Thursday, May 21, 2015
I’m a Virginian
A little over 12 years ago I moved to Northern Virginia. I had been living and working in the Boston area when an opportunity opened up to move here and work for a Senator from Wyoming. My plan was to move down here and stay for a year or 2, then get a good job in Colorado and move back out west. That way I could marry a good western man, have western kids, and live a western life.
1 ½ years after moving here my colleague asked if she could set me up on a blind date. I agreed, and 2 weeks later I was introduced to Joe. After a whirlwind romance we were engaged and planning a wedding. Choosing where to have the wedding was a no-brainer for me. I wanted to get married here, in Virginia. And so it was.
Fast forward 12 years and we have established roots. Virginia is not only where we were married, it is where both of our children were born. It is where we bought our first home (or rather, where the bank owns our first home). It is where we have built a life together. While there are days that I get annoyed with the traffic, or get frustrated with the high cost of everything…at the end of the day, living in Northern Virginia just feels right. A lot of people don’t understand it. Most of my own family members don’t understand it. But it all comes down to one thing…after 12 years, Virginia is home.
Recently there have been 2 events that happened that proved to me that it is official…I am a Virginian.
1) A woman and I were talking. During the conversation she asked me, “Where’s home?” My first thought…HERE! When I responded she looked confused, “So you grew up in Virginia?” My response, “I grew up in Wyoming, but Virginia is my home.”
2) I was talking to a family that is living here temporarily. In our conversation they mentioned that they haven’t really enjoyed living in Northern Virginia. I tried to be understanding and hear where they were coming from, but inside I was completely offended. How could you NOT love it here? What’s not to love? Look at all the awesome things around you! Of course I didn’t say any of that, those were just the thoughts in my head. But it was another sign that Virginia is where my heart is. Of course a piece of me will always love the west, but I know that Virginia is where we are supposed to be.
12 years is a long time. Our townhouse is exactly 2 miles from the apartment I lived in when I first moved to the area. We are 1 mile from the apartment we lived in when we got married and 2 blocks from the townhouse we rented when Ella was born. Everything I need is within a 3 mile radius. I can get to the mall, grocery store, favorite restaurants, doctor and church all in under 10 minutes. Ella attends the neighborhood school just 3 blocks from our house. I love our street and know all of our neighbors. I can tell you the best place for Mexican food, Hibachi, Chinese food, Italian food and hamburgers. I know the quickest route to the movie theatre and can tell you where to avoid during rush hour. This is my neighborhood. My home. Virginia.