Wednesday, July 2, 2014

When Life Gives You Lemons... (or, we found out where we're going next)

This week has been a little nuts. I got back from Bali after an incredible 2 weeks (on the blog soon!), Fionn said goodbye to his classmates and started a new class, and we found out where we're headed to next.

And it is so not what we wanted.

To put it in perspective, we were given 9 potential locations and asked to rank them by preference. We disliked most of them, but were assured that 95% of people get their top 3. We crossed our fingers and hoped for the best. 

We got our 7th choice. Yes, seventh.

So in a few short months we'll be on our way to El Paso, Texas, a city that conveniently shares a border with Juarez, Mexico, a city once named the murder capital of the world.


Huzzah...

I know that I need to be positive about this and try to find something fun to do there and friends to make and all that. But am I wrong for being so disappointed that we couldn't just get somewhere we wanted to go? Somewhere where I might have opportunities to chase my own dreams and aspirations rather than sacrificing another year of my twenties on the altar of Army wife life?

Why couldn't we have gone somewhere that's close to the family and friends I haven't been near in ages? Why couldn't we go someplace where my degree and skill set would come in handy?

I just feel frustrated. I was hoping that this move would be easier than the others, that I wouldn't feel like I was grasping at straws trying to put a life together. It could all come together and be a great experience in the end, but at this point, standing with my bag of life lemons...I am not a happy camper.

So, blogland, I'm asking for your help. I have never been to El Paso. Heck, I've never even been to Texas or the southwest for that matter. So if you know anything about it or things I can look forward to or things to do within driving distance (even if it's a day trip!), please let me know. I am disappointed about our assignment, but I'm trying to find a bright spot in all of this.

Have any of you ever had to move somewhere you really didn't want to? How did you deal with it?

18 comments :

  1. El Paso is not ideal! Guadalupe Mountains National Park is close and worth a stop. So is White Sands National Monument, Alamogordo, NM. Unfortunately Texas is a BIG state and you might end up having more weekend trips then day trips just to visit places with in the state. I have lived in Texas all my 27 years so email me if you want to chat about it :)

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    1. That's my beef with it...it's kind of in the middle of nowhere! I will definitely be shooting you an email as we get closer...I am a total Texas newbie! :)

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    2. It inspired me to write a blog post about what one can do and see in Texas. Hope it helps: http://travelmiamor.blogspot.com/2014/07/thats-what-i-like-about-texas.html

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    3. Wow! What a great post. That gave me a lot of ideas for our road trip to El Paso and once we've moved in. Thank you! :)

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  2. Well El Paso might not be that great but there will be awesome food, probably really nice people and there are a bunch of natural wonders in Texas. On the upside, I don't think it's very expensive to live there and you are in American so you can probably get a job if you want to work.

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    1. I'm hoping it's easy to find a job...a lot of people told me that they won't hire you for jobs in the city if you don't speak Spanish since it's a very bilingual place. Guess my German and French aren't much use here! :P I am excited about the food...maybe I can learn to make killer queso while I'm there.

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  3. Damn, I'm sorry doll, I'm worried about this stuff too. I've never been to Texas, but at least you can practice your Spanish, that's what I'd be excited about anyways.

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    1. I actually started online Spanish lessons last night...it's almost like living abroad again, right? I hope you have better luck with your post-Germany duty station!

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  4. Okay, okay, I understand - no, I don't understand. Here's the deal though, of all the bases stateside that my coworkers and I have traveled, the group that went to El Paso swear it is one of the funnest cities out there. No, really. It's one of those trips that everyone talks about as being "that one time in El Paso...". I promise. Anddd I heard the food is great too!

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    1. I'm actually really glad to hear that. Part of my reservations about moving there is that everyone seems to have a horror story about El Paso and how awful it is! But at least I know some people did like it ;)

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  5. My heart goes out to you! Still a bride, the military lifestyle, leaving your beloved Germany, back to back moves, those are a lot of very challenging adjustments! Throw in a move to a place you're less than thrilled about and the temptation to lose the will to live is a very powerful one! (Please don't though, I like your blog too much.) Growing up an Army brat and now having been married to my AF husband I've definitely had my fair share of "this is not what I wanted," moves. That's part of life though, and surprisingly it's part of the good part! It's all in your perspective. Though it may seem that the Army lords over every aspect of your life, it doesn't. God does. He's allowed this to happen for a specific reason, although you can't see it now. Keep your chin up and and ask God in faith to begin to open doors of opportunities. I don't know what God has in store, what new challenges or blessings, but whatever it is it's in El Paso. Given that we serve a loving God who gives good gifts that should be a bit of a comfort!

    Plus, Texas is the bees knees. Yeah it is!!!!

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  6. Well let's see, I'll go the opposite of many people who were raised in Texas (which is also me), Texas isn't all that great. Hah! I said it. Due to the fact that there are so many different cultures and vibes throughout the massive state, maybe you will prove my opinion wrong though! I wish I could live in a land of Mexican food all day everyday! And also be given the chance to immerse myself into a foreign language. Probably not the safest place, but I am sure you will take a fourth language out of this experience which is incredibly powering!

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  7. One of my friends moved to El Paso and has absolutely loved it! It's apparently a really fun and lively city. Also, non stop mexican food? Yes please! Sending well wishes for a quick adjustment period :)

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  8. Oh man... you're totally allowed to be bleak about this. I felt a little similar when we moved to Marburg and we found out we're living in Richtsberg - the place to be for unemployment, substance-abuse and questionable parenting. I was pretty terrified as it seemed so rough. But, as it turns out, I'm surviving (well, apart from possible racist/nazi fires...;) ) But God has a purpose for our life there, and the same applies for you. I'm pretty sure your skill-set will come in useful, or you'll find an avenue where you can explore for the meantime. I never imagined working where I do now!

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  9. So sorry you didn't get somewhere you wanted. I felt a little bit like that about moving here to be honest, and it's not all that bad! :D Whilst granted Texas is mahoosive, I do have good friends that live in various parts, and they all love it - and I hear the food is pretty amazing too. Good luck!! :)

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  10. My parents lived in El Paso for five years and loved it! I love it there too. The people are wonderful, the dry air is such a nice change and the mountains are beautiful. It really is all about your attitude. We are Air Force and were stationed in Clovis, NM-talk about middle of nowhere and limited opportunities! El Paso would have been a dream assignment compared to Clovis. However, I am so glad my husband and I know that our attitude about each assignment really makes all of the difference because it turned out to be a fabulous two years.

    Please, please don't let what others say form your opinion on El Paso before you even get there. It really is a wonderful place and it is safe-there is a HUGE difference between Juarez and El Paso. The crime rate in El Paso is not high compared to other cities the same size, in fact it is lower than many.

    We really like the west side of the city but it can be a little more expensive. The East side offers some of the best shopping and food though so there are pros and cons. My husband and I absolutely fell in love with the Southwest.

    When you are there you must visit Sedona, AZ, it is amazing! Also, we love Ruidoso which isn't too far from El Paso at all, you can even ski in Cloudcroft. Pagosa Springs, CO and Durango, CO are awesome too. All are within a days drive, I think about 7.5 hours or so.

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  11. Shannon, I hate when things don't seem to work out how you wanted--especially after spending so much time away from family and friends! I have never been to El Paso but I can see how it would be disappointing (and 7th choices are never fun...). That being said, I am jealous of all the amazing Tex Mex, and straight up Mexican, food you will be able to eat! Also, you will really be able to relate to Friday Night Lights :)

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  12. You'll be only a few hundred miles from Taos and Santa Fe, NM - both places that I've always wanted to see, actually. Good luck with the new placement!

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