It is pretty crazy what can happen in the span of just a year.
You can leave the place you called "home" for nine years, end your long-distance marriage to start *finally!* living under the same roof, land in another country, begin working from home, become a permanent resident of this new country, discover new places, discover new things about yourself, enjoy an incredible marriage to an awesome partner, meet new people and love them as your new extended family, have a second wedding, hike, camp, run a marathon and, in general, come to know and love everything about your new way of living.
But, life is funny and loves to throw curveballs (as awesome as they can be) into your path to see if you can catch them or let them go by. So you catch said curveball and you...
...take the dream job, move back to the city from whence you just came, say "see you soon!" to your extended family, say a more permanent "hello!" to your urban family, work from an office, discover more new things about yourself as you take on new and exciting challenges, return to a long-distance marriage (piece of cake!), and through it all...attempt to embrace every single moment for the awesome-ness that it is.
I consider myself an incredibly lucky person. Tomorrow, I return to Chicago to live and work. Through this experience I have grown to appreciate and be grateful so much more for the people in my life. Our friends and family have been incredibly supportive of the decision for me to move back in order to pursue career satisfaction and new forms of balance. Dave has been the most supportive of all...my husband and champion to end. He recognizes that this is important to me and while it will be difficult for the two of us, we've done this before and we can do it again. We are calling this, affectionately, my "non-profit deployment."
So, I will be journey-ing between two places...living on the border of U.S. citizen and Canadian permanent resident. I will travel between the urban sprawl of concrete and high-rises to the quiet and hypnotizing prairies with their amazing sunsets. Dave and I will navigate this new chapter in our marriage and along the way, we know we've got friends and family to help us along.
It's been a ride and I can't wait to see what's over the next hill...