So…we purchased a house. We closed last week. It’s been an overwhelming but interesting experiment. And I’m excited about what this means for us – I think renting is great, but there are certain things we haven’t been able to do while we’ve lived here. Like find reliable parking that is close to our place. Like buy a chest freezer so I can make freezer meals. Like have a basement where we can work on DIY projects. Like have my own closet that I can configure shelves in and organize the way that I want.
But then I look at my friends and one of them is preparing to move to rural Kenya and do something awesome. And a woman on my hockey team was just named the ambassador to a country in Africa. Another friend just got back from a year teaching in Indonesia. One friend is in Vietnam with the state department. I watch them and wonder if maybe we missed our chance to do something epic, something that would have fundamentally shifted the way we live our lives or view the world. Something that would have pulled us out of our comfort zone.
I remind myself that there is a good chance that the Peace Corps will still be there when we retire, when we’ve paid off our house and it’s much less risky to give up everything we have for anything we want. I remind myself that travel is still available to us, that right now I’m living my own dream, in which my hard work and training pays off in ways I never expected.
I remind myself that putting down roots in a community and striving to make that community better over the next 10 years is as important as teaching halfway around the world for a year. That there are plenty of futures to impact here. That there is a lot to be done in my own backyard, now that I have one.
I remind myself also that my marriage came first this time. Because the chances that we could find an adventure that equally suited both of our career goals were slim. And that is one of the reasons I stopped looking for peace corps placements, for international jobs, for adventures. Because what might have been two steps forward for one of us is a step back or sideways for the other, and we have committed to helping each other move forward.
So we are moving. Moving boxes, moving forward, moving out, moving, up. There will always be choices I didn’t make and roads I didn’t take, and settling down doesn’t always mean settling and settling isn’t always a bad thing.