I’m not saying that I am leaving forever. But after slightly over a decade in the Connecticut, with temporary detours to the Persian Gulf (Army Deployment) and a short six-month move to Virginia, I am moving back to Utah, at least for the time being.
It wasn’t for lack of effort, but Connecticut never really became home to me. I tried hard to make it my home, and for the first part of the decade, it felt like that I could make it. I developed friendships. I went to school. I worked a couple of jobs. For a while it seemed like my decision to move east, chasing a girl, was a wise decision to make shortly before my 21st birthday.
Early on, it seemed like a great idea. I was happy in the life I was building in CT with my new group of friends and pseudo-family. I grew close to a small group of folks because of the Army, friends that should continue to be friends regardless of distance. I got a decent paying job with the Army. I graduated from a top public university. I became a home owner. I married. It seemed like my first five years were going pretty swimmingly in a new state. While I didn’t expect, even then, to live in Connecticut forever, the pull back to Utah was getting weaker.
Things began to change dramatically in 2007. The job with the Army stopped feeling like it was something I could do forever. My Army contract was coming close to the end, and I was unable to reenlist due to various issues. My marriage was falling apart. Suddenly, Connecticut started to seem less like a home and more like a place that I was just living.
But I didn’t want to give up because my life was crumbling around me. Even after a divorce, the thought of moving back to Utah didn’t really appeal to me. Despite my family and friends back in Utah clamoring for my return, I tried to stick it out “on my own.” I used my Army family as a buffer, remained miserable at work, and just soldiered on… no pun intended.
Most of 2008 wasn’t that great. The same with 2009. I extended for a year in the Army, if only so I could keep my job for a bit in order to find a better one. I began plotting a return to Utah, broadening my job search to include jobs in my home state. But still I stayed. Early in 2009, my Reserve unit was alerted for mobilization. In order to go, I would have to retrain and extend yet again, which I did. I felt that I couldn’t abandon my Army family, many of whom would be going on the deployment, many that I had known for over six years, some from the first day that I arrived in Connecticut.
I expected the deployment to help me meet goals and stay with the Army for a while. And until I hit a wall around the midway point, that was the plan. Once I decided that I wasn’t going to reenlist, I knew that I would be out of work shortly after returning in December. With this in mind, I started a job hunt in earnest, applying for numerous jobs. But only every fifth job was for a job in Connecticut; I really started directing my job search to Utah. When I was finally terminated from my job in April, without a job and the prospect of unemployment, Utah finally felt like the direction my life would be taking.
In fact, I called my mother on Mother’s Day, letting her know that I would be moving home by July. I didn’t have a job lined up, but with the comforting cocoon of my friends and family back home, I felt that I could get back and truly look for a job. However, not three days after that phone call, I was offered a position with The Motley Fool and their Writer (now Contributor) Development Program. It would require a six month move to Alexandria, Virginia, but I was pretty much guaranteed a contract writing gig at the end. I couldn’t pass it up, so I just decided to delay my move back to Utah until the end.
So we have reached that point. Later today, I will embark on my five-day journey across our lovely country. Sometime on Thursday, January 11th, I should arrive back in Utah, my home. But Connecticut will not be forgotten, nor will all the wonderful people that I have met over the past ten years. I was going to do a by-name list of everyone, but I was afraid that I might forget someone. But know that everybody I have met over the past few years has had a profound impact on my life, and all have helped to make me the person that I am today. Thank you all from the bottom of my heart.
And don’t worry, Connecticut. I’ll be back to visit.
Until next time…