This is a word that has defined my life ever since the dairy man came into it.
Almost nothing that college-aged Jess expected out of life came true. I didn’t move to a big city, I didn’t become a journalist, and I don’t own a single pair of Manolos. I drive a well-loved car that is almost always muddy/manure-y and have an old farmhouse instead of a ultra-mod loft apartment.
But, much to old Jess’ surprise, change is not a bad thing.
The quote that best sums up my life thus far is from John Lennon: “Life is what happens when you make other plans.” I’ve spent so much time making plans and life has happened in spite of them. God laughed at my plans. Somehow the things I was trying so hard to avoid ended up bringing more joy than I could have ever imagined. This life is different than I planned but, in a lot of ways, it’s better.
A recent change of note is the end of my life as a long-distance commuter. I started a new job this week for our county in an office a mere 15 MINUTES from home. After over a year of driving 80+ minutes to work (one way!), this is insanity.
It was crazy difficult to leave the people I worked with for the past three years, but I know this change was the right one. That being said, I’m having a heck of a time wrapping my mind around it. Work ends at 5 and I’m pulling into my driveway at 5:15. What do people do with all of this time? I have big plans for exercise, puppy playdates, and tackling my book list. But a small part of me still feels a twinge of panic.
Even though I moved to the country a little over a year ago, in a lot of ways, I didn’t move. I still had the same job in the same city (emphasis on CITY); I saw the same people; I could eat at the same restaurants. I had to drive a lot further to get to these things, but they were still available to me on a daily basis. In many ways, I was the same old urbanite. I still don’t know my way around our small town because I’m never here.
Now I’m moving. For real. My whole life—home, job, and friends—will be up here. I know the city isn’t that far away (as evidenced by the fact that I used to drive back and forth to it every. single. day), but it’s not going to be as easy to get there. I’m starting a new chapter: “City girl really really moves to the cornfields.” My job change will have a ripple effect into every part of life.
But change is a part of life.
Because let’s be honest here; the Jess of my college years would have laughed hysterically at the prospect of living in the country, tromping through cow poop, and being married to a farmer. But here I am. This is my (happy) life. Somehow all of these changes make my heart swell with contentedness. I have found bliss in the most unexpected place.
And now I have more time to be here. A frightening blessing. I still will not learn how to milk (because, as a wise farm wife once told me, “If you know how to milk, you might have to!”), but I’m looking forward to joining the gym, cooking meals that take longer than 30 minutes, and writing more. While I’m sad to leave my half city life and my wonderful coworkers (one fabulously snarky boss in particular), I’m excited to start this new job. I’m excited to build new relationships. And I’m excited to take a leap that more fully invests me in this life up north with my dairy man.
Bring on the changes.