I was thinking on the drive home tonight about an old friend. (Well, maybe she’s “someone I used to know” now. We haven’t had any contact in 12 or so years.) She and her husband moved to Colorado a few years ago. I don’t know whether it was for a job, or for the excitement of it, or some other reason. She’s got roots here, though, including family—so it wasn’t without trade-offs.
I thought about the adventures to be had in both urban and rural Colorado. Then I considered for a moment how blessed I feel to be in northern Alabama—to have a career here, to be raising a family here.
I arrived at age 15, with my father, in August 1986. The population of Huntsville has grown a good bit since then, but the population of the metropolitan area has doubled. We are rapidly closing on half a million people. It’s a significantly larger city than the one I moved to. Yet I’ve grown with it. I’ve called myself a native for 20 years or so now, and it still feels like my home.
A lot of the blessings are easy-to-measure metrics. The crime rate is low. The cost of living is low. The job market is excellent. I have a choice of good Vietnamese and Thai restaurants. A big one for me, though, is more abstract:
There are several things I still want to do in my life, and I can effectively do them here.
I haven’t exactly considered them dreams, or wishes, or anything else—they’ve just been things I think I’d like to do. Well, it’s time to call them goals. It’s time to codify them. It’s time for me to identify manageable chunks that I can check off. It’s time for me to clear obstacles (some of which have been obvious to me for some time yet I dared not call them by name).
I’ve made racket like this to myself before. I know it’s different this time because I’m much more excited than I’ve ever been.
I’ll keep you posted.