I have to look back in awe. May 20 marked 5 years that we've been in the Tucson, AZ area!
5 years ago, I cluelessly stepped out of the U-Haul onto 100 degree, hot AZ sand (not soil). Didn't have a college degree yet (I was only 19), didn't have a job, all friends and family were clear across the country, Ryan was only my boyfriend at the time.
Was I crazy?!?! Yes.
Here's a photo we took upon our arrival as we crossed the border into AZ.
Through the unknowns and fears, I was literally "embracing" this journey. (I'm embracing the sign...)
Our first weeks. Okay, let me be honest, our first couple of years here I was not incredibly happy. I missed my family. I hated the summertime, as I dwelled on how much fun I was missing out on at the lakes as my siblings and parents gathered most weekends. I felt like the dry heat sucked the life out of me.I would think, "How in the hell do people live in this disgusting place?"
Nursing school wasn't exactly what I thought it would be. I didn't make a great deal of friends. We had a hard time making friends. Being a married 21 year old, who's idea of a "good time on a Friday night" is grilling in the backyard and playing a board game -- our peers kind of viewed us as "lame". Most of the people we socialized where my husbands coworkers who are in the 50's and 60's. Which was fine, but then it would get awkward when we'd meet their children.....who were our age.
I just didn't have any real girlfriends. I couldn't wait for something to happen in our careers that would allow us to move.
And finally...instead of waiting for something to happen. And waiting for life to get better. I chose to make it better. Nursing school commencement arrived, I got my 1st job out of school, and I started forming a "work family". 3 of the women I worked with are still my closest friends, and I cannot imagine life without keeping in touch with them.
I started jumping on new experiences at every opportunity. And soon I found joy in my "digs".....
This photo was taken one of the first weeks we lived in Tucson. I remember one evening I was sobbing in misery. And Ryan forced me to go on a hike - and he made me climb this ridiculous rock. (I am not daring, and rock climbing is not in my nature). When we got to the top, we were rewarding with this sunset. I get a little teary eyed looking back at this picture, because the memory is so vivid.
Another favorite snapshot of us hiking back in the day....(feels like these pictures were taken 10 years ago..not 5. I've changed so much as a person!)
Sometimes I get a little nervous about this move to San Antonio. I have little flashbacks of the frustration and difficult time I had acclimating to Tucson 5 years ago. But I must remind myself how much life has drastically changed. I know things will work themselves out!
I'm at the point now where every day I give someone my "last hug" for 3 months. We say our goodbyes, and I feel a little sad but mostly thrilled (because I know we are returning). I have found such an amazing and supportive network of people. My coworkers keep me constantly happy at work -- I've learned so much from them. My "Desert Tri Girls" have made a swimmer and road biker out of me. My 5 am running buddies have made me the fastest I've ever been. I also have my "Bunco Broads" and "Rockin' Ragnar Girls" (another running group) (apparently my groups like to have clever titles...) But most of all these people have an energy that is incredible.
And most importantly, I have my husband who is my best friend - who is truly family to me. He has put up with my craziness for almost 4 years of marriage, and 6 years of being together. It excites me to know that I will have him for many years to come. And I cannot wait to cross that Texas "line" to start a new adventure! "I reckon we will be right fine, y'all"
This is a picture of me when we crossed the Texas border 5 years ago! Yep! We were those dorky people who pulled the U-Haul over at every state line to take pictures.