I never thought I would live in Pittsburgh. I’m a Cleveland girl who attended Browns parties with family members who put orange puffy paint on their socks to support the team—“Go” on the left and “Browns” on the right. They yelled at the T.V. for reasons unknown to me, but I did understand one thing—we were supposed to hate the Steelers. As a kid, Pittsburgh was a just a far-away city with a nemesis football team. But now, it’s my home, and I’m so very happy about it.
You see, I’ve lived with the green, tornado-ready skies of Kansas, the majestic purple mountains of Arizona, the waving blue grass of Kentucky, and the reliably terrible traffic of Washington, D.C. Eight years ago today, I married my best friend and became an Army wife. Soon after, we traveled the country together in a yellow Penske truck, and on the way, I found a home in five different states. Without being an actual expert on relocation (if one exists), here are six ways to make the most of moving:
- Keep Your Resume Ready
I am a stay-at-home mom and the proud owner of a completely updated resume. Although I am fairly confident that I’ll be in this position for a while longer, moving has taught me to be prepared. I can fire that thing off tomorrow. A new city means new opportunities.
- Collect Cardboard Boxes
Even though it annoys my husband, our storage closet is full of empty diaper boxes. I can’t shake the feeling of needing to pack at a moment’s notice, and I have been the crazy lady at the grocery store begging for broken-down boxes. It’s not a fun evening, and I suspect it would be even less fun with a one year old in tow. Now all I need is a glass of wine, a few rolls of packing tape, and a Sharpie and we’re out the door.
A small sample of diaper boxes ready for moving
- Get Lost
Will someone please tell me the difference between the Route 19 over the bridge and the Route 19 under the bridge? Did they start out that way or did they become that way simply to confuse visitors? This is the kind of innate knowledge that comes with being a Pittsburgher. I might get lost on a weekly basis, but I also get to see the city with fresh eyes. I get to guess how the people of the past pieced it together.
- Try the Local Fare
In Arizona we tried hiking in the mountains. In Kentucky we developed a love of porch sitting and bourbon sipping. In Virginia we packed picnics to enjoy at family-owned vineyards. We haven’t yet discovered our favorite Pittsburgh pastime, but we’re always on the lookout.
Fort Huachuca Mountains in Arizona
- Appreciate Your Hometown
A true sense of calm comes over me when I return to Cleveland. It’s so familiar that it’s easy to forget that I haven’t lived there in almost a decade. The lake is always north and the people are always self-deprecating. Best of all, I make time to be a tourist.
- Bloom Where You Are Planted
With each city, I get to reinvent myself. Like right now, I’m the proud mom of a rambunctious one year old writing a blog post while wearing yoga pants, and I’m doing it here in Pittsburgh! I get to find a new piece of myself, add it to my life resume, and be better for it. It’s not enough to just grow. I must bloom where life has planted me.
A single bloom from a recent trip to Phipps Conservatory and Botanical Gardens
And… Happy Anniversary to my Husband, who is also my travel companion and dedicated proofreader.