We dated for a handful of months, keeping things quiet because we worked together. The first week of February, he was transferred to the East Coast and we broke up. I was distraught. I didn’t eat or sleep for the better part of seven weeks. Easter weekend in NYC brought us back together, at a crossroad: we could move to Arizona, where I had an excellent job opportunity. He could move to Denver, where I also had a couple job opportunities. Or I could move to the East Coast and find something new – knowing he already had a great job. While it took a while to agree on a zip code, we were certain we wanted to be together.

If there was ever a man meant to live in a big city, he’s the one. He grew up in Europe and still travels there frequently, is more at ease in a three-piece suit than shorts and a T-shirt. He LOVES New York, a quick train ride away. If I was willing to come east, he’d care for us. (Nelson included, of course.)

To the shock of many, I started packing. Here’s why:

  1. I love this man. And I am a complete and total sucker for love. He makes me better. My life is happier when we are together. We make sense.
  2. A fresh start. Although I’d just done this with a move to Colorado two years prior, it all sounded so very nice. I didn’t need all of this stuff. I didn’t need to stay in a job I hadn’t enjoyed for a long time — even if my clients were fantastic. I was being given a chance to free myself of both.
  3. I’ve never lived on the East Coast. And while I am a western girl at heart, it will be fun to discover a new place. I’m looking forward to upstate New York this summer, and road trips to states I’ve only ever seen on maps. Ben and Jerry’s in Vermont! Screaming, “live free or die!” in New Hampshire. Lobster in Maine, etc. {I am writing this from a Starbucks in New Jersey, wearing chunky turquoise, a jean jacket, and dirty white chucks. I’m surrounded by folks wearing black, puffy Burberry coats with plaid at the cuffs, or pressed Brooks Brothers with flashy links. Toto, we aren’t in Golden anymore.}
  4. A new career. I’ve got time and a bit of savings. I can plan this next job without that sense of, “holy Moses, I just got laid off twice in four months” urgency that led to the last. I have time to think about how I want to spend my time, in addition to finishing my novel.
  5. Maybe I’m just dreaming, but being closer to the capital of publishing gives me more hope for finding the right agent and editor for future novels.
  6. It isn’t permanent. We have dreams of living abroad and raising a family in the West. I want my closest friends and family nearby. My life is richer with community.
  7. Did I mention I love him? He is a good man. Plus, it is kinda fun to be spontaneous for the first time in my otherwise very planned life.

Thank you for all of the well wishes. Change of address cards hitting the post next week — as Nelson and I hit the open road, bound for New Jersey.


P.S. Yeah, I moved to Africa when I was 20. But Jersey? THIS IS SCARY.

43 Replies to “Leap”

  1. Oh Kelli, I had wondered!!! 🙂 I can’t tell you how excited I am for you and just how envious I am of your fresh start and your proximity to the “capital” of Ben and Jerry’s. I’ve been grinning ear-to-ear on many of your posts lately and this one has created the biggest grin to-date.
    Go get ’em, my friend!

  2. In a month it will be 25 years since I moved from LA to Boston (sight unseen). Clearly it was one of my best decisions ever — My Big Adventure. You are going to love the east coast! My first lobster was in Maine, at a picnic table near the ocean and I’ve loved Maine ever since. I can’t say enough about the east coast; I love it!

  3. Thank you for sharing this very personal story! And yes — keep on blogging. You have so many adventures ahead. I am so happy for you!

  4. We moved from IL to TX pretty much sight unseen and I would do it again. Life is an adventure and I am so happy for you both. Don’t forget to sendme a change of address!!!! XOXO Kim

  5. I can’t find the words to express the gratitude to be taken along with you as you’re moving on with your life. I wish you and your man all the good and fine there’s in the world (I don’t know him but I know you so I’m sure he’s the best!). They say “home is where your heart is” so I’m sure you’ll be in the right place……

  6. There is one word that sums up this post and that is “LOVE”. I love that you are happy. I love that you are in love. I love the way you write. And I love that you will be on my East Coast with the hopes of many coffee get- togethers. In the meantime, thank you for sharing your hopes and dreams with us in blogland and beyond. So happy that everything is falling into place for you as you venture toward your future with your love!

  7. How wonderful for you! I spent most of my life in upstate NY…the Catskill region! I’m a country girl at heart, but could catch a train to the city whenever I wanted. Enjoy every moment of your new adventure!

  8. Isn’t the Spirit of the West all about taking leaps and shaking things up? Of course! All the bestest to you on this new and very exciting adventure.

