The following sentence is not something I imagined writing or saying out loud in 2020. This spring my husband, daughter, and I are planning to move to Rochester, New York.
Up until two months ago, I was happily working at my job as a curriculum coordinator, and I’d just been elected as President-Elect of the Texas Association of Supervisors of Mathematics (TASM). That trajectory involved staying put here in Austin.
It’s funny how a global pandemic can radically alter your plans and priorities. (It’s not actually funny. I’ve been on an emotional roller coaster the past several of months as events have unfolded, and the ride isn’t over.)
So why the move and why Rochester, New York? While we had no immediate plans to move up until now, we had been entertaining the idea of eventually moving out of Texas. Our primary reason has to do with climate change. The summers here are brutal, and that’s only going to get worse, not better. It’s frustrating to me that when my daughter is out of school for the summer, going outside feels like a punishment because it’s so dang hot. It’s a huge missed opportunity to get out together as a family.
In mid-July when my husband tossed out the idea of moving, it didn’t take long to figure out where we would go. My husband and I have noticed over the past few years that whenever we go on vacation we invariably choose to visit extended family in upstate New York. Tom’s parents live in Syracuse and his brother lives in Rochester. My family lives outside Buffalo.
Our daughter has a close relationship with her grandparents and uncle. This summer she had almost daily video calls with her grandma and grandpa. I envy her because as a military brat I rarely lived anywhere near extended family while I was growing up and visits were sporadic.
This was a difficult decision because it means I’m going to have to resign from my job (though HR decisions are pushing me in that direction anyway), leave my coworkers and friends behind, and I won’t get to continue working with the great folks at TASM.
But it became a much easier decision after talking about our plans with our daughter. We were nervous about how she’d feel, and we were willing to reconsider if she had strong reservations. Turns out there was no reason to worry. She is over the moon about our move! She can’t wait to live close to family, and she is unbelievably excited about living somewhere that gets SNOW.
Her excitement makes me excited. I’m excited about getting to live and explore a new place with her. I’m excited about milder summers where we can get outside and enjoy time together as a family. I’m excited to be close to extended family and have even more opportunities to spend time with them. I’m excited about eventually being able to go on vacation somewhere other than to visit family. I’m excited about living in a state where we can drive for 6 hours and actually get to a different state.
This may not be the direction I imagined or planned on going, but I’m excited and hopeful about what the future holds.