I made the trip halfway across the country from Sacramento, California to Dallas, Texas in February of 2021 with my 8 year old dog & grandmother in tow for good company and driving help. Along the way we stopped in Las Vegas to help my family move into their new home and a week later we were back on the open road enjoying the beautiful views of the Las Vegas Sunrise and red rocky desserts, cacti, and snowy plains of Arizona. Passing through New Mexico, for me, was the worst part of the drive but an…. interesting place to get an up close view of marking the home stretch of finally making it to good ol’ Texas where friends of mine were waiting to greet me and house me just a week before the big snowstorm suddenly hit.
I moved here for a job I thought I wanted. I visited here months before for a friendsgiving and just wanted to be close to female friends. California left a lot to be desired and although I was a native Californian, it did not feel like home and to this day I don’t miss that place at all.
Little did I know, I would ultimately get married, turn down this “dream job” and learn how to fully embrace my more conservative beliefs that I struggled my entire life to resist due to the pressures of where I was living, friends and dating experiences I was having during my adolescent and adult years.
During this time, California residents were leaving the state in droves going to places in the midwest, Arizona, Las Vegas and Texas to name a few. The pandemic and resulting economic downfall of families was the last straw for a lot of people and spontaneous moves ensued. My move was always planned, but the job I was pursuing pre-pandemic sent all of the trainees home before the job was secured leaving hundreds of people stranded, homeless, and jobless. Although I knew it was a pandemic and a rare occurrence for a company to do this, 100% of trainees were required to leave their jobs and relocate for this opportunity and in the end all we were left with was an email stating ”per contract we are not responsible for you” and sent us on our way.
Being self employed for the past 3 years prior to going for this job, cut and dry ghosting approach left a solid bad taste in my mouth and reminded me of all of the reasons why I could not get with the idea of working for corporations. Sacrifice and dedication is required of a persons time and energy and, in this case, previous employment and place of residence we also to be sacrifice just to ultimately be abandoned when things when things went wrong.
Upon moving to Dallas was entering a period of my life where I was still self employed, financially stable and figuring out what it was I wanted out of life from that point on. I spent a ton of time during the solitude of the snowstorm contemplating what was important to me. Family, Relationships, freedom of my time were important. Work, in my mind, became less important unless it was for my relationships and family.
I began to think back on my late teenage years when I had first contemplated marriage. I remember wanting to be a stay at home mom if I ever went that route of family creation. Growing up with a single mother and watching her balance trying to make a living with also trying to be a present, loving and protective mother I knew that I would not be able to do it all on my own. Bringing a child into the world is a huge responsibility and it lasts a life time and the parental impact on a child’s life is not something to take lightly. I wanted to be there for every first step, every diaper change, every study session, every performance. I wanted my child to come home from school knowing their mother was there to greet them joyfully or outside to pick them up and safely drive them back home and hear about their day. Coparenting without a marriage was never an option to me, single motherhood was never an option for me. I never wanted to divorce, I wanted to take my time and fully be mentally and emotionally ready and confident on my entry into marriage to make sure it was as stable as could be for the possible creation and raising of children and playing the long game.
These ideas were shunned as I began to date seriously in early adulthood. A woman’s value were in her revenue. A woman’s demise was in her financial dependence on the men in her life. What will happen when he leaves you and you are left with nothing? There’s so much more to life. So much to do and experience. And because I could not find a man who could or wanted to fulfill the traditional male duties, something in my brain switched. I took a one way flight out to New York City on my own where I lived and worked for three months and in those three months I discovered everyone was right. There is so much more to life. So much to experience and live for and discover and explore. I could do it all by myself and achieve everything my heart desired. Playing that traditional wife role was playing small.
The truth was, I was giving in to the new world view. The underpinning of my thought processes was still I will not get married unless I could live my life in that traditional role. It was completely unchanging. If I could not be the wife and mother I wanted to be, I would not do it at all. In my heart, my true super power in a family structure was to raise my own children instead of relying on day care, homeschool my children effectively if I saw fit, cook for and be there for my children & husband everyday without fail. “Work” and “Career” in society, the realm in which I was shown over and over would not care about me at all if I was sick, dying, injured, couldn’t find daycare etc became less and less important in my life yet it was what made me a desirable woman in the eyes of men I was dating. It was up to me to stay true, follow my gut, and date differently.
Over breakfast one day in September, I opened up to my mother about how much my mind and mental health has changed since being in Texas. I spoke of how much resistance and anger I was feeling in California without even knowing it. She came down to visit for our annual joint birthday and we spent a few days together reuniting after 7 months and exploring various restaurants in the Dallas Area and going to the top of the Reunion Tower.
I explained to her that since being here I’ve been so happy. My inner happiness and values were finally reflected in what I saw in my surrounding society and with that, my faith in God began to strengthen. Living in Texas opened my heart and mind to the concept of marriage again, what I can do as a woman and embracing the type of woman I truly was. I no longer found shame in my values and started to feel powerful. It was here that I took a deep dive into the influence I had been under, why I went through so many phases of anger and depression and internal resistance with trying to conform my inner values with what I was being TOLD and SOLD I should want from life and from relationships.
I felt so refreshed living here. I felt incredible, in tune with God and life again and so distant from everything in my life that came before this time of traveling through and living in this state. It led me to let go of those past relationships and friendships and solidly move forward into who I really was. It was not something I had to scream from the roof tops at all , but instead it became something I had to accept within myself. Realize what I needed, what I believed for my life to be true, and to stop resisting.
I am always amazed at how things come together in our lives. When I thought I was in control, coming here for a job, preparing to buy my first house as a single woman to finding out so much more about myself and my true desires of this life and unpacking all of the ways I had been settling for things I did not want and did not want to be. Here I am, not a single woman, not buying my first house (yet), rejecting the job I moved for, married & preparing to leave Texas (unfortunately) to join and support my husband as he pursues his own career path. Suddenly, everything felt right.