Monday, January 22, 2007

My Life Monday - The return!

Welcome back to My Life Monday! I'm so excited to be up and running again. This weeks topic is "Where I live and how I got there." I'm so excited to read your stories! If you participate, be sure to put your link below so we can all check our your bloggy. And don't forget to check the bottom for next weeks topic.

When I graduated from college, I had lived in the same town in south-east Idaho my entire life. I was single, unfettered, and ready for a change. I knew I wanted to move away with my new job, mainly to find a new market of single men. I had three criteria for my ideal job - teaching in a high school, within an hour of a big city, and no more than 3 hours away from my home town. I REALLY wanted to be on the Wasatch front in Utah, but was open to other possibilities, so I started peppering cover letters and resumes to various locations. My college had a website where you could search for job openings. Often times, it would just tell you the school district and that it had multiple secondary listings. Any job posting with either history or English listed on it, I sent off a resume. Being naive about geography, I thought nothing in Utah was more than an hour or so from Provo or Salt Lake, with the exception of St. George. That misconception was my downfall and led me to where I currently live - what I lovingly refer to as the armpit of Utah, also known as the edge of hell.

By July, I still didn't have a job. I had interviewed for several, but none were jobs I really wanted or felt good about. One was located in a really small town where I would need to get several small school endorsements to be able to teach more than just my major or minor. The town was so small they told me I would be living with a family since there were no apartments in the town. Another was an alternate school (not tough enough). Others were looking for people to also coach or were part time only. Finally, I interviewed for a job which met all my criteria. The interview went so well I was confident I would be offered a job. They were also hiring a new principal, so it would be awhile before I heard for sure, as the new principal would probably want to call me back for a second interview.

Not long after this interview, I was at home praying over this job when the phone rang. Hoping it was news on this job, I was surprised to be talking to a principal from a school in redneck land. He had my cover letter and resume and wanted to ask me some questions. While trying to do a phone interview, the phone kept cutting out on his end. We'd be able to talk for a few minutes and the phone would cut out again. Finally, after much frustration on his end, he asked me to have my transcript sent to him and he would call for my placement file (the placement file is all student teacher evaluations and letters of recommendation kept at the college. It is kept confidential from the person, so I never knew what mine said). Two hours after doing this, he called me back, said he had a job for me, told me what the pay would be, and said he would call back Monday to see if I accept.

Needless to say, I was in shock after getting off the phone. No real interview and I had a job offer. I pulled out a map to see where this redneck town was located. I was shocked to see that it met none of my criteria - I would be teaching in a junior high, be 6 hours from my home town, and three hours from a big city. I wanted to turn down the job on that alone, but my wise mom told me this was my first firm offer and maybe we should just go check it out since I had a job interview two hours away from there in a few days. So we did.

I was dead set against this job. Before I left, I prayed that I would have my heart softened and know this was the place for me if there is where the Lord wanted me. We drove in to check out the town and immediately I knew. I went from saying "if" I move there to "when" I move there. My mom had the same impression. We started checking out apartments and picking up applications.

Although I had that impression, it was still a hard thing to do. I had never lived away from home before and now I would be 6 hours away. I knew nobody in the town. The thought of being completely alone was terrifying. After accepting the job, I found out I had a week to get moved there. My parents were wonderful and helped me get everything ready to go. I didn't have much - a bed, dresser, night stand. My mom bought me a wicker love seat, two chairs, and a table to take with me. They also gave me their old kitchen table and loaded me up with everything I would need to survive my first few months until a paycheck came. In a huge caravan of three cars (my car, minivan holding food, and a u-haul), we traveled out here. I'll never forget the moment when all the boxes were unloaded, my utilities turned on (with the help of my dad who ran me around to figure it all out), and my fridge stocked with food. With one final family prayer, my parents and siblings said goodbye and drove off, leaving me alone. I sat down and cried thinking, "What have I done to my life."

Shortly before moving to the edge of hell, Utah, I had an impression I would meet my husband there and that was why I needed to move there. After my first day at institute classes (they at least had that available), I sorely hoped that impression was wrong as I was surrounded by cowboys and rednecks. The first few months were lonely, hard ones. I cried almost every time I talked to my mom. Several times I almost packed it up and went home. I didn't make friends easily since I was older than many and they had been friends for years, so they were not so welcoming to a new person. In the darkest times when I was so sad and lonely, I turned to prayer.

Eight months after moving here, I met the man who would become my husband. Thank heavens he was not a cowboy or redneck! Recently divorced, we started a family home evening group for others like us - slightly older and with no local family. Eight months after meeting we got engaged and eight months after that, we were married.

I still don't love this town. Although I have come to appreciate many of its amenities, I am too much of a city girl to stay here forever. I miss real shopping, real culture like theater opportunities, and I miss real dining in nice restaurants. It's been a good town for me in many ways, but I look forward to moving after Mark completes his bachelors degree. We're both in agreement that we are ready to leave this place at that point.

Next week's topic - define yourself. Isn't that an open ended, hard topic? How do you define who you are? What makes you define yourself in those terms? Have those terms changed or do you want them to change?
How would you like to define yourself in the future? Share with us!

Please share your stories and leave your link below for this week.


Nikkie said...

I'm glad to see MLM back! I enjoyed reading your story

MelnHead said...

Fun to read! :) I still cry over where I live now... LOL! :) Maybe when i've lived here 8 mos it will be better?

Anyhow, I'll be playing next week!

Jane said...

It sounds like you have gotten the best the town has to offer! I am a big fan of moving now. I have moved a few times and each time I grow so much from the experience. THere is another town out their with more like minded people.I am not sure I could live somewhere rural anymore. I am scared of the dark- truly, when you always live near a big city (NYC & LA) you never really expereince DARK nights. Once a boyfriend from rural NH took me home to meet his family. That night, we were outside in the dark and he left me alone just for a few minutes. I seriously could not see my own hands! I was so freaked out! It's all what you are used to. Car alarms are my crickets!

Andrew said...

I live in New Brunswick, where I was born. My wife was born here. Our children were born here.

Hmmm... I'll have to work on the plot. So far the story is too predictable. I don't know, perhaps we should consider moving somewhere we weren't born. :o)

Love the theme!

Maine Mom said...

I'm sorry the adjustment to a new town was rough, but I think the outcome was worth it :-) It will be fun to see where you end up in the future.

Dawnyel said...

I was going to do this, but I just got SO distracted....I'll definately have to play next week!
I always thought you were kidding when you called your hometown "the armpit of Utah," but now I know bettter!!

Manikandan said...

Hi .nice blog.I need to find jobs .can anybody send links of that job websites....
Thank you.....