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Packing up and staying put.

For those of you not in the know, Ian has been freelance for the past two years. It was a welcome change from his previous employment and seemed to suit Ian’s work style and stress levels much better. It was great! Except for the fact that we only *just* couldn’t cover our costs of living. Albeit we have lived comfortably these two years and were able to pay all of our bills, we basically lived from paycheck to paycheck, with some measure of scrambling every month and some over-reliance on credit by the end.

So, as any self-respecting Americans will do when faced with financial adversity, we got ready to head West! Ian was sure he’d find more work in the Los Angeles area, and I had just learned about a loan repayment program for my line of work that would suit our move. My over-planning brain ran wild, and I started researching credentialing requirements and found some job leads in Arizona, New Mexico, and California. We even went so far as to visit LA and Arizona so we could get a feel for the areas and to follow up on some job opportunities. Friends were preparing to welcome us on the west coast with open arms, people were looking forward to working with me, and life seemed about to change by January.

Ian looking over LA from Runyon Canyon

Ian looking over LA from Runyon Canyon

I will be honest. I was excited. Though I am in a very good place in my life right now, I have a dash of wanderlust in me that has been itching for a while. I am thrilled that others can settle in the world and cultivate community and local identity, but I have not seen myself in this light for years. When I decided I wasn’t going to be able to be a hermit, I saw myself as becoming a worldly, cosmopolitan adventurer of the world. And Ian sounded ready, and the Southwest is an amazing place. I wanted some desert, some sunshine, and some mesas. I was ready to go.

Except. The credentialing process proved to be time-consuming and full of small, but game-changing, nuances as to whether I could get licensed or not. And each state has different requirements (yay state rights!), which made the process even longer and more confusing. Over six months later, I still have to get more paperwork and hours done before I can apply to ONE of these states in which I was looking to work. And the flourish of employers expressing interest had dropped down to a select few. And while I was pulling my hair out trying to figure out a bureaucratic confluence of paperwork, Ian interviewed for a job. In DC. Wait, what? But DC is on the East Coast!?! I thought we were going to slowly cook ourselves happy in the oven of Arizona? Surrounded by cacti and mesquite? Or explore all of the amazing Asian food options in California? I mean, as soon as this paperwork says we can, right?

When we started planning our move, it was with the understanding that it would happen if it was meant to happen. That if God agreed that the move was the best thing for us to do, we’d have minimal issues making it happen. So, though my sails were deflated, I had to read the signs in front of me. This job in DC was an excellent opportunity for Ian and he really wanted to get it. So, perhaps my frantic goal for heading west this year is misguided. Or just untimely maybe. Either way, I have to be able to let it go and stop the overplanning, darnit!
As things have worked out, Ian has gotten this new job and we’re staying put. He’s even made a video to help announce this exciting new chapter in his career.
As for me? The disappointment is there, sure, but I have to say that it feels a lot better not having to do all of that blasted paperwork.


  1. Rachel wrote:

    I love it!

    Isn’t is always the way that when you start making plans, they end up having to be scrapped in favor of a an even better pathway that you never would have been able to plan for anyway. One wonders why plan for anything anyway. But then our overdeveloped skills in organizing and creating order would flounder. Its good to have some direction to concentrate on anyway in whatever meantime, to prevent insanity and to open oneself for those unexpected surprises that can taste so much sweeter.

    Monday, November 8, 2010 at 10:02 pm | Permalink
  2. Evin wrote:

    Love the video. Congrats on Ian’s job. Relocation comes when you least expect it – kinda like love only with more boxes. Sending you hugs from across the pond!

    Sunday, January 9, 2011 at 1:12 pm | Permalink
  3. Joe wrote:

    I never knew this at all. I’m very glad that God kept you close by.

    Friday, April 22, 2011 at 9:01 pm | Permalink

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