I grew up in the Seattle area, but moved away to Fairbanks for college. It turns out, I love Alaska. In all its seasons, even in the cold and dark, I loved living there for every second that I did. In many ways, I discovered myself there and grew into who I am. I found out exactly how tough I am when I lived in a cabin with no running water for six months--try running out to an outhouse when it's -60, or hauling your own water from off-site to wash your dishes! I learned how to master the elements when I began walking to and from work every day, no matter the weather. I learned where my instincts are when confronted by large and angry animals (moose--run very far and fast!) and looked up at the Northern Lights with the deepest and most profound sense of awe.
Alaska is also where I met and fell in love with my husband. It's the land of my birth and his, and also our daughter's. I gave birth in the same hospital where I was born, and I realized that not many people can say that, especially when the hospital is Fairbanks Memorial. There's something incredibly profound for me in that small fact.
But life isn't always easy, and we don't always get to stay in one place even if we love that place. Fairbanks feels like home, but it's not my home anymore. I'm an Alaskan in exile.
My husband got a computer science degree and we decided, together, that we needed to move. For so many reasons, we needed to move. The economy in Alaska is shaky; he might not be able to find a job easily, and my job, while secure, was starting to pay less and less each year because of increased costs like healthcare and a lack of raises, not to mention the rumors of furloughs starting soon. Even if my husband found a job, we realized that it would pay half of what he could make elsewhere. Considering the high cost of living in Fairbanks, we decided that we would be better off trying our luck elsewhere.
Seattle was an obvious choice, really the only choice we seriously considered. We flirted with other cities, Denver mostly, but Seattle was both the first and last choice. My parents and two of my siblings live here, and it's close enough to go visit my husband's family with somewhat frequency, and to have them come visit us.
So, we're starting over in a new city, currently jobless and living with family. It's not ideal, but we're saving money by doing so and it won't last forever. Besides which, getting to spend so much time with my family after spending so much time apart has been nice.
At the moment, I'm most looking forward to being out of the limbo we're currently in. Once we have jobs, things will fall into place. We can look for a home of our own and work toward some of our mutual goals. Wish us luck.