Victory is mine! After six months of living in Old Mexico, I am finally moving back home. Texas is a magical place – I saw a pterodactyl for one thing, and I even attended my first rodeo, which is where I learned that I know absolutely nothing about ranching. My wife is coming back with a brand new job, we got to skip the first winter of our lives, and our neighbors have informed us that they’re pretty sure nobody has been squatting in our home while we’ve been gone. Huzzahs all around!
This has been an interesting social experiment for me. I’ve moved plenty of times in my life, but I’ve never lived anywhere with the certain knowledge that I would not be staying there for very long. Also, since we were placed into corporate housing, this is also the first time in my life when I’ve had absolutely no say over the place that I would be calling home. In many ways I think it’s been very similar to what military families experience when they accept a transfer, or corporate families for that matter, or even the rest of us if life throws an unexpected job opportunity our way.
The point is, there are a number of occasions that might force you to endure a short-term upheaval of your personal or professional life. If that ever happens to you or someone you care about, here are a few things I’ve learned in the last six months that will hopefully make the experience easier:
You Can Accommodate Yourself To Whatever Space You’re Given
We moved from a four-bedroom home into a one-bedroom apartment, and we made it work. Yes we’ve fought over counter space on our single bathroom sink, and I’ve been using the entertainment stand in our living room as my office – but the point is, we’ve made it work. I think it’s common to wish for “just a little more space,” and I think that’s a fine thing to want. But if it’s not possible to get it, then I’m quite confident you can make things work by being a little more creative with the ways that you use whatever space you have.
You Will Define Your Experience By What You Choose To Focus On
We’ve had unlimited access to the beach. We’ve lived within sight of a massive chemical factory. We’ve been able to take motorcycle rides in January. We’ve watched the sand and saltwater rust our motorcycle before our eyes. We’ve found a couple great restaurants. We’ve only found a couple great restaurants. There have been positives and negatives to this experience, and our mood during a given day or week has been a direct result of whichever elements we’ve chosen to focus on. I cannot pretend that I’ve been able to always ignore the frustrating things and only pay attention to the benefits, but I do know it’s a fight worth fighting.
Community Is Really, Really Important
Without question, the most difficult part of the last six months has been the feeling of not being part of our community combined with the complete lack of incentive to try to develop lasting relationships. My wife has done far better at this than I have, since she will continue to work with the people she’s met in the last six months, but I have at times felt almost as though I’ve been dropped on a deserted island. If I were to do everything over again, I would ignore the idea that “there’s no point in meeting people, I’ll only be here six months” and make a much stronger effort to connect myself with others. After all, I was only in college for four years, but that didn’t stop me from making some of the best friendships of my life.
I am not looking forward to driving across the country for the second time in six months. But I’m certainly looking forward to being back home. I mean, our master bathroom has two sinks in it. I didn’t realize how big a deal that is until now. How does my wife have so many more things than I do? And why isn’t my toothbrush important enough to deserve a spot on the counter? Are her teeth really that much more special than mine? Someone explain this to me please!!!!