Even though we had discussed the possibility of moving to St. Louis, in my mind, we weren't brave enough to actually do it. That is, leave this city that we love - Jonathan's parents, our friends, our awesome church community - to start all over again.
Most of our couple friends in Memphis went to school with Jonathan (and are therefore older than me), which means there isn't much transience in the group. Just about everyone is settled in "for the long haul," living in their grown-up houses with kids in school and jobs permanently locked into place. And I have to say, I had a good vision of how our future here would look. I could see the people with whom our kids (and us!) would grow up, envision the schools our kids might attend, think about the neighborhoods in which we might buy our "grown-up" house.
But instead, we are throwing away that vision and replacing it with a big question mark. We have no idea who our friends will be or who our kids' friends will be or where our kids will go to school or where we'll live or where we'll go to church. On a lesser level than that, we don't even know the way around the new part of town we'll live in (about 25 minutes away from where I grew up) - I don't know where a grocery store is or a pediatrician or a vet or a Target or even what the main road is that travels through the town. And if you can't imagine it yourself - let me tell you, it's really scary!
I keep telling myself that it will be fine. We'll make friends (at some point), we'll learn our way around, we'll find a new church, we'll find new doctors, etc. But part of me doesn't want to do that because I'm perfectly content with the way things are in Memphis.
Another thing that is hard to wrap my mind around is the fact that this is permanent. We aren't just casually uprooting our whole lives to then come back in a year or two. This is the real thing. And the real thing is a big, fat question mark - awesome!
There's a certain level of adventure, of course, which adds some excitement to the scary. And I'm elated to be able to send Bates to public school. I'm also elated to live in an area with less of a crime rate than where we live in Memphis (ie, hopefully there won't be a "Cyber Report" from the police of crimes committed within a mile of my house that gets sent out every single day [literally]).
I know there's some saying that true growth can't actually happen until you step out of your comfort zone, so I'm looking forward to that. I think we can grow as a family, and Jonathan and I can both grow individually as we navigate this new life. So there is a lot of good with the bad - the move is, in a very true sense of the word, bittersweet.
Any prayers and/or positive thoughts would be gladly accepted as we close this chapter in Memphis and open a new one in "the north." I think I'm still in a little bit of shock, ha.