Hello again, my often-forgotten blog.
At this point, anyone who cares has probably heard the news, but on the offchance you don’t check Facebook or my Cooking Blog regularly, here it is:
As of November 8th, I will no longer be a resident of Greenfield, MA, but rather a resident of Austin, TX.
This is a big, huge, scary, intimidating, and endlessly exciting change.
I’ve lived in New England for 26 years. I knew if I ended up staying here forever, I’d feel tragically unfulfilled. I remember back to high school, when I assumed I’d go to Smith College, marry my high school boyfriend, and be a Western Masshole forever. That all changed once I went to college in the “big city” of Boston, and the true “seal the deal” experience was when I studied abroad. The world is freaking HUGE, I realized, and confining myself to just this tiny corner would be a shame. I need to get out, explore, live somewhere new, so that when I return I’ll know that it’s because I WANT to live in New England, not because I just fell into it by chance. My mom made me promise that I’ll move back to the East Coast before I start having babies, so that gives me at least 5 years in the Southwest. That’s a good amount of time for soul searching and travel, methinks.
Austin wasn’t the original goal. As you probably know, I’ve been itching to get to California for years. But California never totally made sense to me. I chose it because it was warm, and there were friends there. It wasn’t ideal for the career paths I’d chosen (part-time writer, full time PR/marketing… somethingorother?) and way too expensive to live in. I worry that people will just assume I chose Austin because my best friend from childhood recently moved there (“Is she just copying Jenn?” I can almost hear them say) and while that surely HELPS the decision, it isn’t the be all and end all.
Austin is warm. The winters are mild. It’s greener than I ever expected for a state I assumed was mostly desert and the landscape is gorgeous. And yeah, I have friends there–not just Jenn, but a friend from college, a few friendly friends-of-friends, a welcoming food blogger community that is already offering to show me the local eateries, and some guys I used to party with in Boston. Not to mention, my boyfriend has family there that has graciously offered us a room to stay in while we get on our feet. Plus, the cost of living is low ($700-$1000 for a two bedroom apartment, whereas LA or NYC would charge that PER ROOM), and the economy is booming. Already I’ve had three phone interviews, taken two tests, and have two in-person interviews lined up. Not only are the jobs there, but they ACTUALLY CALL YOU BACK WHEN YOU APPLY. This is a new thing for me. With the endless resumes I’ve sent to NYC and LA when the “need to get my butt out of MA” bug bit, I only ever got one legit interview, and maybe a handful of actual rejections.
Maybe I’ll get to Cali someday, maybe it won’t be LA but rather San Diego or San Fran—but Austin just makes the most sense right now.
And, I finally have someone to share the journey with. I met Cory exactly a year ago, and our one year anniversary is next month. A year, you might say, is not a lot of time to get to know someone enough to move across the country with them. If you’d asked me a year ago, I probably would have agreed. I can’t count the times someone is relaying a love story to me and they say “I met him, and I just knew” and while I would nod and smile, inside I’d be rolling my eyes. I didn’t believe it until it happened to me. We were madly in love from just about the moment we met. A year feels like it’s been forever already. Taking this huge life step together feels more than right. I feel safe with him, I feel loved, and it’s a deeper and more meaningful relationship than any I’ve had in the past.
Here’s how it’s going to go: This week I’ll be in Austin for some interviews. This Monday, Cory will make the drive to Austin in his truck. I’ll be in MA, finishing up my two-ish weeks at my current job and packing and getting rid of stuff. Then, on the 2nd, Cory will fly back to MA, we’ll have our going away party (if you’re a friend, you’re invited, fbook me for details), and then the very next day we drive out in my car.
I’m going to miss Western Mass so much. I’m leaving during the best season, our gorgeous fall. I’m leaving my theater friends, my entire family, and the relationships I’ve grown to love so much. I hope at least some can visit me in my new home!
This blog will become a place for Family and Friends to be updated on my new life in Austin. Still check Quarter Life (Crisis) Cuisine for recipes and tidbits, but I’ll write more longform here about my adventures. Stay tuned 🙂