I was born in Phoenix, Arizona. We moved to Rogersville, Missouri (Springfield area) when I was just about 14 months old, and lived there until I was eight. I have wonderful memories of that time. We lived on 35 acres, and spent most of our time outside. We even had a horse, a dog, a cat, and some chickens. Fun times!
The summer after I turned eight we moved back to Phoenix. These were probably the most fun years of my youth. I had great friends, good schools, lots of opportunities, and stayed close to the gospel.
When I was 16 we moved back to Springfield. I admit, at the time, I almost didn't go at all. I was so happy in Phoenix, and was involved with a touring performace group called Sound Celebration. We had traveled to L.A. and had just returned from Hawaii. I didn't want to lose that. The directors (an LDS husband and wife team) offered to let me stay at their home, and I had decided that was my plan. However, after singing in church, I really felt that the Lord wanted me to stay with my family. We moved back to Missouri that August.
Throughout my last two years of highschool, I struggled to find friends at church, and ended up dating a guy that had very different standards than I did. During all that time I had a plan to return to Arizona after graduation. I did spend about six weeks there, but couldn't get a job that would support me, so I had to return home to Missouri. I finally took a job as an usher at a theater in Branson. I wanted so badly to be in the show, but had missed the auditions that year, so I took the ushering job, hoping that it would lead to a role later. It did ultimately lead to a role, but it also lead me to Russell.
He was there with the show, having moved from Texas. We had a pretty short courtship, of only a few months, married, lived in Branson for about a year, and then moved to Springfield. After our first two kids were born, I quit performing to stay home with the children. Eventually Russell quit, too, and moved on to a "real job". We lived in Springfield until moving to Texas, along with my parents and grandparents, a couple of years ago.
Now I sort of feel about Springfield the same way I felt about Arizona before. I miss it. It was home. There are things I love about Springfield, and there I are things I don't love. There are also things about Arizona that I love, and things I don't love. And, believe it or not, there are even things I love about Texas!
Here's the thing.
Russell is finally almost done with his MBA. It's been a 4 1/2 year journey, working full-time to support our family, but he will graduate this May. He has been working for AT & T for over 7 years, and we assumed he would stay with them, but now that it's time to start looking, he's open to other options, and now we just have to decide what we want for our future.
That's the question. What do we (I) want? See, as I said, I moved when I was 16 years old, and it was so hard. It nearly "did me in", having to start over at that time of my life. I don't want to do that to my kids if I don't have to. Chandler is 11 years old. He'll be 12 in July. So, I want to be where we're going to be by the end of this year. I want my kids to have the kind of friends that I had before we moved.
Springfield is probably out of the question, because there just aren't many job opportunities there. There should be plenty of jobs here, if we want to stay here, but do we limit ourselves to that option? The question is, am I willing to move away from my parents in order for Russell to get the best job he can get? Hmmm.. I'll just be honest here, I am TERRIFIED to leave my parents! I've always lived near them, and I depend on them for so much. At the same time, there's a part of me that does want to "strike out on my own". Aren't we supposed to leave our parents and cleave unto our spouce? Perhaps I would do more "cleaving" if we were away from our comfort zone.
Arizona still calls sometimes. I miss the strength of the church there. I miss the mountains. I miss the temple at Christmas. I miss Disneyland being only half a day away. Maybe we should be open to that possibility.
Again, it all scares me, and I seem to change my mind a lot. Sometimes I get set on one thing, and it seems set in stone, but then I get too scared and back off. My poor husband just deals with it.
Any thoughts? Sorry about the novel, but I wanted to really think it out, and I wanted all of you to understand where I'm coming from. I really am looking for your thoughts and ideas-