It’s been about three and a half months since I moved from Illinois to Phoenix and finally my life feels like it is settling into a routine; I have a full-time job that I really like, I’m going to CrossFit four to five times a week, I see my family as much as I can now that we are near by each other, and I’m studying Hungarian in my free time. Suddenly I have a pretty full life and I no longer feel like I’m in limbo waiting for the next thing. The funny thing is, in less than four months I’ll be taking off to start all over again making a new life in Budapest.
On the new job . . .
I’m working for an online university advising students who have been out of attendance and are looking to come back. The job is part academic advisor, part life coach, and part support system. I sought out this position because it seemed like the perfect stepping stone to my (other) ideal job which is advising college students in studying abroad. As far as I can tell, I’m getting great experience that would really help me next time around in my job search. Except that I’m moving abroad and don’t foresee a time in the near future where I would be in the U.S. looking for this type of job.
Also, I am almost 34 years old and this is my very first office/desk job. I have to say, it’s everything I ever fantasized (as a teacher) that a desk job would be. I start at the very civilized hour of 9:30 am giving me plenty of time to drink coffee, make breakfast, and enjoy my morning before heading to work. I’m not “on” the minute I walk in the door; that is, I get to my desk, check some email, grab a cup of coffee, and slowly ease in to my work day. I can go to the bathroom any time I like, and I have a full hour for lunch, plus two 15 minute breaks–all uninterrupted. When I go home, all of my work is left at work–even email doesn’t come home with me! It’s amazing. (Teachers, you get what I’m saying!).
On CrossFit . . .
I love my new box and I love the community that I have found. It was really hard leaving my first box in Illinois and my first CrossFit family, but slowly this new group of people has grown on me. In February I finally got my attendance back up to 4-5 times a week and I feel like I’m progressing rapidly now. I’m about to do my first Whole Life Challenge and I’m pretty excited about that.
On life in Arizona . . .
The first time around (when I moved here for college) I hated Arizona. I compared the scenery to California and found it didn’t measure up. I was fantasizing about what college would have been like in NYC. I spent so much of my time studying abroad or preparing to study abroad that my focus was on Italy/Europe/traveling and not enjoying my time there for what it was. I hated what I called “the sprawling chaos” of Phoenix. I really did not like Arizona at all. This time, I’m finding that I like Arizona more than I ever thought I could. It helped, of course, that I left the Midwest just before the start of the never-ending winter and was enjoying 80 degree days in January. The slight change in location from the suburbs of Phoenix to central Phoenix helped a lot, too. The neighborhood where I am living with my sister has fun bars and restaurants that I would hope to find in any great city; it’s a young crowd and there is always somewhere new to try.
A few weeks ago I was out celebrating the last workout of the CrossFit Open at an outdoor bar with some of the members of my box, and one of the coaches and I got into a conversation about how we both loved NYC but for him it was a better place to visit than to live. Standing there in the sunshine with drinks in hand it was almost hard to argue. It’s a pretty good life here in Arizona, and compared to living abroad or living in a city like New York, it’s certainly easy.
On my new car . . .
Now that I only have three and a half months until I leave for Budapest, I finally have my car situation sorted. I had been driving my mom’s car since January when I got here, but it was time to give that back and get something of my own. I didn’t know what to do since I only needed a car for about six months. I didn’t want to buy something only to have to turn around and sell it. I found out about lease swaps and ended up being able to take over the end of someone’s lease who wanted out. Just by pure luck I ended up with a Mini Cooper and for the first time in my life I am in love with my car. I want to keep it forever and ever. But alas, in a few months I’ll be giving it back.
On starting a new adventure . . .
So, even though my life is really sorted at the moment and I could be happy here for a while, adventure calls. If I stayed it would only be a matter of time before I would be looking for the next thing. Some people fear change but I fear lack of change. When I hear people talk about wanting to buy their “forever home” or settle down in a place, I just can’t relate. Actually, it makes me cringe a little. I would rather have a life of constant change, rather than an easy or predictable life. I don’t know if that will change someday or not, but for now I can’t really imagine it happening. I think that is why international teaching is the perfect job for me. You can have some adventure and challenge yourself by putting yourself in new situations while putting down (semi-permanent) roots in a new place. You can stay in your new home for a short while or a long while. There are endless possibilities and you don’t really ever have to make that one choice that rules all the others out.