I moved to Washington seven days ago. Eight days ago, I was playing frisbee with half my best friends, and the other half were parading along the sides of the fields. Eight days ago, I hugged a lot of people and said goodbye and marveled at how well I held it together. Eight days ago I got the last full night’s sleep I’ve had since.
I have seen the sunrise every day since I arrived. And the sunset. It’s only light for 9 hours a day right now, and I am at work for all of those hours. My boss drove me home on my first day, because Husband was dealing with the movers, and I realized as we entered my neighborhood that I had no idea what my house looked like. We drove past it twice, because I couldn’t see the number over the garage. I didn’t really remember what color my house was until yesterday, the first time I saw it in daylight.
I have been diligently unpacking boxes and putting things in cabinets and drawers. I can see the beginnings of a home, in this beautiful house I can’t really believe I own. I’m just not sure if it’s my home.
I have work to do after work, gotta get those papers out, gotta apply for that award, gotta get that presentation ready. Gotta read and read, so they are impressed. And so I keep forgetting to call my friends until after dinner, when it’s already well past 11 pm on the other side of the country.
My job is actually great so far, as I knew it would be. Professionally, this is the best place for me to be. My colleagues are fantastic, the research is interesting, the lab is perfect. If I am going to succeed in my field, it will be here.
People assume newcomers will have a hard time adjusting to the landscape – deserts aren’t for everyone, I suppose. But that’s not it for me. It’s beautiful here, even in the winter. You can see for miles and miles, and the essentially treeless mountains underscore how amazing the earth itself can be. The sky is breathtaking, even when it’s grey, as it so often is during the winter.
I’m just afraid I won’t be able to make the connections I need socially. It’s a small town, a family town. I know it’s only been a week, and it’s the doldrums of winter, it just seems so unfathomably difficult. And so unlikely! How could I possibly find people like the people I already had?