One year ago today, we finished loading a U-Haul truck and pulled out of our apartment in Utah to begin our new life in Iowa.
It's been difficult, it's been demanding, it's been occasionally lonely. New beginnings always are. But there has not been a single day that I've regretted it.
I was told over and over that I would miss the mountains. That I would miss Utah. But I don't. I miss my family. Almost more than I can say. But I'm not "homesick" in anyway.
This is my home.
In some ways, I feel that this is where I was always supposed to be.
I had no intention of every ending up in the Midwest. I knew that eventually, I would leave Utah, but I was sure I would end up somewhere along the West Coast. Most of the residency interviews I did were in places less than a day's drive from a coast of some sort. The only place I interviewed in the Midwest was Iowa. And that I did on a last second recommendation from my residency director.
As the interview process went on, I became more and more frustrated with the programs. Nothing was quite what I wanted. Either the program was lacking, or the area was one I could not picture living with my family.
There was one interview in particular, that was in a place Hubster and I had always dreamed of living. The interview was a complete disaster. Throughout the course of the interview, I got left behind by the group, lost in the hospital, yelled at by one interviewer, and mocked regarding my political views by another. There could not have been a worse interview. I called Hubster in tears, saying that there was no way we could do residency at this place. My interview at Iowa could not have gone differently. People were friendly, I instantly connected with many of the other residents.
Looking back, it feels that this was always the place we were supposed to be.
Yes, we left behind scenic mountains, milder winters, Costco, Ikea, familiarity, and family.
We also left behind a small apartment, inversions (if you're from Salt Lake you know about this), crowded interstates, endless commutes, road rage, snow in May, snow in September, lawns that will never stay green, poor air qualify, underfunded schools, and horrid neighbors.
Here in Iowa, we've acquired tornado warnings, humid summers, subzero winters, and more bugs.
We've also acquired a slower pace of life, our own home, fantastic schools, quiet, Panera, plenty of space, ground that grows anything, beautiful springs, amazing autumns, fireflies, and cardinals.
We've acquired home.