Here it is folks, what we've all been waiting for...the unveiling of Jen's new and improved blog!!! (C'mon, you know you wanna leave a comment!!) I've been wanting to go in a different direction for a while, especially since Marcus neither posts on nor reads our "family" blog. I've been trying to figure out the perfect, clever name, which wasn't happening. (Thanks to Mom, though, for suggesting "Inside Jen's Brain." At least we got a good laugh out of it, right?) Anyway, today I was inspired by myself. :) Those of you who know me personally, what's the first thing I say upon entering a room? "Hey y'all." So there we go. Up here in NYC, my southernness has set me apart, made me somewhat interesting and always fun to mock. But now, this greeting is going to become a part of everyday life again, something my son will say, something people will say back to us. Because, everybody, we are moving back home. It's true. Marcus has accepted a position at the University of Montevallo in Alabama (just south of Birmingham) and we will relocate there permanently in August, after our summer gig in WV is over. That means when we leave NYC in May, we're not coming back as residents.
We have mixed emotions as we prepare to leave the Big Apple. Before moving here, I don't think either of us ever pictured ourselves living in this city. I expected to spend my life and career at universities and regional theatres. But one thing led to another and this is where we landed. The opportunities we've had here have been incredible. I realized dreams I never knew I had and made them come true. I never in a million years dreamed I'd work on Broadway, yet I've done two shows there now. Marucs never saw himself as the coordinator of a theatre department, yet that's exactly what he's been doing the last couple of years. We got engagaed in New York, lived together as a married couple here, had our baby here. It will always hold a very special place in our hearts, but it's time to move. Anyone who knows us will not be surprised by this news. We have always known we'd leave NY some day and since finding out Dean was on the way, the clock has been ticking. Neither of us wants to raise kids here. It's not that it's an awful place for children (though we would have to declare bankruptcy if we wanted to send Deano to private school), it's just not what we know. We both grew up with backyards in subdivisions where you could ride your bike, where you ate lunch at whomever's house you were at around lunchtime, where you didn't have to take the subway everywhere. Of course the world has changed since the 70's (haha, Marcus is old!) and 80's when we were kids, but we know what kind of life we want to provide for our family and a childhood in NYC is not it.
We are both incredibly proud to have called ourselves New Yorkers for the past few years. I for one am prouder than proud to have been able to make it here. I've never missed a rent payment. I haven't had to hock any family heirlooms at the pawn shop to make ends meet. I've worked in my field since I walked into town, only spending a day or two temping (Which sucked my soul out through my ear, by the way). These are big accomplishments and have been so important in making me the person I am today, a person I'm proud of, a person who can give my son better experiences and understanding of the world because of what I've been through.
I can't wait to get to Montevallo. We go down next month to look at houses for purchase (!!!!!), so look for upcoming blogs on the terror that is applying for a mortgage. Everyone we've told has asked "But what are you going to do down there???" I'm going to raise my son and take care of my husband and our house. And visit my family more often (they're only 3 hours away in Oxford, MS!!) And drink coffee. And probably find a way to spend some time working in the theatre department with Marcus. I will certainly find something to occupy myself, even if it's just sipping sweet tea and soaking up the warm weather. Now everyone go play "Sweet Home Alabama" and think of me. :)