Time for a little life update. With a journal-entry vibe.
If you follow me on social media (if you don’t, you should. @empwrwellness), you know I moved to Minnesota in August. I’m originally from Minnesota and always thought I would move “home” again someday. When an opportunity presented itself for me to teach in a graduate occupational therapy program in Minnesota I knew I had to try it. I had a feeling I would probably enjoy teaching, but I completely underestimated how much I would love it! I love teaching. I love the students. I love my job. I love how supportive my director was. I love how encouraging the faculty are. I feel like I’m actually making a difference in the world. Despite my lack of sleep, I was consistently excited last semester to wake up in the morning and go to my dream job at the school.
Just like I underestimated how much I would love teaching, I also completely underestimated how many hours I would need to spend prepping for class and grading assignments. Between my teaching job and continuing to work in the clinic as an occupational therapist, I was working between 60-80 hours per week. Frankly, that’s just not sustainable for me. I was having a difficult time finding time to exercise. I wasn’t sleeping my normal hours. I didn’t have as much quality time with my husband. And I was STRESSED. All the time. Plus did you know that Minnesota gets really cold in the winter? I hate to admit it, but I’m a little bit of a wimp now.
My lifestyle in Minnesota wasn’t sustainable. And for reasons too complicated to list in this post, there also wasn’t a realistic way to make my lifestyle less stressful.
My husband and I started fantasizing about moving back to Washington state. We loved our life in Washington. We love the slower pace of life and access to the outdoors that Washington provides. The complicating factor was that my dream job was in Minnesota, not Washington. But after a few months and countless hours trying to figure out what to do, it became clear that we just wanted to move back to Washington. Although I’ll always be proud to be Minnesotan, Washington feels like home now.
I was embarrassed to tell people that I was moving back across the country only six months after we moved. I felt like a failure. I thought people would judge me and our decision. But then I realized I shouldn’t be embarrassed about knowing what I want. I shouldn’t be embarrassed about putting myself and my family before my career. I shouldn’t be embarrassed to want to live in one of the most beautiful places I’ve ever been.
Once I started telling my family and friends we were moving back to Washington I was amazed at the amount of support we had. And guess what? Our loved ones didn’t even care about our reasoning. The people we care about just wanted us to be happy. But as happy as I was to be moving back to Washington, I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t disappointed about my teaching job.
Now as I said earlier, my director was unbelievably supportive since the first interview I ever had with her. It shouldn’t have been a surprise to me (but it was) that she would be supportive of my happiness and moving to Washington too. But what blew me away, was that she let me keep teaching remotely from Washington. Not only do I get to live in the place that makes my heart happy, but I get to teach too 🙂 (AND have time to write on here regularly again!)