From time to time, people would ask if I ever thought I’d move back to the US. It was always a firm ‘no way’ in response. Yet, despite all this, about a year and a half ago, the tide started turning, and Scott and I began considering a different life for ourselves and our family... in the USA.
From that moment, we were certain that if it happened, there would be no other place for us to move to other than Northwest Arkansas – Fayetteville, or thereabouts. There was no other option. If we were going to leave our Scottish home, we would only leave it for that place. And that’s what we planned. We looked at houses there, jobs, schools, churches. We left Scotland with NWA as our destination. I would not have left for any other place.
Then we arrived in Arkansas and moved in temporarily with my mom and step-dad in the temporary town in which I grew up. And my whole life plan once again started spinning, with the arrow pointing who knows where.
Seeing our kids absolutely thrive in the presence of so much family was beautiful. They were used to being close to family in Scotland, with Scott’s parents and sister’s family so close. Scott knew almost right away that the real direction our lives were headed was right here, close to family. He felt at home almost immediately. I, however, took longer.
I could not face living in central Arkansas. I could not stand the idea of being somewhere so ‘boring’ and so, well, far from where my heart longed to be. I didn’t move to Arkansas to stay here! But I couldn’t deny the fact that being close to family was best for our kids either, and I started to accept that this is, in fact, where we’ll be living. BUT. Only on one condition. We DO NOT live in my hometown. That was my final offer.
And somewhere up in heaven God sat laughing or maybe pitying, because it seems that’s the worst thing you can ever say – ‘I will NEVER.’ It’s almost like a jinx, or a dare.
NEVER did I EVER intend to come back to live in my hometown. I left for college with the determination never to come back, except for holidays and homecoming weekend. Then I left for Scotland which was even further than I’d expected.
Then somehow, I ended up right back here where I NEVER thought I’d end up.
We discussed living in Little Rock, or Sherwood, or some place in that direction, but I knew deep down that this wasn’t the answer. Still, I pushed that niggling feeling out as we pursued the options. I was still upset over not being in NWA, particularly because Fifi had gotten a space in a great charter school, which is hard to get. As I considered all the schools in the central area, I still knew that the answer was precisely where I did not want it to be: right here.
We’ve made our decision now. Beyond anything I ever believed, we are going to stay in my hometown. And after a good long cry about it, I am at peace with this. My kids will thrive here, in a good school system, with family all around, and lots of wide, open spaces to play in. It will be safe here, and they will get to experience a simplified way of life (which fits in with my intended theme for 2013 - "Simplicity"), out here in the country. Once we have our jobs secure, we will start looking for our own house, right here, in this town I know all too well, haunted by so many memories, but I’m happy with this decision. I know in my heart it’s the right one.
But I’m still planning on retiring somewhere else.