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The Best Two Years

As you may know, we moved. 2198 miles. It was kind of a big move. And very emotional. But let’s go back a couple months.

It was the end of March and we were about to sign our apartment lease for another year. TJ was offered a full time job with Johnson & Johnson, the company he had been with for two years but as a freelance employee. It was our dream. We had prayed for the whole two years that the hiring freeze at J&J would be over and that they’d bring him on as a “full time” employee, which the only difference was a that it was a salary with benefits job, instead of an hourly wage. Well, the freeze was finally lifted and they really wanted him to stay once his freelance contract was over. He was about to say yes and sign another year for our home, when one of TJ’s old adjunct professors from BYU randomly called him and said he had a full-time senior designer position available in Utah and wanted TJ to take it.

At that point, we were so confused. Several weeks earlier we had looked at the prospect of moving away from the city just because we are expecting another kid and Eva will be in preschool in the fall, but none of the options really worked out and so we decided to stay put. But then this job just kind of fell into TJ’s lap. And when all of the details came through, we knew we had to at least consider the option. The details of the job were right but was the move? And was it right to leave J&J? We toiled back and forth day after day. We both made intense pro/con lists and then weighted the importance of each item. They were intense lists, y’all. There was the whole- we live in NYC which is really cool… do we want to go back to the burbs-attitude? It took a little bit to get over that city pride, but we really did love the city and it was something consider. The lists went on and on… We loved our ward SO much. The diversity of Jersey City. Everything to do in NYC. The simplicity of life. We had just gotten used to Jersey and considered it home. We weren’t ready to say goodbye to that life yet.

So, we went to the temple to help us decide. At the end, we joined each other in a room. As we met on a couch, we just looked at each other. I started crying. (I’m tearing up again just writing it…) We both knew. It was time to move.

The subway ride back to home was an emotional one. We couldn’t believe what was ahead of us and how this had just happened. TJ’s new job would start June 1, meaning we only had about five or six weeks until we were out of there.

We almost just wanted to move a week later because it was hard to draw it out and say goodbyes. But we decided to stop moping (well, try to… I definitely memorialized every last thing and cried if I thought about it too much) and use those next couple weeks to do some fun things! We did the bridge, saw some Broadway shows, ate at a few new restaurants, explored the city, and played hard with friends. Oh, and did the Fallon show which was on my all-time NYC bucket list! I waited until the last week to pack up the apartment because I just wanted to play and soak up every last minute.

But the day came. We said our tearful goodbyes, our apartment was empty, and with a final turn of the key (which TJ insisted we do together), we locked up our little home at The Roosevelt for the last time.

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You know, I always thought I would serve a mission. But I met TJ and got married before that could happen. I didn’t understand why my patriarchal blessing pretty much said YOU WILL GO ON A MISSION IN YOUR YOUTH when I didn’t get to go as planned. I mean, I know those blessings have so many interpretations, but guys… it pretty much lays it right out for me! I told myself I’d be an example to people throughout my life instead, and my blessing probably does mean that too. But when we were moving, I realized we were in Jersey for exactly two years, which is how long a traditional mission is (for a male… but that’s a technicality). We served with the missionaries, had new members and investigators in our home countless times, served in our ward to the primary and young adults, met so many people in our community, and shared pass along cards at Christmas. I may not have served a traditional LDS mission when I was 19 years old. But I will forever look back at my time in Jersey as my best two years, fulfilling some of the promises in my blessing.

We will love you forever, NYC/Jersey! You were so good to us.

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