Do you remember the first time you moved out of your parents house? Everything was new and exciting. Even the grocery store. You walked up and down the isles with twenty bucks and the knowledge that if you really wanted to, you could blow all of it on nothing but cookie dough (yep, I did that once… only once). You invite your friends over every weekend. You make your own schedule, and you feel amazing when you realize that you’re making it on your own. You feel like you could conquer the world. Then, when you return to your parent’s house for a visit, things are different. The sofa’s been rearranged. The kitchen is full of healthy food, and your room has been turned into an office/workout area. You realize that this house, while it will always be “home” really isn’t yours anymore.
The first time I moved out of my parent’s house, that was my experience, and I’m amazed by how similar it felt to move abroad. Colorado had been my home since I was like three. It was a safe place, and leaving it was just as exhilarating and terrifying as leaving the safety of my parent’s house. Would I succeed? Would I be able to keep up with all of the changes? The answer was yes. After a period of adjustment, my entire family fell in love with our life in Berlin. When our time there came to a close, we struggled. We knew that staying there, at least for now, wasn’t an option. But we also didn’t want to go back to the way things were before. I didn’t want to find myself working 70 hours each week at three jobs, and I knew it would be hard to resist. Tyler, having been born and raised in NorCo, was still craving something different. We all got a taste for adventure while away, and we wanted to continue to be lost from time to time, to hike new trails, and to stretch ourselves in a different culture. Colorado wasn’t an option for us.
Then, when we arrived in Colorado a few weeks ago, Tyler and I both questioned whether or not we’d made the right choice in not returning to live there. But the longer we stayed, to more we realized that it felt just like returning to your parent’s house after living on your own. It was amazing to be with our friends and families, but things also felt different. It didn’t feel like ours anymore. I’m glad we got the chance to spend time there, not only because we got to catch up with so many people, but because, despite my initial feelings, it affirmed our decision. Colorado and the people who live there will hold a special place in our hearts. But for now, a new adventure in calling.
So what’s next for the Messenger crew? I’m sure many of you have already guessed it, but we’ll be hanging our hats in Oregon for a while. Tyler got a teaching position at Jefferson Elementary School in Corvallis, I will be teaching at Leslie Middle School in Salem, and we will be living in Monmouth (a small college town that’s between our jobs). We’re planning trips to Canada and Japan, and we’re enjoying all the outdoor adventure that Oregon has to offer.