It is funny for me to think back to when Justin and I got engaged. I was finishing up my 5th year at Ohio State (I was a little slow to graduate ;) ) and we were excited to be married and start life together as Mr. and Mrs. Sharkey. We got a puppy, I finished school, we signed a lease for an apartment near our hometown and we planned our wedding for the summer of 2008. What we didn't know was that 7 months after we got engaged, we would find out we were moving.
One month before we got married, Justin was offered a new job 2 hours and 40 minutes north of our hometown. Two weeks after our wedding, we moved. Two additional moves and another job offer followed and brought us to where we are now.
Although we did not plan to move to any of the places we have, it has turned our relationship into something really great. We have forced ourselves to get out and experience our new towns. We have relied on each other to make the best of where we were. This meant looking up things to do in our area, stepping out of our comfort zones, networking and talking with every new person I could. We have experienced a lot of new things, been on lots of dates and enjoyed our new area. We hike, bike, attend farmers markets and explore the Cuyahoga Valley National Park often and then switch it up and head to downtown Akron or Cleveland to get a little city life.
We are a team. We rely on each other so much. The best thing about us is that we have a really great friendship that sets our foundation. I really feel like all the change, new places and new jobs has made us even closer. In the beginning, I didn't like the idea of moving around a lot. I was a little uneasy with all the unknown ahead of us. We knew our first location was short term, but how short term? 6 months, 1 year, 3 years? Our first two places we lived after we got married were not the type of places for us. With very little to do in small farm towns, and a lot of hard work and hours for Justin with his new job, it almost seemed like our lives were on hold for a little bit until we moved to our next place.
The funny part though is looking back three years ago with the point of view we have now. We joke about how awful it was the first year, but the fact we can laugh about it now is a good thing. We have ended up in the northeast Ohio area for now, but who knows maybe we will end up somewhere else sooner than we think. All the moving, new jobs, new friends along the way, new experiences have formed us into the couple we are now. We aren't as anxious about where we will go next, or when that will be. We have adjusted. We are so thankful for the last two places we lived because we appreciate where it took us. Where we live now is so wonderful in our eyes. With things to do, less stress at work, city life, outdoor life, a national park, art life and now friends 30 minutes away, we sort of feel like newlyweds again! Looking back I wouldn't change anything. I wish I could tell my "old self" to enjoy it because blessings I wouldn't understand at the time were going to come from this situation.
I remember someone telling me when we were engaged "If you think you are in love now, just wait until you have been married 5+ years." I didn't quite understand it at the time, but I see the truth in that so clearly now.