“Life is either a daring adventure or nothing”

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.

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  • Reply Kristi February 12, 2009 at 2:06 pm

    When I married Blaine I figured I was signing my life away to not only Utah, but the city and neighborhood that we both grew up in. His family is so tight and they all live so close, and it is amazing and fun all of the stuff they have done together, but I wanted to get out and see the world beyond good old WVC, UT.

    We’ve been in Oregon, Minnesota and now Texas (with a pit stop in Provo in between each of those). I wouldn’t trade any of my experiences being away for anything. Minnesota is one of my favorite places now and it scares me to think I could have gone my whole life and never visited there.

    I’ve met amazing people in each place, learned new traditions, and local lingo, etc. I have a piece of each of those places with me.

    I was excited to settle down somewhere, anywhere, and not have to move around so much. And now that we have been in Austin nearly two years I find myself itching to get on with life, to move and find a new place and new people and new everything. I love the people here and would hate to see them go, but I’ve loved everywhere and it makes me wonder what I am missing by never living in Boston, or Tennessee, or Las Vegas. You know?

    Anyway, it’s another blog post for another day for me ; )

    We’ll miss you, of course, but I am so beyond excited for you. And for me to come and visit you. Plus, you can still ship some desserts once in a while, right?

  • Reply Megs February 12, 2009 at 2:07 pm

    I have to tell you that I have been the opposite throughout my life – we moved when I was in high school, but only four miles away so I didn’t even have to change schools, and even though I went away to school, it was only about an hour away from home. Because of this, I’m pretty terrified of picking up and moving to a new place in the fall (hopefully, assuming I get in somewhere) because unless you count London, I haven’t had to do a lot of that adjusting to life in a new place (and let’s be honest – London wasn’t that hard to adjust to. Although I do know the city very well now, so that’s comforting when I think about learning another one.)
    On the other hand, I’m less of a “I have to live this many miles from my family” than I am kind of guilt-ridden about leaving my mother (because she cries whenever I go anywhere, even if it’s just for a few days.) It’s kind of interesting what a difference family attitude will make. In any case, I’m still excited to get my piece of the adventure and live the Janssen Bradshaw dream. 🙂

  • Reply Norby Family February 12, 2009 at 2:38 pm

    I honestly believe that it strengthens a marriage to get away from family. My husband and I lived in three different states last year and are finally settled for the time being. It was fun to experience new places that I had never been to. We loved moving and figuring out what the city has to offer. I think it’s great when people are willing to move around either for their career (like us) or to experience different states. Good luck, it is so much fun!

  • Reply Science Teacher Mommy February 12, 2009 at 2:40 pm

    I’ve lived all over too, at least since age 21. When Plantboy and I first went to Texas, my darling mother–who has only lived a few different places all within a fifty mile radius–said, “How will you get by?” I think she meant everything: finding a doctor, making friends, getting around, etc. I replied, “We’ll just go to church on Sunday and everything will be fine.” That has been our overarching philosophy toward life and it has worked out amazingly well. Come what may, we always have a family. Oh, and Mapquest is immensely helpful.

  • Reply cupcake February 12, 2009 at 2:40 pm

    I am a New Englander myself. I have come and gone a multitude of times: I went to PA for college. I lived in Ecuador for a year. I lived in LA. Now, I live with my boyfriend in MI. I have to say most of the moves were out of necessity, but I always managed to put an adventure on it. There’s nothing like exploring a new place and adding it to your scrapbook. I admire your embracing the changes. I think you’ll love Boston. It is one of my most favorite cities. And think how you’ll be surrounded by the libraries!!!

  • Reply Sheen Family February 12, 2009 at 4:02 pm

    As a PwC-wife-to-be, that’s a fantastic attitude!! You’ll need it!! Who knows – you could be in China in 5 years (or maybe Troy will recruit Bart to where ever we are at that point!). But great attitude!

  • Reply Jennifer Lee February 12, 2009 at 4:59 pm

    My family moved around a lot while I was growning up, so I learned at a young age that anyplace with the family could be home. When I married Sungti I pretty much signed on for lots of moving and perhaps some international living, and I’m looking forward to it. I do realize that we live AWFULLY close to my family right now, but ideally we wouldn’t be closer than four hours from either one of our families.
    I’m thrilled for your big move. As someone who has had you live close and then move away, I know how hard it is to be the friend who is left behind so I feel empathy for your Austin friends. We look forward to visits to Boston and to seeing both you and Bart again.

  • Reply Sherry February 12, 2009 at 5:04 pm

    I don’t think of you as adventurous at all. Sorry.

    The thing that prepared me most for moving to New Zealand was knowing that I would have a Church family. And that’s why I’m not afraid to move anywhere. I’ll just find my local LDS church, and voila! Friends!

  • Reply heidikins February 12, 2009 at 5:10 pm

    Adventure it up! I can’t wait to hear about how you fall in-love with Boston. I was only there for a couple of days and could see myself living there, no problem.


  • Reply craftyashley February 12, 2009 at 5:21 pm

    Post the reasons to leave Utah! I would never, ever move to Utah. We probably have the same reasons! LOL
    I would love to move- family or no family. It’s not a big deal to be far from family when you don’t have kids. You may evaluate it later- but for now have fun and live it up! Boston has always been on the top of my list of places I’d like to live!

  • Reply Elizabeth February 12, 2009 at 5:30 pm

    I’m jealous that you get to choose such great and fun sounding places to live. I’ve lived many many places, but most of them were not by choice.
    And I am intrigued by your Utah post – I hope we get to read it someday.

