A few times, recently, people have said to me “Wow, you are so adventurous to be moving all over the country.” I guess when you hear it all together – “I was born in Wisconsin, grew up in Vegas, went to college in Utah, now live in Texas, and will be moving to Boston in the fall” – it sounds kind of adventurous.
But I don’t feel adventurous. I don’t feel brave or have a wandering soul. It’s just kind of worked out that way.
Moving to Utah didn’t feel courageous to me at all – I had planned on going to BYU my whole life, I was extremely familiar with the campus and the state, and I never even considered staying at home (my dad half-seriously told one of his staff at his fiftieth birthday party last fall that their parenting motto for high school graduates is somewhere along the lines of “We love you. Now get out”).
After we had been married a few months, we started seriously considering leaving Utah. I had no desire to stay in Utah (about two years ago I wrote a very long post detailing my issues with living in Utah and have returned to it again and again, tweaking and rewriting it, but I’ve never had the courage to actually post it because I fear the retaliation), and the more we looked at Austin, the more appealing it seemed, and Bart, despite having lived nearly his whole life in Utah and having the vast majority of his family living there, was also getting antsy to leave it behind (at least for the time being). But still, I don’t know that I would have had the guts to actually pick up and move if Bart hadn’t made it happen. Even when it was what I wanted, it still felt terrifying.
And now we’re off to Boston in the fall. My heart aches whenever I think about leaving this state I’ve learned to love (watch out, I’ll be the one in Boston with a Texas flag in my window), but I’m also extremely thrilled to be moving to the East Coast. I’m excited to meet a whole flock of new people, and discover a new city, and adjust to a new life. The opportunities seemed far greater for us at this point in Boston than they do in Austin and it was a surprisingly easy decision to make about leaving. It didn’t feel brave, it just felt smart.
On the other hand, when I hear people say things about how they would never ever move or leave this city or state or live farther than this many miles from their parents, I always think how much different that is from how I feel. I’m not afraid of moving or changing my life. And maybe that lack of fear is all it takes to be adventurous.