Ever since I was a kid, I had been looking forward to my college experience at BYU. While the college name changed a few times and there was a brief stint of my thinking I could survive in New York City as I tried my hand at Broadway, I pretty much had my heart set on living in Utah forever. Specifically in the Provo or Salt Lake City areas. I felt like they were the perfect combinations of city living, suburban comfort, and mountain ranges. This desire to continue my residence in the area solidified as I gained close friends, found great and fullfilling jobs (including teaching yoga!), and learned more about the different hiking and general sight-seeing that was available.
While I was working, my husband went to school to become a secondary school teacher. He loved his classes and couldn’t wait to become a teacher. However, one of the great tragedies of the US is that we criminally underpay our teachers.* Even though some of the school districts in Utah had started to pay their teachers a little bit more, it wasn’t even close to what they should have been paid, let alone to keep up with the skyrocketing housing prices and general cost of living.
If we had stayed, I would have had to not only keep my job pretty much forever, but more than likely we would not have been able to afford a decent house. I saw a one-bedroom brick house that needed some serious TLC being sold in Provo for over $200,000. When speaking with a bank advisor about our housing buying options, all they could tell me was that I should buy something now because I won’t be able to afford one in the future even with our dual incomes. I knew that I wanted to be at home with my children at least part-time and I also knew that I wanted to be able to enjoy my home and not just work to have a place to sleep in. So when it came time for my husband to interview, we focused our efforts in places with low cost of living and high teacher pay.
And thus Texas. We had at times toyed with the idea of moving to Texas as James’s family lives there, but also because of the housing prices. When we found out that Texas pays its teachers an actual liveable wage, it pretty much sealed the deal for us. James was accepted at a school and we knew we needed to move.
I had to leave everything I had built over the past almost 10 years. Friendships, jobs, routines, family.
I had been wanting to be here since I was a child and here I was choosing to leave it. But I didn’t feel like I had a real choice. Of course, James let me have the final say, and overall it felt like a good decision for our family, but it still hurt so much to make. And it still does.
I hate change. I hate it so much. I know I preach change here on the blog, but that’s usually slower changes, like cleaning or getting into meditation routines. Upheaving your entire home, getting rid of things that you can’t afford to take with you, and leaving everything behind is not the kind of change I’m comfortable with (the two flat tires on the way to Texas didn’t help either). I’m extremely shy and have a social anxiety disorder so it’s difficult for me to make new friends.
On top of all that, Texas highways make no sense! In every other state I’ve been in, exits off freeways are on the right. However, in Texas, you might need to cross over five lanes of traffic right after you got on a highway in order to transfer over to another highway on the left. And heaven forbid you miss your exit because you have to take a turnaround to get back where you just were so you can have another chance at getting over those five lanes of traffic to get to your next exit. WHO DESIGNED THIS??!!
Long story short, I’m terrified of this change. My apartment feels like the weirdest hotel ever–it has some of the stuff that I own, but I feel like everything we gave away/sold is going to be at my old apartment waiting for me when I get back. But there is no going back. My mind is still very much in Provo. This mindset along with my anxieties has paralyzed me to a point where I have a hard time enjoying my free time and adjusting to my new life. I definitely don’t feel like myself, and I feel very much alone.
Thankfully I have some wonderful family members just a few minutes away, a supportive husband, and I’ve managed to meet some new people that I believe can become friends. I definitely have some walls up as I’m adjusting to my new environment and I know that I won’t be able to connect with others and truly embrace this change until they come down. But I also think it’s okay that I take this slowly.
Change is so hard for me; it’s scary and isolating. But I have confidence that I’ll come through it okay.
When have you had to adjust to a huge change? How did you handle it? Do you have any advice for me?
Comment down below.
Thank you for sharing your energy with me today. Namaste.
*One of the main arguments I see against raising pay for our teachers is that they are part-time workers because they get the summer off. For any of you who have been related to a teacher or actually appreciated the work that teachers do, you would know that they are not part-time workers. Their days don’t start when your kids show up and end when the bell rings. They are usually there about an hour before class as they prepare for class, and if they aren’t there before class, they’re staying after class to prepare for the next day, tutor, speak to parents, assist with extracurricular activities, assist with bus pickup, and a myriad of other things. They often have 10-12 hour days including weekends with no overtime pay. Click here, here, and here to read some articles about how teachers spend their time.