  • Reply emily kate February 12, 2009 at 6:05 pm

    I got the same reaction about moving to NYC and I tell everyone the same thing- When it’s your life and it’s what needs to be done you just step up and do it! It’s not brave it’s life! (But I’m not saying you’re not brave, you very well may be.) 😉

  • Reply Packrat February 12, 2009 at 7:20 pm

    I never minded living away from my parents and grandparents when I was younger. (Yes,I missed them dreadfully but never once thought about moving back closer to any of them.)

    Then, sort of against my wishes, husband went to work for my parents. There was good and bad, but I am so thankful that my children got to know and love their grandparents and great grandparents – my brothers’ children hardly knew them at all.

    Now that I am older, I’m glad that I have lived close to my parents and grandparents. I was here to help when my grandparents and step-father passed away. Now, if I have to go take care of my mom’s animals, or fill in at my mom’s business, or even take care of my mom, I’m only an hour away from my home instead of several hours away or across the country.

    Also, my son and his family live two days from us (no good way to fly there). I have so missed out on seeing my grandchildren grow up.

  • Reply Jill February 12, 2009 at 8:15 pm

    I’ve lived in Utah my entire life and man, I’m so curious to see what you have to say!!! And I’m jealous because I so want out…I’ve had enough of it.

  • Reply RA February 12, 2009 at 8:38 pm

    I am itching to pick up and move, but it doesn’t make sense for us at all. Sigh. I think I’m just used to living my life in 4-year increments, and now we’re at the end of the fourth year.

  • Reply Jenna February 12, 2009 at 8:43 pm

    What are you guys moving for? We are hoping to find ourselves in Boston next Fall.

  • Reply Kimberly February 12, 2009 at 8:44 pm

    Funny how some places can inspire such passion. I used to have a grudge against UT. Then my first roommate was a native and has become my best friend. I’ve now struck a fine balance and think it’s all about choosing your challenges. No place is perfect (and no place is worthless), but every place (close or far from family) has its own flaws. Some work for us and some don’t and that is how we choose where to live. It’s worked well so far! While we couldn’t be happier here (close to family), next week we may decide to move away. It’s such a nice feeling to have options.

  • Reply Melanie February 12, 2009 at 10:04 pm

    I feel the same as you do. People always comment on how brave I am to live thousands of miles away from all of my family, but I’ve never really even thought of it as being brave. I love change, and even though it can be hard at first, discovering and growing to love a new city and making new friends always overshadows the difficulties of readjustment.

    I have to (ashamedly) admit that I kind of look down upon those people that live on the same block as their entire family and have never traveled or lived outside of their home state. I guess I don’t have anything against living close to family – there are definite advantages to doing so – but get out, experience life, have some adventures and then come back and settle down.

    One last note, I totally agree with Science Teacher Mommy: the Church makes such a huge difference. It’s so wonderful to know that wherever I go I’ll always have a church “family.”

  • Reply Lisa February 12, 2009 at 11:23 pm

    I lived in AL my entire life until I was 27. In 2002, after my divorce, I packed up and moved 1400 miles away to SD. At the time it was exciting and adventurous and I don’t regret it at all. The only thing I’d change is to bring my mom here so she could see my kids more. There are no cheap flights in or out of SD, so we don’t go home much. I wish I could occasionally drop the kids off with my mom on a moments notice like my brothers do, but that’s about it. OH, and if they could just both spend ONE NIGHT with her so I could SLEEP for 8 solid hours, I’d be in heaven. (SERIOUS sleep deficit in my house right now and no one local I’d ask to keep them both on the same night.)

  • Reply Kaitlyn February 13, 2009 at 12:54 am

    Moving is exciting, but after a while moving it feels so great to settle and rest. I moved my entire childhood, up until the age of 13. I’m getting anxious again, to be in a warmer place, with me and Ryan’s own memories and traditions to be made together.

    Boston sounds so very exciting!

  • Reply Lexiloo February 13, 2009 at 3:07 am

    Boston is such an amazing city, it really is. Life is definitly an adventure, that’s what makes it so grand. I’ve been here in DC for almost five years now, and I am getting a bit antsy for sure. I’m thinking San Francisco next, but who knows! I just like having options 🙂

  • Reply Melissa February 13, 2009 at 5:08 pm

    When I decided to move to Indiana from Florida, people questioned me. I was moving away from my family whom I’m close with, as well as moving to a local that was different than my norm.

    I have discovered it was the best decision I have ever made. I struggle with missing old friends, visits back to Florida, and dealing with “family crisis” while away, but I have no regrets with my move.

    I plan to stick around for a while, but would not be adverse to trying my hand at living out west. On with the adventure called life.

  • Reply Operation Pink Herring February 13, 2009 at 5:15 pm

    I get some weird looks when I go “home” to NJ sometimes. Some people just can’t fathom leaving their home state. It’s not like I hate NJ, I just don’t really want to live there anymore. We’re itching to move, too. And as scared as I am to be farther from family (I’ve never been out of driving distance, I can be at my mom’s house in 3.5 hours), I know it will be fine. They’ll visit us, we’ll visit them… and there are phones and email!

    You are going to LOVE Boston.

  • Reply Rhiannon February 18, 2009 at 4:10 am

    I admire you guys. I’ve always wanted to pack up and move somewhere – but I just don’t think I’ll ever have the courage/reason/etc.

    BUT – I love my Oregon, so staying here is just fine.

  • Reply Lady Susan February 19, 2009 at 11:32 pm

    I think courage is making a difficult decision for yourself. For some people, staying in one place is courageous while for others it is leaving the security of the known.

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