Sometimes as I'm driving, or daydreaming, or looking out the window, I spin hypothetical situations in my head. What would I do if I didn't get renewed as a teacher? Would I ever teach in another state? Is there another job I could see myself doing? If I could do anything or live anywhere, what would I do? Where would I live?
The answers to these questions are always different, even if there are some common threads. For example, I've always dreamed of being an author of romance novels. Sometimes I want to make enough money to move to Ireland where I could live in a country cottage with a spotted dog and a garden. Other times I choose to write books here in the states, in a fancy house - but the rest of the world doesn't know my real identity. Sometimes I keep a day job, but most commonly I don't. Sometimes I dream of being a professor instead of a teacher... other times I give up teaching all together.
The one thing I've learned is that I love Maine. For all of it's problems, Maine is and will always be home. If I ever move away, I know I will always come back. Maine is where my family is from. Maine is where my history has happened. I've been fortunate enough to have either lived in or visited most of the state, and I have always been able to find natural beauty and good people. Maine really is "the way life should be."
My husband has lived in the same town his entire life. He was born, raised, and lives in this town. It is as much a part of him as his family is of it. He knows every person, tree, and stone in that town and the surrounding areas. He's never lived anywhere else, although he has traveled to many other places.
Lately, my husband has expressed to me the desire to move away. To leave the life he's led and start over somewhere new. Still in Maine, but somewhere away from the place he grew up. It's a huge step for him: making the realization the he isn't as happy in his town as he used to be is a difficult one to make, and imagining creating a new life elsewhere takes a lot of courage.
There are, of course, drawbacks. The first is that he owns our house and has a secure job that pays fairly well. It is hard for him to walk away from that much security (especially after all the uncertainty he has had in his life already). Added to that is the knowledge that should he ever need anything, there is a support network around that can and will help him out. It is comforting to know that you have neighbors and friends that keep an eye out for you.
After talking to me about it (which I'm sure didn't happen until he had done hours of careful considering and thinking about his decision), we have come to a *very* tentative plan of paying off as much debt as we can for the next two years, finishing my schooling, and getting the heck outta Dodge. Where we are going to go, we aren't sure yet - we both love the coast and want to stay in Maine, but haven't thought beyond that. We have no idea what he will do for a living (I can easily get another teaching job). Bear is finally ready to make a change, a big change, in his life. I am so excited for him and for us. Whatever happens, I know Bear and I will have some grand adventures. We will test ourselves and each other and come out stronger in the end.
I can't wait to see what happens next.