We will be in Iowa City for the next five years.
Joe has a friend in Iowa who told him about a job opening in his Urology program, and since Joe is unhappy with his program here he was super interested but left the choice up to me. Initially I said no since I have a very happy and full life here, but then I got my act together and actually thought about Joe. He does not have a happy and full life here. All he does is work, and he doesn't particularly care for the place he works and feels like he isn't learning as much as he could. (He scrambled into the program here in the first place, and it wasn't really what he would have chosen otherwise.) I want us to have a happy and full life together I realized. Iowa gives us that chance. They have an excellent program. We went through months of agony over the process because once we'd made the decision to go for it we had no idea if he'd even get the job since there were quite a few applicants. We had no clue what our future would be. He sent an application and we waited, then he had an interview and we waited some more. Finally he was offered the job, and we felt such excitement mixed with "what the hell are we doing?!"
We went out there for a trip to apartment hunt, and yes, I visited Anna Allen, who is 30 minutes away (but is sadly moving away soon, boo). More on that another time, including photos. We found a 3 bedroom house to rent that is a FOUR MINUTE walk to the hospital!!! Oh joy of joys, you don't know what this means for our lives! Home call for Joe, instead of spending nights at the hospital. We will be on a normal schedule from now on. No crazy weeks of working at night and sleeping during the day. Just regular work days with one night of being on call at home per weekend. And the year after this Joe will have a year off for writing research papers, which means we can live abroad or try to have a kid or at least something awesome that we didn't have the opportunity to do before.
This is a wonderful, happy thing. We are overjoyed for this opportunity and feel so lucky. Iowa City is very cute, and I'm sure we'll feel at home there. However, right now all of this is mixed together with stress over moving and sadness at leaving my friends and life here. It's a complicated mix of feelings, there's no black and white. After the last move I've become more comfortable with change, but the adjustment will still be a bit rough at first I'm sure. Moving is never easy, is it? I'm terrible at saying goodbyes and feel pretty emotional at leaving all I've built for myself here. All in all, the last two years have been a magical time in my life and I feel grateful to have had the experience. But I think I'm starting to feel ready to embrace the good and bad that comes with this change in our lives.
So look out, Iowa. I already have plans for you. I've been there exactly twice and only know two people there, so I'm not totally sure what to expect. However, I'm already looking forward to: buying a hammock for the yard and slowing down my pace, planting a garden, spending Saturdays at the library, attending football games in the fall, going to the farmer's markets and cooking dinner every night instead of takeout, decorating the house, taking ceramics classes at the university.
Now all I have to do is pack. We are leaving in one week and I've been too busy to even start! Wish me luck.