If I leave

Being brand new to blogging, I don’t know much about the community or the support available.  Honestly, I picked WordPress because my dad uses the platform (check out his blog here) and I liked the themes I could pick from–you should know I’m a visual nerd/snob–but I had no idea what else I was getting with this site.  I’ve been nothing but pleasantly surprised.  WordPress offers so much to bloggers to help us come up with ideas and learn about this process.  Today I stumbled on the Daily Prompt, and I’m thrilled to respond.

Life is a series of beginnings and endings. We leave one job to start another; we quit cities, countries, or continents for a fresh start; we leave lovers and begin new relationships. What was the last thing you contemplated leaving? What were the pros and cons? Have you made up your mind? What will you choose?

I’ve often thought about moving back to Virginia.  In fact, it would be impossible to NOT think about moving back to Virginia for as often as my husband mentions it.  After every vacation, Stu and Cari are crying for miles as we leave my mother-in-law’s house.  We get texts from my sisters-in-law, letting us know that there are jobs available in neighboring counties.  We get Facebook messages from friends telling us there will be two teaching jobs at the high school where I was hired right out of college.  We long for Virginia’s more temperate summers, colorful falls, and snowy winters and snow days.  Cari misses her precious cousins.

But leaving Florida is scary for me.  I don’t want to leave my parents, not because I don’t think I can survive without being close to them, but because I don’t want to.  I moved to Florida to be close to my mommy.  No lie.  I don’t want to leave our school, not because I don’t think we could be successful elsewhere or because I feel like the place would crumble without us, but because the school where we work is special to me.  I feel like I make a difference there, and have made a difference there.  I feel like I matter.  I don’t want to leave my church because I feel like we fit there.  I feel like I have a role and I’m good at it and I have fun.

But Florida is not the greatest state for education.  While I love my school, I’m not thrilled for Cari to go through middle school here.  Our local middle schools are just too scary to subject her to.  Plus, there is a reason why Seth Meyers runs a segment on Late Night called “Fake or Florida.”

“By the way, you should know, the blindfold looks like a bra for your eyes.”

Florida is comical in its ridiculousness.  In the ten miles of US-19 that run north to south closest to our house, there are so many strip clubs, pain clinics, and pawn shops that it’s hard to believe they do any business at all with all the competition.  Going to Walmart at night is almost hazardous; Cari and I have witnessed theft and police activity, on separate occasions.  I never knew what meth addicts looked like before I moved here.

I must acknowledge that there are great things about Florida, too.  I love, love, love that in January, when the rest of the country is bundled under heating blankets and staring, miserable, through windows into gray skies, that we can expect weekends of unexpectedly warm weather.  Like flip flops and short sleeves weather.  I love that one of the most beautiful beaches in the world is only an hour from door to sand.  I love that we can visit Disney regularly.  And I love that we’ve made relationships with extraordinary people in the ten years that we’ve lived here.

I know that no place is perfect, and I feel like we might be romanticizing Virginia a little bit.  But I know that it isn’t time for us to move back to Virginia yet.  The doors haven’t been opened for us to even consider going with any real intent.  But the option has almost held me back from moving forward here.

So the idea of “if I leave” is a powerful one for me and my family.  I’m trusting that God will reveal to me when, and if, it is time to go.


13 thoughts on “If I leave

  1. Allison, This is a wonderful post, I personally am glad you live here, and that you’re as close as you are. I know it is a struggle some times, I know that Cari see things that she shouldn’t, but as sorry as it is to say, I don’t suspect it is that much different in VA minus the strip clubs. You and Stu are doing a great job as parents, something you both should be very proud of, you are protecting her as parents should, giving her a great foundation from which to grow, and you can’t do much better than that. Take care, Love Dad

    • “I don’t suspect it is that much different in VA minus the strip clubs…” LOL Isn’t that enough? In all seriousness, I know Cari is going to be just fine. It won’t have anything to do with place but parenting. But parenting would be easier if we didn’t have to explain some things 😊

  2. You had me scared for a minute. The Feedly (a reader app) preview I saw showed your title “If I leave” and the first sentence and a half of your post. I thought “what did we (or WordPress) do to disappoint her so quickly?”

