Monday, July 15, 2013

We'll Cross that Bridge When We Get to It

Last year, while I was pregnant, Blake discovered something called the High Trussel Trail Bridge.
He was instantly in love with it, and wanted to get me there.
Being slightly absorbed with other things (initially a VBAC and then 2 little kids), I kept kind of shooing the idea away.
Its about a half hour from our house. And then it includes about a mile (I think) walk to get to. The two things combined seemed reason enough to put it off.

But recently we've made a life changing decision.

I mentioned before about Blake's job and us trying to figure out what we are doing with that.
He's been doing a Post Doc. Which for those of you like me, who've never heard of that, its school after you get your Doctorate. And in Blake's case it is paid and it is basically the stepping stone from student to professor. So, you can not be a post doc forever. We've known since moving to Iowa that we would likely move in a year or two.

That was good news to me when we got here, because I just didn't hit it off with Ames, IA.
Its smaller than I expected it to be. It had less shopping, and way less food, than I'm used to.
It had only hard to work with VBAC options.
And it is missing easily drivable access to everyone back home,
As well as Lake Michigan.
I just didn't see how anyone could live here.
And I was so ready to get out.

Then we found a church and settled into it.
And we fell in love with it.
Its the first church I've been excited to go to.
I just love everything about it.
And after months of the thought playing in my head during service,
I finally told Blake,
"You know, if we stayed here, it would be ok, because of this church."

That opened up some big stuff for Blake,
because he knew I didn't like it here,
and was willing to get me out.
But he likes the university and the program here and was excited about the potential it had for his career.
So we actually started planning our life here, in Ames.
And for about 3 or 4 months we really were getting more and more sure this was it.
We started getting involved in our church.
We started making friends.
Blake got a promising sounding offer from his boss here.
And I started online looking at houses here.

But then, just out of the blue, Blake's old advisor from University of Illinois calls up Blake and says, 
"I have a job for you, if you want it, its yours, and it can be whatever you want it to be."

We were both stunned silly.

On first pass, we wanted to pass.
We had started getting things figured out here.
We were getting settled into life.
We had vision for what could be.

And for a couple weeks, we were decided, on gut feel, we were staying here.

We drove home to my parents (for my Uncle's Wedding I did pictures for) and when we got there, I suddenly got nostalgic for my family, friends and just the essence of life in Illinois.
I tried to reign it in.
But it served as a prompter for me to really discuss hard with Blake our options as we drove the 6 hours back to Iowa.
We talked about how both places could be great, and we needed to really get the nitty gritty on each job and go with what would be the better choice based on that.
So we made a list of questions to ask each potential future boss.
Blake was driving, so I typed them up on the iPad. (And I entertained myself by pretending Blake was my hot boss and I was his hot secretary, as I tried to ignore the Disney Movie noises and cries for pacifiers in back, to keep my fantasy alive for like 5 mins!)

So that week, after Blake was able to talk to each professor,
it turned out the Iowa job offer only sounded good in name, but was really nothing like the dream job it initially was presented as, and had no real potential for a career.
And the Illinois job was in essence everything on Blake's dream job list, except maybe one or two little things.
How's that for "Thanks God!" 
I mean it literally got dropped in his lap without any fishing for it.


we still struggled with making the call.

We wanted to make sure.
We prayed about it,
we looked into things a bit more here.
We squirmed.
And then we took the Illinois offer. 

About 4 seconds after that.
I got ecstatic.
And I wanted to move back on instant.

I actually got a bit depressed for a few days,
I didn't see how I was gonna wait the 6 months until the job starts in January.

6 Months is such an awkward amount of time.
I hate the idea of falling more in love with people just to say goodbye.
But they are worth loving.
And 6 months is half a year!
So I want to live it well.

So one of the ways I am coping is making an Ames bucket list.
I am coming up with a list of things to see or do before we go.
And the first one on it was 
the High Trussel Trail Bridge. 

It was so much more beautiful than I expected.
And I was disappointed that I put it off so long.
And it gave me that little heart squeeze I'm sure to have over and over in the coming 6 months.
Joy mixed in pain.
I wasn't impressed when I got here,
but I will be leaving
changed for the better when I go.

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