January 26, 2010

Wide Open Spaces

Remember the Dixie Chicks hit "Wide Open Spaces?"

Who doesn't know what I'm talking about
Who's never left home, who's never struck out
To find a dream and a life of their own
A place in the clouds, a foundation of stone

She needs wide open spaces
Room to make her big mistakes
She needs new faces
She knows the high stakes

That song can sum up my thoughts and feelings about 90% of the time. I have a problem. I know I'm not the only one, but for me, it can be a real problem. I love the idea of running away. I think starting over is one of the greatest options a person could have. At any moment we can pick up and move, start a new job, live in a new city, join a new church and make new friends.

One of the questions I despise is "Where do you see yourself in five years?" My answer (and sometimes I'm shocked I'm employed because I honestly answer this way) is I don't know. I'll be wherever God wants me to be.

I think this has a lot to do with my childhood. My mother had the amazing luxury of living all over the US and Europe when she grew up. She can name off all of the cities where she attended school (Chicago, Denver, ROME). She was a superstar to me. I would just sit and listen to her talk about her days skiing in Switzerland and her all-girls boarding school in the heart of Rome. I used to get so angry that she got to experience the world, yet she kept us in the same town from kindergarten until we graduated high school. I think I was angry because her desire to experience other places was passed down to me. It's in my DNA. It's who I am.

On the flip side of that, my blood starts pumping and I'm ready to run when things aren't going the way I would like for them to go. When life gets messy, relationships are falling apart or my job is too much to handle, I'm ready to sell our house and hit the road. Just this week I asked Todd what he thought about moving to Charleston. Or maybe Washington DC. I have fallen in love with Raleigh; I think we would like it there. I'm not afraid to start over. In a sense, that's good because I'm never glued to the place I'm in. If God says go, it won't take a whole lot of convincing for me. In another sense, it's not so good. I don't want to stick around to work things out. On a bad day, I'm not willing to fight. If this place isn't for us, we'll try another.






I have really been struggling with this lately. Fortunately my sweet husband lets me talk his ear off about possible job opportunities and cute neighborhoods in cities hours from where we are. Then he talks me down and reminds me why I love it here. But do I? The music industry isn't what it once was, folks. There are no guarantees record labels will be around in the years to come.  Am I missing out on opportunities that are waiting for us in Denver or Boston? Have I seen all there is to see? Do I want my child to spend K-12 in the same school district? I just don't know.

Unfortunately this post doesn't have an "ah, that's the answer" ending. I'm torn. Maybe I'm just restless. Maybe I need a vacation. Maybe I need to be still and let God speak truth into my life. Maybe I'm scared of what He will say.

One day when I was still in college, I was driving down a road in my hometown (Fremont Road in Ozark for you Missouri followers) and I remember feeling like the town was literally closing in on me. I almost couldn't catch my breath. I won't forget that day as long as I live. In that moment, I knew without a shadow of a doubt that I had outgrown Ozark. That night I wrote out my plan for moving back to Nashville.

I don't want to get to that point again. How do I tear down the walls I feel closing in on me? I'm working on it. I'm waiting for answers.

Stay tuned...

Side note: I do love Nashville. I just like having options. Also, this post isn't coming from any specific conversation or situation - I don't want anyone thinking, "Oh, I wonder what happened." I unfortunately just need change on a regular basis. Always have, probably always will. That's why you will see more posts about us updating our house! Ha!

PS - It has been brought to my attention that a baby would add a lot of change. True, but isn't packing easier than late-night feedings and diaper changes? :)


  1. Tara,
    I know exactly how you feel. I am one of the lucky people that have moved every couple of years and experienced in cities, people, churches, and cultures but now that I have done all that my heart is now longing to be back in Missouri. That may be because we have a baby on the way or maybe I'm just ready to settle down. I for sure don't have all the answers either.
    I wish you luck on your quest and sooner or later an answer will come.

  2. Casey -

    What a great perspective. There really is no place like home. I guess I could run anywhere, but Missouri will always draw me back in some way or another.

    So excited that you're a blogger now! Thanks for the comment.

  3. I completely identify! I would love to live in Raleigh/Durham too - let's go! :)