  9. YAY!!!

    Kelli, now is the time to take the leap for love! You and Nelson can live anywhere and you know that he is a good man since you met him through work and a relationship developed from there.

    Enjoy your time, enjoy the adventure and savor every moment! Life should be an adventure not filled with regret.

    Hugs to you, Nelson and Dutch! This will be fun!

  10. I’m so excited for you Kelli. What an amazing adventure and to do it with someone you love is such a bonus. Congratulations and many blessings!

  11. Enjoy to the max! You sure are meeting the ‘explorer’ part of your childhood dreams. The first time I moved on a whim to Montreal with no job/school waiting for me, someone said “Ahh, so you have a blind date with Montreal!”
    Sounds like you have a blind date with New Jersey and the East Coast. Awesome. And if you ever make it north to Montreal, let me know. I would be happy to meet you in person after years of enjoying your blog and travels and generally inspiring outlook on life.

  12. I am so happy for you Kells…there is nothing more fulfilling than following your heart! Congrats!

  13. So, so happy for you! Wear your turquoise with pride – you’ll be loved wherever you go.

    Welcome to the East Coast!

  14. Kelli, this is awesome. I love that you leapt for love. It is what love is meant to do; turn us inside out and makes us feel like flying even though we’re standing firmly in it’s depths. You will shine wherever you are, and NYC will be the better for it!

    If you two want to come out to Block Island this summer (small island off the coast of Rhode Island, a high-speed ferry ride away from New London CT–you’ll have tour guide and a place to kayak, paddle-board, and a beach to pick seaglass with–come out for the day or overnight, love to see you anytime from mid-June to mid-August.

  15. Wow! So happy to hear of this new adventure, Kelli! Much love to you and Nelson and that special man in your life. I’m looking forward to reading about all of the new discoveries you make.

  16. Congratulations! I am so happy for you. I married my coworker 4 years ago after being laid off together twice. Being able to see the other person in so many situations helps you really KNOW them, and there aren’t any unpleasant surprises later. It was my best decision ever. A relationship that both grounds you and gives you wings, a partner with whom you fit, who brings joy to your world- is one of life’s greatest blessings. All the best to you as you embark on your next chapter.

  17. NJ is ready to welcome you with open and friendly arms!! I am in charge of the welcoming committee!! We are really not like the Sopranos or Snookie! Just some regular people who have the beach and NYC at their fingertips. I’m here at the beach and hope the 3 of you can come visit this summer. When you want to take a trip back West…I hope Nelson can come stay with me. Hope to meet you as soon as you catch your breath. Mark your calendar for Rhinebeck too…the perfect Fall weekend in the Catskills.

  18. I can’t even say everything I want to say about this……here and now. So I will simply say that I am so very happy (and a little jealous of ;)) for your spontaneity and LEAP. Also, you are coming to the East Coast and I see this as an opportunity for us to actually MEET after so, so many years. Most of all, I am just beaming for you…..happiness and love has a way of making us do that!! MUCHO ABRAZOS AMIGA! <3

  19. When you know, you know. (And God gives you the peace.)

    So glad you found the One He had in mind for you. (Worth the wait, huh?)

    So happy for you, Kelli!

  20. It’ll be a drive (or flight) from NJ but you have to go to the Big E (http://www.thebige.com/ese/index.asp). It’s snippets of what’s great about New England all in one place. I go every year. There’s a TON to do, but I basically just eat my way through the place. And some years I get all of my Christmas shopping done in one day.

  21. I love that you are in LOVE! And I LOVE that you met him at work…sometimes that is the way it just is (and it works out and there is love!).

    Many hugs to you on your happy and carefree adventure, surrounded by all things furry and Nelson, and love from your man.

    You have a HUGE village of people around this great land of ours (especially out west!) who want nothing but the best for you and are surrounding YOU with love too.


  22. I imagine you look very exotic amongst the Burberry coats! Hold on to that. Congratulations – I love the love story! Maybe we can have coffee in the Big Apple one day. Safe travels.

  23. Thank you for sharing a bit of the back story:) I am so happy for you. I’m a planner too, and recently realized all my best decisions were those that weren’t made based on a pro/con list (though I still made those too!), but the ones made from the heart/gut.

    I can’t wait to read where this journey takes you!

  24. So glad to hear this amazing story. Enjoy this next chapter. And if you want to come South, you have a place in Richmond, VA.

  25. I’ve been quietly following & just catching up – wanted to say that I’m so happy for you & for him & the new adventure you’re on together! It brings such a smile to my face & warmth to my heart! Congratulations, Kelli! You deserve all the happiness in the world! 🙂

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