It’s almost October – this was the same time last year that we moved from Orlando, Florida up to the Commonwealth of Virginia via the Amtrak Autotrain. The dates even kind of match up…we moved up, then hubs and I both started our new jobs on Monday, October 4, 2010 – mine in Washington DC, and his in Herndon, VA.
We lived in a condo about a mile from the Springfield-Franconia Metro station. Every morning, around 7 AM, hubs would drive me to the station, I’d pick up my copy of Express and I’d ride the Blue line into the city. At the Pentagon, I’d switch to the Yellow line to L’Enfant Plaza, just in time to take the elevator up to the office suite I worked in for an 8:15 AM start.
I was assigned a 30 minute lunch, but since my hours didn’t “officially” begin at the desk until 8:30 AM, I took it upon myself to adjust my time and take 45 instead. I packed my lunch everyday – something easy to carry, along with a big bottle of water – and I would take a stroll down to the National Mall or the Smithsonian Castle. Some days, when it was colder, I would pop in to the smaller exhibits…but when the sun was shining brightly, it was great to take a bench out there on the Mall and just people watch or read.
The job was a no-brainer, but hey, I was used to that. Signed for deliveries. Sent out some packages. Signed people in. Answered the phone.
When the day was over, I hopped back on the Metro. Read from my nook – thought about what I’d make for dinner, what we might be up to that weekend…you know, important stuff.
Life was pretty simple – but unfortunately, hubs wasn’t in the best of positions. He was awaiting an assignment at work and in the interim, he was working from home, doing training and whatever else he could get his hands on. He didn’t care for the traffic (who does) and wasn’t the biggest fan of the area in general. Before we knew it, he was being contacted by some folks down in Charlottesville, VA – there was an office there that could use his skills. We thought about it, but hey, we had just moved. Why move again? we decided to take a little roadtrip down to see how we liked it.
We liked it well enough – did the standard tour down the Downtown Mall, had lunch at Whole Foods, you know…important stuff. We stayed in Waynesboro because it was a busy weekend in town and we wanted to see the Blue Ridge Mountains. Before we left, we had dinner at Mellow Mushroom, too…we could see ourselves possibly moving there.
Time went into some kind of warp, because those thoughts turned into discussions, and those discussions turned into decisions. This was also about the time that I discovered Kath’s blog, which reassured me that Cville could be an alright place to live. We went through the motions, and that last weekend in November, we were up and out of Northern Virginia, moving that 100 miles South to Central VA. If moving was hectic enough, OH YEAH, I ran an 8K right in between the two ends of second big move of 2010 for us.
Driving from NoVa to Williamsburg to Charlottesville is no joke! But, we did it. We had a lovely weekend stay at Kingsmill Resort and felt refreshed and ready for our new chapter in life! Hubs had found us a nice condo nearby his work and since I was sans job when we arrived, I was able to do all the unpacking and such, while he started his new position. Also, I was glad that this break in work for me meant that I was able to go home to Japan for the holidays! It was the first time I was back in more than three years.
I was home for a few weeks and it was great – Christmas, New Years…all that good stuff. I came back to Virginia with a day and a half to spare before hubs and I hopped right back on a plane down to Florida, where I ran my first Half Marathon at Walt Disney World.
We stayed in Florida for a few days, then it was back to Virginia. I laid low for a few weeks, recovering from a cold and also undergoing my wisdom teeth extraction surgery. A few weeks later, I was contacted about a new job opportunity and by February, 7, 2011, I was once again gainfully employed.
Life in Charlottesville since then has had its ups and downs – no doubt, we’ve been lucky in many ways – but in a year, I have to be honest: I thought I’d feel a lot more…settled. Stable. Adapted. Instead, I still somehow feel like a tourist, on some extended vacation in a place that I don’t really think of as home – by no fault of anyone, really.
Maybe it’s just an extended feeling of wanderlust or some kind of delayed quarter-life crisis, but it’s hard to pinpoint exactly what to feel about it all.
What does settled mean to you?