If you asked me two and a half years ago where I would be in 10 years, I probably would have said, “Married with kids, living in Milwaukee, and working for the same company only a tad higher up on the ladder.”
Back then I was living a life I loved. I was in Milwaukee, working for a large corporate retailer. During the three years I lived there, I built a solid foundation of friends and I was enjoying being a self-proclaimed “career girl.” Even though I wasn’t living in the same city as my family, I was close enough to visit them in Michigan quite often. I was in a great place, and I never thought I would leave.
Fast forward one year and a TV show later.
After “The Bachelor” finished airing, there was enormous pressure for Jason and me to speed up our relationship. Everyone wanted to know when I was moving, when we were getting married, and when the first baby was coming.
Of course, Jason and I wanted all of those things to happen, but there were 100 steps we had to take in between.
Picking up and moving across the country may sound easy, but for me, it was far from it. There were so many questions that needed to be answered first. Do I quit my job? Where do I get a new job? Can I afford to move across the country? (It’s not cheap!) How often will I get to see my family and friends? How will I make new friends? Do I love Seattle enough to call it my home…quite possibly forever? Are Jason and I truly ready to take this step in our relationship? Do I love him enough that I feel comfortable uprooting my entire life?
The details of moving were stressful to even think about!
At the end of the day, however, I needed to decide what was really going to make me happy. I was so tired of living out of a suitcase. The traveling back and forth started to wear on me, and the goodbyes were even worse. I just wanted to be able to see Jason without hopping on a four-hour flight and planning our visits months in advance.
After 10 months of long-distance dating, I finally reached a point where I couldn’t do it anymore. I just wanted to be near Jason! I knew I was ready, and I knew it was time for me to make the move.
Simply wanting to see Jason every single day was a major factor in my decision to move but that certainly wasn’t the only factor. Though it can seem insignificant, I believe that understanding your partner’s daily life is an incredibly important aspect of knowing whether or not you can spend the rest of your life with someone.
Living so far away from Jason, there was no way for me to truly learn that about him unless I was able to see him on a daily basis. Sure, it’s easy for someone to keep his house clean when you are coming in town to visit for the weekend, but after you leave, does it stay clean?
In Jason’s case, no.
Of course I’m going to make fabulous meals when Jason came for a visit, but is that something I do every night?
Luckily, these were not deciding factors or deal breakers for us, but they were all important things for us to learn about one another before becoming husband and wife.
It was a really big deal for me to uproot my life, quit my job, and leave my family and friends, but I wanted to do it for our relationship. At the same time, I wanted to make sure I was creating a life of my own out here in Seattle.
I moved here to be with Jason every day, but I didn’t want to have to rely on Jason every day. I have made a huge effort in making my own friends rather than just taking on the friends Jason already had. I found a new job on my own, instead of using the connections Jason already had out here. And I have found my own spots in Seattle that I like to go to for a cup of coffee or to hang out with a friend.
I have created some independence for myself out here, so that Seattle doesn’t just feel like Jason’s home, but like my own.
As difficult of a decision as it was to move out here, the transition has been fairly seamless. The hardest part is probably being so far away from my family and friends, but I make it work. No matter what, I call my family on my way home from work every single day. I Skype my sister so I can see how big my little niece is getting. Each of my family and friends has come out to visit and explore my new home, but I also get back to my old home as often as I can.
Jason’s family has been so wonderful about making me feel welcome out here, and we get together for birthdays and holidays, just as I would with my family in Michigan.
In the long run, moving was the best decision I ever could have made.
It’s not about where I am, but who I am with because it’s who I am with that makes me enjoy where I am.