Have you ever been on a roller coaster? Do you love or hate them? I find that most people feel very strongly one way or the other. I pretty much love them – take me on a good whirl and swoop de swoop with high high peaks followed by wild, fast plummets to the bottom. Hear me exclaim with delight as I enjoy a hair-whipping experience that makes me dizzy and leaves me wondering where my equilibrium went after I turned 25 : )
But I still get on. Because you know, it’s worth it.
The thing about roller coasters, at least the ones at theme parks, is that they can be ridden at will. You decide. You can ride once, twice, or not at all.
But, sometimes, you can’t decide. Especially when your married-to-the-military-life is the roller coaster.
Every move – every new city – is the beginning. You board the coaster, heart beating fast with anticipation. You secure your seat belt, store your valuables, and prepare for a journey. You pull away from the loading zone and it’s a slow steady climb. Each inch you rise you see something different, a new perspective on what’s before and below you. And then you get to the top where there’s a brief, dramatic pause – and boy, the things you can see from there! But all too soon you’re on the descent and with a zoom swish around the loop you’re back again to where you started.
But you’re never really back at the beginning, because in the time it took you to get to the top and return again you’ve changed. And it’s often for the better.
That’s what my life is like (ok – a slightly dramatized version, sure, but still a good analogy!). We arrive, we settle, we pull up roots, we leave. Repeat. From Columbia SC to Goldsboro NC to Dayton OH to Valdosta GA and now, after a serious stint on the east coast, it’s time again to move on from the place we’ve called home to the next place where we’ll do the same. Yes, it’s true. We’re headed to Tucson, Arizona.
There’s never a doubt in my mind that every relocation, every bend in the road, every undiscovered delight in new people and new places and new climates and new (gasp) shopping options is an opportunity to grow, to embrace life, to live fully. I never regret moving on when I look back, because every place has taught me something about myself and my purpose. But in the moment I am always sad to leave – to walk away from the familiar, to restart the business, to leave friends who are dear to me and clients who have become friends. But moving is a chance for reinvention, and how many people truly have the opportunity to do that? To move to a new location and be a better version of themselves? I consider it a blessing, though it doesn’t always feel like that at the start.
Yes, life – my life – is kind of like a roller coaster. But I’m here. For the peaks and valleys and highs and lows. And since I’m here I might as well enjoy the ride. The view from the top is totally worth it.
Valdosta – I’ll miss you. But I’ll be back .
Tucson, Arizona – I’m ready. Are you? ; )