I am currently sorting my life into boxes that will soon leave Fort Worth and end up in Portland, Oregon. This move isn’t my first time at the rodeo – it marks my 11th move (not counting moves within the same city) since graduating high school in 1999. 11 moves. And it hasn’t gotten any easier. Every move has been such an amazing journey and I must say that this is one of the ones I’m most excited about.
Wondering where I’ve gone and why? Maybe I just have itchy feet, cabin fever, whatever you want to call it but I’ve yet to land in a place I want to call my forever home – besides the fond memories I have of living in Boston and the constant nostalgia of wanting to settle there. But the time for the east coast hasn’t come, and might never. I grew up in the Dominican Republic where my parents and brother still live and which will always be “home”. At 18 I moved to Dallas to attend SMU which I promptly decided wasn’t my cup of tea but took 2 1/2 years to get out of. I transffered and graduated from Babson College, righ outside of Boston. My first job landed me in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico when I left I was in Plantation, Florida of all places. Then back home for a while while I gathered my thoughts and pondered the meaning of life while sipping Dominican Beer on the worlds most beautiful beaches. All that pondering led me to NYC where I went to the Institute for Integrative Nutrition. While there I married my college sweetheart I hadn’t seen in several years the day before he was deployed to Iraq. So from NYC I moved to Califronia, to Savannah Georgia, to Honolulu and somehow ended up in Fort Worth, Texas.
Landing in Texas wasn’t a calculated move. It was more just what had to be done at the time. I knew Dallas wasn’t the place for me and was honestly surprised by how quickly Fort WOrth grew on me. My daughter was born here, I taught in the public school system here and I’ve made some great friends that I’m sad to leave behind. For a split second I thought I could imagine my life here, maybe this would be the place to stay. But it’s not.
Here I’m a little too “crunchy” for my own good. I miss the Union Square Farmers market I had in NYC, the long Texas summers make me hot and bothered, and not in a good way. I grew up going to the beach and not having as much opportunity to be out in nature takes a toll on me. There’s at least ten fast food places within a five mile radius of my house and the last time I ate fast food was probably in college. No. I take that back. Andrew and I had taco bell right after we eloped in a courthouse in Hinnesville, GA in 2011. But my daughter has never had a bite of fast food or gone through a fast food window and I’d like to keep it that way for as long as I can. I don’t want her to be the odd duck because she’s gluten free and doesn’t eat much processed food. I just want to live in a place where the way I choose to love my life is the norm, not the exception. After all, we all want to be somewhere we feel like we fit in. I’ve absolutely made like-minded friends along the way and the longer I stay the more things I discover about Fort Worth that I love. But not enough to keep me here. Not after seeing the Portland Farmers market and eating fresh crab caught off the coast of Oregon, not when the only seafood you can get here is previously frozen.
So here we are, trying to pack up a house with an overly emotional 2 year old that just doesn’t understand why mommy is putting everything into boxes and talking about leaving the only home she’s ever known. Moving with a toddler is not easy. Not at all. I can’t explain to her that we’ll have trees in our backyard, that we can take weekend trips to the Oregon coast or visit the Portland Childrens Museum, hop over to Seattle, or go skiing and hiking and get amazing fresh, organic food and seafood!!! How do you explain to a toddler that while a move is a scary thing the outcome will be amazing.
Hopefully soon I’ll be able to write a great post about how to successfully move with a toddler. Hopefully things will start moving along and she won’t wake up again at 4am screaming about having to pack the boxes.
But nonetheless, off we go on our next adventure. I won’t miss the heat or the food but I will miss the friendships, the lessons learned, the moments of joy. Fort Worth is the place where my small little family unit truly became a family and it will forever hold a special place in my heart.