I am at that highly transitional period of life where I have some variation of the same conversation with everyone I know. I feel like I’m at my high school graduation party again, but the answers to those “what are you doing with your life?” questions have changed considerably. So here it is, all typed out for you to read at your leisure. Now maybe our small talk can return to topics like the weather, or how silly you look in that hat.
I graduated last December and finished out the school year as a second grade teacher in Junction City. I turned down the offer to renew my contract for next year so that I can move several hours away to a city that I’ve never visited where I have no job and know almost no one. Naturally, revealing these details tends to throw a kink in the normal flow of conversation, and people are not as good as they think at disguising how crazy my plan seems to them. Good thing I’m all about crazy, and although my anxiety levels sometimes shoot through the roof when I dwell on it for any length of time, I still have felt really confident in each decision I’ve made so far.
Here’s my plan: next week I’m headed to San Marcos, Texas to find a place to live. My Manhattan lease ends in July, so I’ll be moving later this summer and will hopefully have a teaching job for next school year. I have a one-year provisional teaching license in Texas, during which time I will take all the tests I need to be officially licensed. Texas seems to be on a bit later schedule than Kansas is, in terms of hiring teachers for next year, and many districts have not even posted openings yet. I would feel a lot better if I had something lined up before I move, but I decided that this is the point in my life to change location, regardless of my job outcome. That being said, I have applied to a few places and would appreciate your prayers that I find the right position. It’d be pretty neat to find a forever job instead of a right now job.
So, why? Why leave my friends, family, job security, and a town I love? My dream about this life change has been narrowing in focus over the last several years. For one thing, my body is obviously designed for a warmer climate. I am truly miserable in the winter. There is absolutely no reason to suffer for the rest of my life when I could live in a place where the weather doesn’t alter my mood or give me physical pain. Secondly, my skill set includes Spanish and English as a second language. This is the best part of the country for me to live in if I want to work with the Hispanic population or teach English to immigrants. I am extremely excited about both the professional and ministry opportunities in Texas. San Marcos is a college town about the same size as Manhattan with low cost of living and low crime. It’s located between Austin and San Antonio, and one of the fastest-growing small cities in America. Most of the population is in their twenties and thirties. It seems to have everything that I like about Manhattan, just in a better part of the country for me. Again, it was a very clear decision that this is where I should be. During my research there wasn’t another city that even came in second place.
Although I’m sad to go, I am beyond thrilled about all the adventures and relationships that get to be a part of my new life. Hopefully I’ll have news soon about an apartment, moving date, and a job!