Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Houston, We Have a Problem

When I got divorced 4 1/2 years ago, I was living in Killeen near Fort Hood because that was where my ex had been stationed for the previous 2 years.  I had a house and a job and I could have stayed there if I wanted to.  However, I knew it wasn't the place for me and I began my search to relocate.  A lot of people were surprised that I didn't just pack my bags and head back to Alabama.  Instead, I viewed this as an opportunity to explore a little bit.  I was a 30 year single professional with no commitments to tie me to any one place.  I could spread my wings and fly so to speak.  So I started seeking job opportunities in places I thought it would be fun to live: New York City, Orlando, Dallas, Austin.  I could go anywhere and do anything and I was looking forward to starting a new chapter in my life.

One of the first jobs I applied for was in Austin and was very similar to the job I was working in Killeen.  I figured I could at least leverage the position as a pay increase at my current position that would hold me over until I was ready to make a move at the end of the year.  However, I didn't expect them to make me an offer I couldn't refuse and, the next thing I knew, I was commuting 60 miles from my house in Killeen to my office in Northwest Austin each day.  Six weeks later with a packed moving van, I pulled into my new apartment 10 minutes from my new job.  Life in Austin was starting out great.

The Austin move made a lot of sense for me.  It was close enough that I could still easily monitor my house in Killeen while it was on the market but still far enough away that I wasn't part of the military life anymore.  Also, my brother had moved to Austin with his wife, a native Austinite, earlier in the year after his return from his second tour in Iraq.  In that sense, it was really a no brainer since I had family here and my parents would only have to travel to one place to visit us both.  Now my brother and I both have little boys that are 6 months apart and I was really excited about cousins getting to grow up so close in age and location.  What fun for them!

I got news a couple of weeks ago that my brother accepted a job in Houston and they will be moving some time this summer.  To say I am sad is an understatement.  My brother and I haven't always gotten along the best but it was always nice to know I had someone here if I really needed them.  Houston is close but it isn't as close as they are now so family visits and watching our boys grow up together isn't going to happen like I thought it would.

Their move also has me rethinking our situation.  With Mom's illness, I am really wanting to be closer to home.  I am having a really hard time being away from her right now when I feel like she needs me the most.  I also know I would love having Jackson closer to my parents so he can grow up knowing them.  However, moving isn't in the cards for us with Chris still on probation for patrol.  He would have to completely start over with a new department if we moved and I don't want to ask him to do that.  I guess we will just have to take this an opportunity to find a new place to visit.

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