A month ago I did one of the most difficult things I have ever had to do in my life – my husband, kids, and I packed the last little bits of our house and our belongings into a U-Haul trailer, said some extremely sad and tearful goodbyes, and headed east to New York. Kansas City had been our home for nearly a decade, and in a matter of just a few short days, those 10 years were packed up in boxes, loaded onto a truck, and sent away. You never really know how all those years in one place can affect you until you walk away from it.
When my husband lost his job, it was an obviously stressful time. We had a little bit of warning that it was coming, but it was still shocking and completely devastating when it actually came about. In that small time of warning that we had, my husband got the ball rolling with other opportunities and luckily he did not have to go unemployed for very long. Not many people can say that they got an amazing job offer the day after they lost their job – but my husband can. As thrilled as I was that an offer came in when it did, what it meant – uprooting our family and relocating to Rochester, New York – was completely heartbreaking in and of itself.
During the decade we lived in Kansas City, we had the most exciting and fun times in our life happened! We were just babies when we moved to Kansas City – still early in our marriage with our just-turned-one-year-old, buying our very first home together. And then our family exploded – adding four more kiddos in the following years. Ten years of building and growing our family. Ten years of making friends. Ten years of exploring and learning our town. Ten years of gaining more experience in our careers, including starting and running a photography business. Ten years of networking and getting involved. Ten years of making memories. Ten years of our story in the making.
And in just a few phone calls and e-mails, our chapter in Kansas City was inevitably about to come to a close. We never anticipated staying in KC for as long as we did, yet I had just come to terms with the fact that it was our hometown as opposed to a stop-over to the next place. I was finally happy and content with the idea of staying for however many more years – watching our family’s story continue on. But, sometimes our path in life isn’t completely up to us and this was one of those times where I had to try and trust that this new direction would be good for us all.
A month ago we left our life in Kansas City to start a new one in Rochester. We drove more than a thousand miles from our home to try and make a new one here in New York. It hasn’t been easy – seven of us temporarily living in a decently-sized two-bedroom apartment and dealing with all of the stresses that come with relocating across the country and trying to buy a house in a different state – yet, step by step, day by day we are inching closer to making this new place our home.
I’ve been trying to be optimistic as I explore my new surroundings, meet new people, and get accustomed to life in my new town. I’ve been as strong as I can be as we fight with the mortgage company, deal with lawyers, worry about ticking off the lady who lives below us, getting the kids enrolled and adjusted to a new school, trying to find a new routine, and so much more. I’ve been doing OK for a month – holding it together…
…but my heart is yearning for Kansas City. My family is back in Missouri – closer to KC than NY. My friends, my church family, and my neighbors are back in KC. My routine is back in KC. My house is in KC, with new people living in it. My photography business is back in KC. My grocery store – where I know where everything is – is back in KC. Everything I know and love and am used to is back in KC. I am longing for that familiarity – that feeling of being home.
I know home is where you make it to be…
…but home is also where the heart is.
I left a big part of my heart in Kansas City…
….and all I want to do right now is go home.
I left a huge part of my heart in Kansas City as we drove away and closed that chapter in our book of life. Yet, as heartbreaking as it was to say goodbye and as much as it hurts right now to be away, leaving that piece of my heart behind will always connect me to the place I am from and nothing – time, distance, nor circumstances – can take that away.