When Daniel and I unloaded our rental car in central Virginia the Saturday before Thanksgiving we had all of the things we had taken with us to New York City. My parents were confused but very excited to find out why. Very few people knew of our plans to come home for Thanksgiving and not go back to the city afterwards, partially to enjoy the look on our family members’ faces when they found out we’d decided to come home and partially because it has been a very difficult decision to explain.
Isn’t it weird that when you don’t talk about something, for whatever reason, it can come off as though you’re avoiding talking about that thing? It seems the longer I have not talked about this major change in our life, the more it could come off as something we’re ashamed of for some reason. That couldn’t be farther from the truth.
After weeks of changing our minds and going back and forth several times, Dan and I finally decided together that the life we wanted to create for ourselves at this time was not a lifestyle we could put together the way we wanted to in New York City. When we talked about what we wanted⎯when we thought about how and with whom we wanted to be spending our valuable time⎯everything pointed to us finding what we wanted closer to home. While the moments we shared and the adventures we had in New York were irreplaceable, something felt very missing from our lives…especially after two wonderful months back home with everyone in the fall.
I love New York. We love New York. We had a wonderful time there and I am so thankful for that time for helping to show us exactly what we wanted next. The good thing about the way that Dan and I do things is that if we decide we want something we work really hard together to make that thing a reality. Our new “something” is a life surrounded those we love and the time and ability to live a slower, happier, and more creative life.
I’ll probably share more about the difficulties we I faced in coming to this decision in later posts, along with other posts on things we did during our time in NYC. I also hope to share a few guides on how to visit and explore the city, because nothing gives me more joy than helping others explore. (It helps that I’m a walking GPS; I know New York City like the back of my hand!) I do hope you will continue to follow along on our adventures. I am more than the fact that I’ve lived in exciting places.
Next stop? The vibrant and creative small city of Richmond, Virginia! Dan and I have visited several times over the past few weeks for interviews and to look for apartments. Dan was offered and accepted a new position on Tuesday this week! I’ve already looked into different art classes to dive into and Dan has already been looking into the climbing gym there. We’ve bought tickets to three upcoming concerts. We’ll be two hours from my parents’ home, three from Dan’s family in Roanoke, and two from my brother and sister-in-law in Harrisonburg. We can unpack boxes and suitcases and use things that we haven’t seen or used in several months (or even several years!) Everything has fallen into place and feels so right.
We’re so thankful for the ability we’ve had to do this, financially and otherwise. I’m thrilled for the time we’ve been spending at home with our families. Being home for Thanksgiving—and now being here for Christmas—without having to rush around and travel too far has been wonderful. I probably won’t be around here much until after the holidays, or maybe until after the end of the year, but this is the first time in a long time that I’ve been this excited to start a new year!