“With opportunity comes change, and with change comes opportunity.”
This phrase has been echoing through my head the last few days as I’ve been absorbing, processing, and planning for our upcoming move from Austin, Texas to Richmond, Virginia. The opportunity was unexpected, and we are enthusiastic about the change.
Our cross-country move is precipitated by Dave receiving an interesting job offer. He is a chemical patent attorney, who has been working in the law firm enviroment since finishing law school. While he loves the work, the hours can be quite demanding. This new opportunity allows him to maintain his role, but as an in-house attorney for a great chemical company. Rather than working billable hours with a firm, he’ll be working salaried hours with a company (wahoooo!)
What this job change means for our family is being able to see a lot more of the best husband, father, and friend in the world. For that, I’d go anywhere! We’re super lucky that the opportunity is somewhere really cool like Richmond.
Although I feel a little bit like we’re stepping off our current pathway into the woods, I know new and exciting opportunities await. One one hand, I can hardly believe that we are going to be moving. On the other, now that it is decided, this choice felt so natural that I can’t imagine staying put.
Decisions are funny that way. When they are right, everything seems to flow in that direction, and the process feels so much easier than it otherwise might have. It is a huge blessing to feel at peace about such a big change, with so much to do and so many moving parts. It is sentimental and emotional, and also really exciting.
When we made the move to Austin four years ago, the plan was to stay awhile. We may have even tossed around the word “forever” casually.
We bought a plot of land, built a home, and set to work putting down roots. I introduced myself at local boutiques and began teaching workshops. We met the neighbors, and registered for school. I installed a vintage chandelier in Plum’s room (before she was born) that I imagined her waking up to for years to come.
We had chosen Austin, and felt like it had also chosen us. We made the decision to move from the bustling DC area, anxious for a little slower pace, a little lower cost of living, and a little more room to run. We found all three and more in this city that immendately won our hearts (and stomaches!)
The last four years have lived up to the ideal. We dug right in, discovering and sharing favorite restraunts, attractions, spots around town, and weekend gettaways. I planted fruit trees in the yard and have watched, awed, as they produced. Slowly at first; two figs, then six. This year the fig tree is overflowing. I might just get to taste a few before we say goodbye.
I would love to have an overwhelming reason that Austin isn’t the right place for us anymore, but I don’t.
What I have is the steady feeling that there awaits something better that we haven’t yet discovered. The anticipation of change has already begun to build some enthusiasm for me. And some anxiety, if I’m being honest. But more than anything, I feel a hopeful peace that this new chapter is one we will cherish.
While we have loved every minute of our time in this beautiful city, we are looking forward to discovering another. This opportunity presents myriad changes in our life, and those changes feel accompanied by new and exciting opportunities waiting to unfold.
Having lived for 4 years in Alexandria, Virginia (which we always sort of lumped into “the DC area”) just before we moved to Austin, we are a little bit familiar with the Richmond area. We visited a couple times, had friends an hour away in Charlottesville. I’m really looking forward to exploring a new city.
We hear all good things about the creative culture in Richmond, as well as the bustling food scene, family friendly activities, slow pace of life, moderate climate, and proximity to the beach and the mountains (two hours in either direction!) I’ve always said I could be happy anywhere, because I truly believe that happiness is something we create and carry with us. It is nice to have some help from a city with great personality, though, as it appears Richmond will be.
The plan for the next couple months is a whirlwind. We’re planning to visit Richmond as a family on a discovery adventure, then come home and sell our house, spend July with family in Utah, and then settle down in Virginia in August. No end of the crazy in sight!
The opportunity is bringing a lot of change, and the change will bring opportunity.
Rather than trying to recreate the life we’ve had in Austin, I am excited to thoughtfully consider what changes we’d like to make in our lifestyle, home, hobbies, and family adventures. Of course, there are core values and interests that guide all of our decisions. And there are also new and interesting ideas we can begin to implement with this new chapter.
We’ve decided to rent a home in Virginia for the first little while, both to take the pressure off of finding and buying something right away, and to allow us a chance to really decide what we want that to look like. I’d love to do a great fixer upper…that would take some time!
Renting a home itself brings a lot of opportunity. What if we decided to rent a tiny-house? Knowing it is temporary, we could take our minimalism experiment to a new level for a while and see how we like living intentionally not only with less stuff, but also in less space!
I don’t know what we’ll end up deciding. It feels exciting to have some decisions to make, though. I was so comfortable with life rolling along easily and beautifully in Austin. And it is time to shake it up and progress even more as a family on this new adventure.
We feel incredibly grateful both for the life we’ve been living, and the new one that awaits. Great opportunities and big changes. Wish us luck!
Five Days to Freedom: Tips for Choosing Less Stuff and More Adventure in your Daily Life
Five lessons with practical tips and exercises to help you feel more in control of your life!