Saturday, May 24, 2008

Six Months and Counting

Six months ago today, I left Washington, D.C. in a U-haul truck and headed north. As I drove over the Potomac River, I didn't cry.

Six months later, I can honestly and happily say that I have no regrets.

I equated leaving DC with a break-up, and in the last six months, that analogy has only grown stronger. I have distance, I see everything clearly... and I have closure.

Of course I miss my friends, but I also realize how lucky I am to live in an era of cell phones, instant messaging, and well, blogs. I can talk to my friends whenever I want. I don't have to pre-plan phone calls and I'm not tethered to a phone stuck to a kitchen wall. I can send letters and cards, but because I want to, not because it is the only affordable means of communication.

My parents had been dating for a few years when my dad accepted a post-graduate scholarship at The University of Illinois. They wrote letters and they endured infrequent, expensive phone calls. When my mom was hired as an elementary school teacher, she called him excitedly, "I have a job! We can get married now!" Of course, my dad had already proposed, but the fact that they now had a source of income changed everything.

I'm sure that they still have the letters they exchanged between Michigan and Illinois, bittersweet reminders that absence might make the heart grow fonder, but it certainly isn't FUN.

Now? I am so, SO happy to be where I am - geographically, professionally, and especially personally. I feel that at this point in my life, I am exactly where I want to be. I am so lucky to have had the countless amazing opportunities that living in DC afforded me. The years I spent in DC were part of a wonderful phase of my life and my experiences there have made me the person I am today.

Walking alone this morning, along the Huron River, just cemented my feelings.

I'm home.


Em said...

yeah you are. I love you.

mmafan said...


I am glad you have moved on to a new chapter and are embracing your new home and surroundings. I also departed the DC area recently after 7 years. Even though I am just two hours away, my new hometown and and DC are literally worlds apart. I dreaded moving away from DC, but at the same time, I was in dire need of a new and fresh start elsewhere.

It has been an challenge transitioning from Dc's fast paced and diverse environment to one that moves at half the speed and lacks the same diversity. On the flip side, I have learned to slow down a bit!

I wish you continued success.

Heather said...

em - I love you, too :)

mmafan - Thank you so much for your words. I know that I am far from the only person out there to leave DC for greener pastures and lower humidity, but sometimes it was hard to deal with people who thought that I was leaving so much behind. It was a great place to live, but it definitely had an expiration date.

I'm glad to hear that you're enjoying your relocation as well!