    So I was more than a little relieved to find that you were responding to one of WP’s prompts. Congrats on a terrific first response–I’ve done a few of them myself but I’m not usually clever enough to be as on point as you were.

    You and Stu likely have one of the most “portable” jobs ever–teachers are always in demand! I have no doubt you will find your place, if and when the time comes that you and Stu decide to move. I will only reiterate…temperate summers lead to snowy winters!

    • I’m learning about his blogging thing… I would love to be able to say what preview my posts offer. Do you know how to fix that?
      You’re so sweet… I love a good prompt 🙂 Call it the English teacher in me! I have to say, though, that teaching isn’t nearly as portable as I would like, especially when we’re picky about where we go.

      • Allison,
        This reply will be longer than what is usual for a blog post, but I hope you find the info useful.

        First, I don’t know if it is possible to prescribe what your post preview is like. My (very limited) understanding is that when you post, the contents of the post are turned into a feed that can then be received by any number of reader apps (I use Feedly, WordPress has its own version, etc.). I assume that each app has its own “rules” about how and what it displays for any given post, and that is further defined by user preferences. For example, Feedly gives me the option of looking at title only, a magazine view, a card view (what I usually use), and a couple of others. As far as I can tell, WordPress’s reader has only one view that is roughly the equivalent of Feedly’s card view (it shows a square-ish excerpt from a media file if there is one attached, the title of the post, and the first 20-30 or so words of the text.

        I did do a little more research that you might be interested in. Your Adelle theme supports something called “Post Formats” which, among other things, has a feature for block quotes. This link (http://en.support.wordpress.com/posts/post-formats/) is at least a starting place to find out more. I can’t offer any advice about this because my Nishita theme doesn’t have that feature—I’m totally jealous but I’m not yet willing to give up Nishita’s photo-friendly environment.

        Another thing you could consider (though I’m not a fan of this feature) is to change your settings (Dashboard>Settings>Reading>For each article in a feed show>select Summary). This truncates a post to, I’m guessing, approximately 100 words. If readers want to continue reading, they have to click on the “more” (or whatever link) to move from their reader app to the blogger’s webpage. As far as I can tell, this is a feature to increase site statistics, though it has to be something REALLY interesting for me to click over to the blog site (see here for an example: http://feedly.com/index.html#subscription%2Ffeed%2Fhttp%3A%2F%2Fcomingeast.com%2Ffeed%2F).

        Meanwhile, it’s supper time at the Jorgensen household. I’ll be watching for you…

  3. I contemplated leaving myself. I actually applied to three jobs out of state that were less than an hour from cousins because I would like to move closer to my mom’s family and get to know them, and I didn’t know how long it would be before a position at one of Pasco’s libraries would open up. We’ve lived so far away my whole life, and almost all of them live near one another and grew up together, so I feel like I missed out on a lot growing up in a different state. I even interviewed for on of the positions, but didn’t get it. But I think it’s for the better. I hate moving, and well, it’s darn cold in Iowa! Now there are three positions open here, and I have an interview for one of them, so I think staying is the best option for me right now. I can always leave later after I have some professional level experience, for the right library. I’d much rather stay and get to work with my friends here in Pasco and the surrounding counties.

    • It’s a hard question, though… if you should leave a place you’re comfortable with. I believe God has a hand in all that. I’m certain I’m here for a reason, and I’ve been blessed to see such awesome stuff happen in my life while I’ve been here.

      • It is hard. I think everything happens for a reason though. I didn’t get the job in Iowa becasue it wasn’t the right job for me. Yes, I would have enjoyed spending time with my cousin and her young son and getting the opportunity to spend time with the rest of the family on holidays. However, I have a better chance of getting one here with my history with the library system.

        I’m certain your here for a reason too. 🙂

  4. Pingback: This is the end? | Burning Candles

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