I'm the kind of person who tends to get attached to a place. Many people in my life have called me a "nester," because I quickly go about making a new place my home. Those tendencies make it a real emotional struggle when I have to decide whether to stay or pick up and move. For quite some time, I've felt a need to get out of my current life situation and start afresh someplace else. My moving dreams have been focused on the Pacific Northwest, with the hilly, forested landscapes that remind me of home and the lure of the Pacific Ocean.
This summer has been one of the best summers I can ever recall. And this has been because of a mix of wonderful encounters with musical friends both here in the Appalachian hills and on the northern Pacific coast. I've felt myself pulled in two directions. One moment, I'm certain that I'm packing up and moving across this great continent to seek new adventures. The next moment, I'm blissfully content in the love of my mountain friends and family, and I can't imagine why I'd ever want to leave.
One factor that has been playing into my urge to move is my need for romance. Living far out in the mountains, a girl doesn't come across many romantic opportunities. I get lonely, and since I'm not big on dating people I really don't feel connected to, I can go on being lonely for a very long time out here. I have been jokingly telling friends, "I'm going to move to Oregon to find myself a man and bring him back to Kentucky." While that may be partially part of my motivation, I wasn't planning to move just to improve my chances of finding a partner. I have been thoroughly burned out at work, and I have been looking for an out for quite some time.
Some unexpected twists have happened, and somehow all the decisions made themselves for me. First off, I've met a fellow who I feel connected to on so many levels that I can't believe I put up with all those past dating experiences (which now seem excruciating). I never knew it could be so easy to fall for somebody. He doesn't live here, but he certainly lives closer to KY than OR, and I do love to take road trips.
On the work-issue, I have found an "out," but it also wasn't the one I expected. I'm going to stay here, for one more year, and I'm going to follow my heart's work by taking a job working with the Cowan Community Center/Cowan Creek Mountain Music School. I know the energy of the folks I'll work with at the community center will revitalize my spirit, and I'm looking forward to working with such a vibrant team to develop ways to make our community a better place for us all. I'll be keeping up my other job on a part-time basis, and I'm going to submit applications to PhD programs for next fall.
Somehow it has worked out so that it seems I'm going to get to choose all the options I thought I was struggling to choose between. I get to stay. I get to fall in love. I get to plan to embark on a new adventure someplace yet to be known.
Wow, isn't it crazy how life works itself out no matter how much your brain tries to interfere?