I got the news and was beside myself. It was almost surreal. I got the call late on a Thursday, a day after a trip back from interviews in Arizona. The first words I heard as I picked up the phone were “Well Sheila, how does it feel to be coming home?” I shouldn’t have been so surprised. After all, I’d been vying for some time to find the right new opportunity within my company and this one was definitely it. My next step along the proverbial ladder and one that would shift my IT career in an entirely new direction. After 4 years of hard work and pure bliss in BEAUTIFUL Alabama, it was time to move on and I knew it in my heart. I’d thought long and hard about the last quarter of my life. Working in technology was in my blood, despite my inner-teenager occasionally reminding me that I should have been a famous pop artist or fashion designer. It’s good to exercise both sides of your brain. I encourage it!
In any event, I accepted the offer without hesitation. I hung up the phone and then…I froze. I was completely elated and utterly terrified at the same time. I’m not one to become attached to places or things. I’m a bit of a nomad and have groomed Ernesto and Maya to be comfortable moving around and taking risks. But this was different. We were actually very happy, content and very well-adjusted now. We bought a new home last year and were enjoying peacefulness and comforts of our new neighborhood and friendly atmosphere. Maya made many wonderful friends and Ernesto really seemed to have found his ultimate ‘groove’ with our very active life and seamless routine. It truly couldn’t have been more perfect.
So here I come and shake it all up. Ernesto is quite accustomed to me dropping ‘out of left field’ news of something that may or may not come to fruition. He takes everything with a grain of salt because I have ambitious thoughts and big ideas. He is the calm, grounded and rational one who always puts things in perspective. But this was very real and very much about to happen. “Honey, we’re moving back home!” I called and told him. I think he was about as much in shock as I was. The reality of leaving Alabama was scary because, despite what people might think about my husband’s hope to get back to Arizona one day, we became very attached to Huntsville. He would tell me, “Well, we’re here for a while so I might as well enjoy it!” It’s one of the BEST towns to raise a family. Hands down. One of THE BEST. Schools are top notch. I know I sound like an Chamber of Commerce advertisement but with I mean this with every thread of my being. Maya, who loves math and science, was very much influenced by the STEM vibe of the town and her grades have never been better. After all, they don’t call it “Rocket City” for nothing!
But here’s the thing. We’re not just moving anywhere. We’re moving home to family. To our roots. To the sunny, gorgeous desert. The drawbacks are essentially null and the truth is, Maya will thrive anywhere she goes. She has very supportive grandparents and extended family who love her and look out for her. It gives me peace of mind to know this. I’m incredibly excited for my new opportunity and know that it will take me in the right direction. I want to be a good role model for my daughter and that means showing her it’s ok to take chances and never close any doors.
As for Huntsville, I believe you always harness something special within you wherever you go in your life. Like a ‘mental keepsake’. I will never forget this place, as it shaped us as a family and helped us to bond in the most purest of ways. Thank you God for blessing us with an incredible experience over the last 4 years and amazing friendships that we will cherish forever.