Wyoming has a catch phrase: "Forever West." It's how they lure people here in travel brochures and T.V. ads. Ironically, being in Wyoming is the furthest East I've ever lived.
I came here with low expectations. And like Sally in the Disney movie "Cars": "I fell in love." I fell in love with a place where the traffic is slower and the cell phone coverage is sketchy at best. I fell in love with a town that feels like my own town did when I was a kid in late '70s. Locally owned businesses line Main Street. There is a McDonald's and a Subway and Safeway and a Family Dollar, but few other "chains." A shopping mall, Sam's Club, Target: they're all 2 hours away. Family is even further. But the town has what I value and need: a library, a swimming pool, a park, an ice-skating rink in winter, a golf course with groomed cross country ski trails when the snow is deep. I think we're the only family in town without a dog.
I never thought I'd leave this place. My soul had finally found a home, a place to land after flitting about like a caged bird. This was it. But things happen. The bad economy which seemed so far away is here too, with budget cuts and broken things. We're looking at another job change, at leaving here. I told a friend last night that with a job loss also comes a sort of mourning, not just for the loss of the job, or the income, or the security it provides, but also a sort of mourning for the life you had imagined for yourself. I'd imagined a life here: of raising my kids here, buying a house, writing a novel or two or twenty, of getting older, of biking up the canyon, and of backpacking every piece I could of the Wind River Mountain Range. It hurts to have to leave.
He told me that no one talks in language like that: "of mourning the life you had imagined for yourself"--and that I should be writing. And so I am. I wrote it down.
But it still hurts.