare myself for the interview.
When: I accepted the job offer during the first week of December. We were in our new place in Colorado by January 4th. Yes, in pretty much less than a month, I made the decision to move, packed up, found a new place and physically moved my family to a new state where I know less than 7 people.
What’s Next: The only thing I have planned right now is to do well in my new position, meet some new people, get the kid finished with high school and on her way to her next step and skiing. Definitely skiing.
Now we’ll get to the fun stuff…questions from my Facebook friends. I actually got quite a few questions, so I’m really excited to answer these!
Question: Exactly what are you doing in Denver? I am the Senior Librarian at a public library. In short, I am the supervisor for the public library floor of our building. A typical day involves me answering questions from customers, handling personnel matters, arranging meetings, etc. It’s very different than my former position because I have a larger staff to manage and public librarianship is a bit different than academic (University) librarianship. I answer less research questions and more general library help questions and book recommendations (I love that part!). I chose this job because of the history behind the library and the opportunities to expand my skills in programming, reference/research and management.
Question: Do you like Denver? I do! I am in awe of so many things…the mountains, the crazy traffic and the huge variety of ethnicities of the people I’ve seen. Denver is much more ethnically diverse than Oklahoma, or at least where I live. The main similarity between here and where I’m from is that there isn’t really a “neighborly” feel. I don’t know any of the people who live around me and they don’t seem interested in knowing me, either.
Question: Is it just you and The Kid? Do you have other family there or friends? If not, then what is it like being away from your home and ‘village’? Yes, it’s just the two of us (and our dog lol). I have three cousins who live here, but I haven’t met up with them yet. I have like 3 other friends in the vicinity, but again, I haven’t met up with them. And no, I haven’t met any of my Sorors yet, but I’m sure that I will soon! I did make a new friend and we’ll probably hang out pretty soon. She is really nice and outgoing and suggested us trying some new places to eat (she’s new in town, too! It’ll be fun to have an exploring partner!).
It has been very hard to be away from my family and friends. I’m used to seeing my Daddy pretty much every week and being with my Mom’s family at least once a month. That’s one reason that I’ve been begging and pleading with people to video chat with us because that helps the homesickness.
Question: How is The Kid doing in school? She’s adjusting very well! I got a message from her Advisor that stated that she’s doing very well in her classes and doing a great job at completing her homework. She has also made new friends…I’ve seen girls hug her when she gets out of the car when I’m dropping her off! We will be looking into extracurricular activities pretty soon so that she can expand her network and make friends. She also video chats and keeps up with her home friends via social media.
The other questions are pretty funny! No, I haven’t found a new sushi place. Yes, there are some handsome men here, but no, I’m not looking to date. I’m really excited to go to the mountains and see some spectacular views. My favorite thing about living here is the convenience of everything. There are tons of places that are within walking distance, so I’m looking forward to exploring our neighborhood more!
I want to leave you with this thought: moving away from home is an expensive, terrifying and exhausting process. However, the growth and experiences are worth it. I miss my family and friends and I can’t wait for them to visit. Until then, I get the pleasure of sharing our life with them through digital means. The homesickness gets overwhelming at times, for sure. Despite that, I realize that taking control of our future wasn’t meant to be comfortable, but it was definitely necessary.
As always, thanks for reading!