We've lived in Boulder for 5.5 years. Five and a half mostly horrible years. Oh there have defiinitely been some really amazing things too but mostly it has just been hard.
When we left Boise we were pretty certain that our time there was done. That chapter had ended and we were on the brink of a new, exciting one. It was our first big decision as a married couple. It really felt like the true start of our life together. Moving away from home. Only having each other to rely on. All the good stuff. And really it did start out ok. Rich found a job right away, just down the street from our house. I made fast friends with the other students in my grad program. We were only 6 hours away from my parents one direction and 6 hours from our awesome friends in Moab the other way (you know who you are). We found a church almost immediately. It wasn't home, but it seemed to be working out.
After a few months, however, we realized that we had walked right into fire. No, not the actual forest fire that burned up most of one canyon just outside of town in 2010, but a massive, blazing, spiritual and emotional fire.
It sounds so stupid to say it now because it all seems so stereotypical. Of course moving away from home and family and friends and sweet jobs would be hard. Maybe we were just blind-sided by how hard that actually turned out to be. (Even as I write this I'm unsure of how much detail to include so if it seems disjointed and weird, that's because it is.)
Grad school knocked me off my feet. If you've been there, you know. Rich's job was mostly good but the pay wasn't always consistent and the owner jerked him around a lot with false hopes that it would turn into more than it was. It never did. He was ousted in a certain shady chain of events. And though it was difficult the timing was really quite fortuitous because he had just finished culinary school so a job change was already in the cards.
So then it was a new job that was more than an hour away, deciding that the best thing for the girl was to start homeschooling which meant me quitting my job, Rich working seven days a week to try to make ends meet. And marriage struggles. And daughter drama (oh my goodness, the daughter drama). And trying to make changes and having every single thing fall through. And trying to move away over and over. And trying to move home over and over. And being let down by those closest to us. And feeling like it's really hard to make friends. And more daughter drama. And not being able to move forward in life. And even Rich getting a job closer to home, which is AWESOME, only to have them cut his hours and be extremely inconsistent with him. And constantly thinking that this next thing, whatever it may be, would be our ticket out of here or at least some reprieve from the burning, only to find out that it was actually just more fuel to the fire.
"Is that water?!? Yay!!! Water!! Finally!!! NO! IT'S NOT WATER! IT'S ACTUALLY MORE FIRE!!"
Yeah, that's pretty much been our life here.
Deep down in my heart I know that if/when we make it through all of this we'll be so much stronger. So much closer. So much wiser. Braver. And one hundred million other good things. But the jaded side of me also wants/has to admit that this could be our life for a really long or maybe forever. Maybe it's not even the jaded side of me but the realist. The honest hardest thing about it all is truly believing that moving here and every decision we've made since has been out of genuine obedience and faith in the Lord. And it feels like it's all blowing up in our faces. I don't think I'm mad about any of it. Well, maybe some of it, but over all I think I'm more confused than anything else. I don't know where to go or how to even get there.
So that's why I'm trying hard to like it here. I miss my friends. I miss home. I miss feeling like I matter to people or like I fit in. Like I said, we've had some great things happen here too. We've met some wonderful people and sometimes we actually feel like things could work here. That was the whole point of the #tryinghardtolikeithere campaign. To realize that this is where we are. All of our efforts to leave have been thwarted so let's make every effort to make this home and have it be good. It's not been easy. But we're trying.