10 years ago, I made a ton of life changes, all at once. We moved from Utah to Maine, to a place we’d never been before. We bought a house for the first time. I started my first time job. In hindsight, I really wonder if I was crazy, tackling all of that at the same time. What if the job hadn’t worked out? There I would be, stranded in Maine with no support network and a 30 year mortgage. What if we ended up not liking the area? Same situation. As I’ve been here for ten years, I’ve seen many people come to the area and leave for a variety of reasons.
We’re still here.
I’ve had my aunt and cousin staying with us the past two evenings, and my aunt asked me yesterday if we were happy here. And really, I have a hard time imagining a place that’s a better fit. The kids love it. Denisa loves it. I love it. Though “love it” is perhaps too simple a description. It’s the same sort of love you love your family with. There are aspects that frustrate you from time to time. Things you might wish were different. But in the end, you’re bonded somehow. It just feels right. I would be very happy if I never moved again in my life. If I stayed with my job and kept doing what I’m doing. True, there are times that I get antsy, but change comes around sooner or later, and it always makes me wish it hadn’t. 🙂
What do I love about Maine? I love the small town feel. The way I can run into friends anywhere I go, whether it’s at the movie theater or the grocery store or just walking around downtown. It’s more surprising when I don’t run into someone I know. That’s great. I love the winters, with a thick blanket of snow outside and my wood stove cranking out heat in the kitchen. I love going fishing on a lake that has no one else on it (in the winter or summer). I love blueberry season, and having a freezer full of them. I love the autumn, and the way the leaves smell on the ground. I love the walk I take into work each morning from the parking lot (I park across campus so I can get some extra walking in each day). I love watching movies on my new projection screen and playing games at my new game table. I love Groundhog Day parties with friends who don’t mind some eccentricity. I love driving for miles and not seeing another car on the road.
Some Mainers will never let you forget you “come from away.” That you weren’t born here. (Or that your parents weren’t born here, as if the only way your opinion counts is if you trace your roots back to Maine at least as far as your grandparents.) But they’re in the minority, at least in my circle of friends. Instead, the people I know and spend a lot of time with have sort of all been drawn here from hours and hours away. It takes a certain sort of person to not just want to move to Maine, but to move to Western Maine. And it takes a sort of person to want to stay.
I think that sort of person is very close to the sort of person I like, which is probably a huge reason I love living here.
In any case, it’s been a great run so far. Hard to believe when we first came we just had Tomas. We’ve expanded the family and the house. I’ve switched jobs three times. I’ve become a published author. I’m a different person than I was when I moved here. Maine has definitely changed who I am.
Here’s to the next ten years, and many more to follow!