Tomorrow, my daughter Catie and I will be taking the first steps on a five year journey; we’re moving 2000~ miles away from home so I can start my doctorate at Utah State University! Go Aggies!
With my detours and side-trips, it’s actually going to be about 2300 miles. We’re going to drive through Dallas to see an old friend; Cooperton, OK to see where my grandfather was born; Amarillo, Santa Fe, Albuquerque, and Gallup to follow Route 66; Moab to see Monument Valley and Arches National Park; and finally to our new home in Logan.
I’m pretty nervous about this trip, truth be told. I’m afraid I’m going to miss Pensacola. I lived in Orlando for a few years but that was only 600 or so miles from my hometown- close enough to drive back for Christmas. Moving across the country is a whole different ballgame. I’ve gotten pretty used to Pensacola’s quirks since moving back here in 2013. It’s strange to think about. No more Wings & Things (the family business and my employer for the last 3 years) to fall back on. No more Blue Angels buzzing my house every Sunday evening in the spring and summer. No more beaches, no more McGuires, no more family a stone’s throw away. Instead, I’m signing up for five years of small college town, snow, Mormons, and mountains. It’ll be interesting to see how well Catie and I both acclimate to the new culture. I hope Catie doesn’t miss our family and our old house too much. I’ve tried to prepare her as best as I can, talking about the dun we’re going to have on our “big trip”, trying to pick fun stops along our route for her like the Dallas Aquarium and the brontosaurus family outside Santa Fe. She’s excited, but it’s going to be a long time before she sees her favorite uncles, or her grandparents, or her mamaw (great-grandmother), or even her daddy. It’ll just be me and her and a whole pile of new people. That’s nerve-wracking for me now- it’s surely going to stressful for a sweet 3 year old who sees her grandparents and daddy almost every day.
On the other side of the nervousness coin, I’m getting restless. My hotels are all booked starting tomorrow night, but my car is as packed as its going to get NOW. As I wrote this, Catie’s toys are more or less packed up, so she’s getting into trouble trying to find things to do. My sister and her boyfriend are in my house painting and cleaning and getting ready to move in the moment I’ve moved out. I feel redundant. I want to get this new chapter of my life started but this one keeps dragging on. I’m ready to get into the mountains, to start studying my ass off and trying to learn to code in MATLAB and getting in over my head with Imposter Syndrome. I want to take this plunge. I’m ready.