Monday, February 28th, 2011
On a Friday in late October, I quit my job.
Now before you get all excited and begin living vicariously through the potential excitement of a year-long road trip or finally realizing my dream of opening a banana stand…
I started a new job 3 days later.
But before we get any further, let’s pause for a second and fill you in on a little background to this story. My wife Caley has worked remotely doing public relations with a successful real estate auction company for almost two years now. It’s a great job, and the perks of working from anywhere are hard to beat. Keep this last point in mind, I’ll reference it soon. Keyword: anywhere.
Also, you should know that I miss my old job at the university. I miss going to work everyday with coworkers I call friends. But a change needed to happen, and Caley and I both felt like it was time to leave Henderson. We have been happy here, we have great friends here, but we have never felt like we made sense here, either. So we began thinking about what was next.
And this is the part of the story where I’ll introduce you to a new keyword: adventure.
From the start of planning this change, our goal was to find an adventure. We’ve been neck deep in a small-town-sized rutt, and we needed to dig out. So we did like they do in the movies: We got a big map, put it on the wall, and shot darts at it and said “OK, where to?” (Seriously, we did this). In the end, we ruled it down to 5 places (in order of least to greatest level of our new word, adventure): Nashville, Chattanooga, Atlanta, Asheville and Denver.
Nashville was smart and safe and close. Chattanooga was close and smart and safe. Atlanta was big. Asheville we loved. And Denver was the long-shot, crazy-talk, life adventure. See, I said it again. Adventure.
So the hunt was on. Long story short, I had a lot of good leads, but we decided to move to Asheville. I had a job offer there. Then by chance I found a great listing for a company with roots in Denver. It was a full telecommute position doing design work for nonprofit groups. I was sold. And I was lucky enough to get the job.
Now, because of Caley’s job and my new gig, we could move anywhere. Did I say anywhere? Oh, right, I did. Anywhere. We could move to London. We could get an RV and tour the west. We could still move to Asheville, but we could also move to New York and sing old broadway tunes all the way there just like the movies. So we put the map back on the wall.
I’ll do this whole “long story short” thing again and say we decided to keep our original list of cities. It had been our list for good reasons, no need to go changing it now, though we had all but decided that Nashville wasn’t an option anymore. It didn’t score high enough on the “adventure” or “anywhere” meters.
But there was one place that we had yet to explore, so we got on a plane to the last city on our list: Denver. We feel in love. We went house shopping. My job is based there, so it made sense. And it wasn’t in Tennessee, so it would indeed be filed under “Adventure” in the scrapbook we’ll make when we’re old. The move was on.
Or so we thought… do you know who the opposite of adventure is? I do. His name is Carl.
Let me quickly introduce you to Carl. He is the made up word for what Caley and I call her colon, or more specifically, her battle with ulcerative colitis. UC is a very serious disease that causes some seriously unfriendly ulcers in your colon, and is something that she has been dealing with since we got married (Sorry folks, no correlation there). She has seen doctor after doctor, tried every med on the market, and has had no luck killing Carl yet. But don’t let her toughness fool you, she deals with this very difficult health condition everyday, and it needs to end.
Recently, she was fortunate enough to be admitted to a GI specialty clinic at Vanderbilt, which just happens to be one of the best of its kind in the country. It’s not the kind of place where you just call and set an appointment. They only accept referrals, then you are vetted through an acceptance process, and then you might get in. She got in.
Welcome to the wrench in our story officially wrenching everything up.
What do we do now? Do we pass on the opportunity in front of us to finally kick Carl to the curb and follow our dream of moving west? We’ll find a new doctor out there, right? Or do we move to “Too-smart-and-too-safe-and-too-close-ville” and keep Caley in the program? Based on the big picture, the decision was easy.
Yesterday, we got a place in Nashville.
Her health is more important than mountains, and staying close to family and friends is never a bad thing. We like Nashville, and our new place in a great neighborhood will hopefully be enough of that life change that we’ve been looking for. And truthfully, it’s nice to know where we are going for a while. We have had the
joy trouble of having too many “anywheres” in front of us, so it’s refreshing to make some definitive plans. As we’ve watched the cards fall not-so-cleanly into place, I can only trust that this is where we need to be, and I pray that it is.
Denver, you may be the next adventure, but until then, Nashville, you’re up.
Here’s where we’re headed: 201 32nd Ave. S. Nashville, TN
Living Room Extension:
And Yes, it has a Bike Rack!