Thursday, April 3, 2014

Should we stay or should we go now?

It's been awfully quiet around these parts recently. I don't suspect anyone has been loitering around begging for updates, but when I don't write much, my brain starts to get crowded. I haven't avoided posting because I lacked things to say. I've actually haven't written because I had too many things to share. Things that weren't ready to be shared.

But now, the cat is out of the bag, and some of the biggest news in our recent lives is out in the open.

Yep. We're moving.

After seven years in Pittsburgh, it's time to pack up, and head west, for the sunny skies of Columbus. I got a new job, we sold our house, we bought another house…Basically everything we've known has been flipped upside down in a matter of weeks. There is still a tremendous amount of logistics to work out (most pressing: Dustin's job, and childcare for the girls) but God has been paving the way for this move in a way that we can't ignore, so we're trusting that He's not down working out the details for us. It's been an absolutely crazy ride to see how fast life can transform, and as sad as we are to leave this place, we're also thrilled for the next adventure. We've got a little less than two more weeks here, so we're packing in the fun (you know, when we're not literally packing our stuff) and trying to wrap our brains around the monumental changes that are about to take place. Things are on warp speed, but I'm trying as much as I can to soak up every last bit of this sweet season. It's all a bit of a frantic blur as we try to sort and connect the pieces of this life-puzzle, so I won't share the nitty gritty details for now, but know that we are beyond thankful for the experiences we've had and the friends we've made in Pittsburgh.

I'm sure there will be plenty of nostalgia and sweet, sappy musings to come, but for now I thought it would be cool to share a snippet from the process that I jotted down along the way.


Originally written 2/11/14:

It's happening.

That thing that happens every couple years. Where Dustin I decided maybe, just maybe, it's time to uproot everything and head for the hills. Except not really hills. More like the flatlands of Columbus.

We've been here before, a couple times probably, some times more serious than others. It's always been the eventual goal to move to Columbus I suppose, but that itch has struck again, and we find ourselves seriously exploring the possibility of making a move sooner than later. Sooner like real soon. I'm looking into a job with a retail company there and while I'm at it I'm trying to check out a couple of marketing agencies as well. After a few phone calls and email chains, it's escalated to the point that I actually have an all day in person interview next week. It's far from a done deal, so I don't want to count my chickens before they hatch, but at the same time I feel that I have to process the possibilities now, in order to be prepared when and if a job comes to fruition.

So I can't take it for granted that I'm going to get this job, and further, that I would want to accept this job if so. But I almost have to pretend like that's happening, just in case it does. So I'm trying not to waste any time dwelling on the fear, the worry and the negative, because it's all too soon for any of that to matter. But I am trying to weigh the pros and cons, and allow myself to sit with a very real possibility that our time in Pittsburgh could be coming to a close. When we moved here I signed a two-year contract. I definitely thought we would stay longer than that, but it was at least a minimum. A starting point. That milestone came and went though and Dustin and I kept renewing our original "five-year plan" (the length of time I figured we would be in Pittsburgh before thinking about starting a family and moving back home.) But somehow that plan kept getting extended, and now this Summer will mark seven years (and two babies) in the Steel City. 

So when we moved here, I knew I was committing to this town, at least for a while, but I didn't know that I would fall in love. Sure, there are things about Pittsburgh that I can confidently say are The Worst. I don't love having a bridge and/or (mostly and) tunnel between me and anything I want to get to. I don't love that fact that the gray days outnumber the sunny ones. But if I was truly going to hate on Pittsburgh, I would have to get kind of picky. It really is an awesome place. We've met some of the best friends of our lives here, and after seven years, I can confidently say that it is home.

And then there's my job. There have been ups and downs; days where I had to pinch myself to believe that this dream job wasn't all truly just a dream. And then there've been days when I've been overwhelmed, frustrated, and dejected. But again, after seven years, this company is as much my home as this city is. It's all I've known here, and further- all I've really known in the working world. I had five internships before I graduated, in three different cities. I got to try out big city living, small-town living, and squatting in my parents basement. I got to test the waters of design, production, kids clothes, uniforms.... But as far as real-deal, big-girl grown-up job? This is it. This is where I learned pretty much everything. It's now my benchmark by which all other opportunities are measured. 

So I now have one foot in both worlds. For as much as I'm prepping mentally to leave, life keeps on going here as if were staying forever. Nothing is a sure thing, so I have to lay the groundwork for what possibilities could be, and at the same time keep our reality in motion. So that means on Wednesday afternoon I have a phone interview with the new company, and Thursday morning I have to remember to call to make future appointments for Piper. It means that I spend evenings working on my resume, and Saturday mornings checking out dance classes for my toddler. We have an exit strategy, and a museum membership. We could be here three more years, or three more weeks. And what all that adds up to, is a serious lack of sleep on my end. (Like I needed that!) I find myself laying awake at night, running over all the possibilities in my mind. Asking myself question after question, to try to make sense of the enormous change that could be coming our way. I can make a list from here that would stretch from here to Ohio, with reasons I want to stay put. I really do love it here. The people alone could convince me to be a Yinzer for life. But then it's not hard to come up with a list equally long of reasons we should go. More specifically- why we should go now. And at the top of that list are two little girls who would benefit greatly from the supportive network of family. Okay, if we're being honest, at the top of that list is one little girl: me, who would benefit greatly from the supportive network of family. No one wants to live with regrets, and I would hate to feel that we left a good thing, or bailed to soon. But at the same time, these years with little ones are fleeting, and the opportunity to spend them alongside family is maybe too great to resist.

So for now, I'll probably keep saying up too late looking at real estate in the suburbs, and checking out LinkedIn for new possibilities, but also keep my nose to the grindstone and stay invested in my current world.

And if after next Tuesday, we do have the option to trade it all in for Part Two of our dream life, then will have a big decision to make. The only thing I know for sure is that God is preparing our path, the same way he has for the last seven years. I just can't wait to see where it leads next. 


  1. Excited for you! It is a tough place to be, a foot in both worlds. I've recently interviewed at a place 700 miles from where we live now, and I won't know until next week, but we're having all the discussions like "what will we move" & "where will he work" and "do we have to buy winter clothes", and its hard to think it through and manage your hopes at the same time. Happy for your new adventure, though, I hope you love OH!

  2. Sad to see you go! But excited for you, it's the right decision. Little ones = a huge need to have family around for you and them! There's no time like the present. So glad our paths crossed at new mom coffee if only a few times. xo Emily