Thursday, August 20, 2015

Why I Moved to Florida

I had no idea this would come as quickly as it did. I am about 1,200 miles away from the people I love, and I chose this. Why? Well…

Maybe it was because of the awful weather we were having. Maybe it was the post-musical depression. Maybe it was because of the bad choices I wanted to run away from. Whatever it was, the possibility I was researching months ago was already in motion. I’ve been living it for almost a month, and I still have some mixed feelings about it. Let’s go back to April 1, 2015.

It was mid-way through my Easter break teaching at St. John Vianney, my home parish, my alma mater, the place I got married. We had just finished our musical and it consumed me. My every thought, my every action and my every dream at night was this musical. Why? I wasn’t even getting paid for it. I wasn’t really even feeling supported by the principal or teachers. It was just another after school activity as far as they were concerned. It was my life. My family knew, my boyfriend knew, and I wasn’t going to stop until it was everything I wanted it to be. I wanted to prove my worth. I wanted the kids to love it, too. I wanted everyone to see what I was capable of. And boy, did I show them. I SHOWED THEM!

That was a Thursday night. The next Wednesday I was on Wikipedia researching “Cities in the United States” to see which ones seemed the most appealing to me. WHY? I just showed my entire community what I could do! Yes, it had been something I wanted to do since before the divorce, not to run away but to start over. And being in another relationship scared me a little. Maybe I wanted to put us to the test to see if it was all worth it. After being divorced, the thought of messing up another relationship is terrifying. Going through that again would destroy me. And I caused it!

So with my list of cities I looked up school districts and the diocese websites to see if they had any music teacher openings. That’s when I found St. John Vianney in Orlando, Florida.

When people hear, “Orlando,” many think “Disney.” Yes, I am one of those “many.” So I was excited. I sent my resume and cover letter, and heard back within the hour. From there I just did way too much research, because when I am excited and happy about something, I am constantly looking up ways to make it happen. However, making it happen was not my thing. I would do a lot of research, have one setback, and quit. Maybe I'd take the setback as a sign. And to be honest, I can’t think of any examples other than looking into moving to Georgia about 2 years ago. A terrible time to actually go through with it also. (In fact, I do remember thinking, “I’ll be SO MUCH CLOSER to Disney!” Funny how things happen.)

As time passed, as the pros and cons list kept growing, and the support of my boyfriend was immeasurable, I had to act. My family was against it, but it was my life in my hands and I had to make the most of it. I flew to Orlando to show them what I had.

I was offered the job and signed a contract while I was there. I found an apartment. I made a friend or two. And when I got home, more research! More planning! All the while my family jumped on board, friends were supportive, and I was in a fast-forward. Suddenly there was no time for anything else. The end of the school year was a joke. I just wanted to get out of there. Being at my parents’ house was a great idea to save money and get back on my feet, but I felt too old for that.

From May 15-July 26, moving to Florida was the story. The new job, the pod, driving down, packing…that was all I could talk about. Think about. No one really asked me anything else, I’m sure because they didn’t care about anything else. And when my boyfriend would cry and be upset because I was moving 1,200 miles away from him, I would not really know what to say. “Come with me” ? I knew he couldn’t. But my mind was so obsessed with the move that thinking about anything else was a waste of time. I had to make sure everything was in place, everything was ready. Why wasn’t I sad about leaving him?

As I sit in my new apartment, almost 9PM on a Thursday, alone, I can’t say where I’d rather be. Do I click my heels three times and wish I was in my old room? Watching NetFlix on my tablet? Wearing a sweatshirt because it’s a little cool this late August night? I really don’t wish that. I could wish for my boyfriend to be here, to spend every moment that I can with him because we are so happy when we’re together. That wouldn’t be fruitful. He has a mission to finish there, and I have a mission to start here. We’re where we are supposed to be. And we’re solid.

Something is missing, for sure, but the answer is unclear. I guess my goal is to figure out what that is. I came here for a reason. There are going to be good days and there are going to be bad days. I just need to trust that my life has given me everything I need to do this on my own.

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