My husband just got The Job. It's the job he's been doing for years, but now he actual has the title. He's a Professor, on a tenure line, on his way up that big ole academic ladder. I'm so proud I could burst.
We are so blessed. As he and I discussed over fancy dinner (this kind of news deserves dumping the kid on grandparents at the last minute, throwing on some heels and eating an over-priced and decadent meal like grown-ups), we now have security. Oh, that holiest of words. He will soon be tenured at a state institution. That's, like, the definition of job security. Do you have any idea how hard it is to fire a state employee (oh, the story I would share here if this weren't a public forum)? In this flux economy with so much going wrong for so many good people, we have hit the jackpot.
This new security is not just in finances or benefits, but also in location. We are here to stay -- at least for several years. I have been nomadic since leaving Texas for college. Leading up to the year I got married, I had moved every year for 10 years. When I moved to Clemson, it was in the belief that I was here to be with D. as he finished his Ph.D, and then we'd move for his first job. After he surprised us both by getting his first job at Clemson, we expected to move soon for the tenure-line job. We waited longer than expected for that move, fueled by countless promises and slowed down by a bad economy, but always certain we were going to move soon. And then this happened. We are now in a state of Not About to Move. I can settle down, exhale, make plans. This house we are in the process of buying (it's stuck in probate court, but that's another story) will be my daughter's childhood home. In four years, she will walk from here to the elementary school three blocks away. Our Christmas stockings will hang on this mantle. The flowers we plant will grow tall for years to come.
I always thought I wanted to wander. I wanted to see the world, and I still do. Yet these past few years have found me longing to put down roots, to ground myself in a place, a home, a group of people, a future. I have put out tentative roots here, but relunctantly, as I wasn't sure they would last. But now, this is home. I will grow here, as will my children. And it surprises me most of all how happy this makes me.
Next month marks my sixth year in Clemson, but only now do I feel like this is truly my home. I live here. It is my daughter's hometown. It is where we will build our family's life. It is where I am secure.