Saturday, April 12, 2014

A Premature Overdue Departure

Well, here it is. An announcement that I would have expected to make a long time ago and yet one I'm still not entirely ready to make.


Deep breath.

We have decided to return to the US.

Eight years, lots of travel, terrific professional opportunities and two kids later, we are going to make the move back over the big sea to the homeland.

As you'll probably understand, this declaration is both exciting and terrifying. Our lives are here at the moment and the thought of uprooting it all is unsettling and scary. We have loved Canberra and Canberrans. The city, amenities, museums, restaurants, walking tracks, bike paths and nature parks have contributed to a great lifestyle here. We've appreciated the weather, the proximity to beaches, the ease of getting around and the national health care system.

Perhaps the most difficult part of all this is leaving my work behind. This job that I have loved for seven years was created for me as the result of my masters research. I've been privileged to work with the most awesome team of people over the years and I'm proud to have established some pretty great programs. This has been incredibly fulfilling and there is a great sense of identity wrapped up in my work. Announcing our departure has been very difficult and I find myself grieving this loss already. The idea of having to craft a new stage of my career is daunting.

Then of course, there is the beautiful community of people I've been surrounded by. The mothers who shared the experience of early days with a new baby and who over the years have provided a consistent network of support and friendship as we've grown (and had second babies). A handful of notable women who have shared profound joys and daily struggles. Colleagues who've become friends.

We make this decision because it's time. Every additional year we stay sees us becoming more and more entrenched in work, school and the community. When we ask ourselves where we want to be in twenty years, it's not here. For this reason, it makes sense to go sooner rather than later. Riker could start school in the US in September and Brian has business ideas that he can't confidently establish in a place we don't anticipate being for the long haul. Foundations made of sand, he says. The reasons we've stayed for eight years have mostly been for me. Its only fair now that we find the place we might feel more settled so we can launch some longer term endeavors.

Of course, our family is entirely in the US and this is the biggest reason to return. Our parents are getting older and want to spend time with their grandchildren. We've also wanted our kids to grow up with their cousins and have the opportunity to know the importance of family. Brian and I could really use some family support as well and I've often thought we do our children a disservice by living so far from the people best placed to lend us a helping hand.

So, we're moving back to the US after eight profoundly amazing years in Australia. Talk about conflicting emotions. Has it been worth it? Absolutely. Will the change be difficult? Probably. Is it a good decision? I sure hope so.


  1. Love you! I know this isn't easy. We will do what we can to help make your return worth it. :) And if doesn't work out, Australia isn't going anywhere ;)

  2. Wow! Excited to have you back in the same hemisphere - will you be near Ohio at all?

    1. Yes, Cleveland in fact. Are you in Columbus?