The back story that set everything in motion:
I have always loved the water. I grew up boating with the family and we eventually moved to a home on a small lake. I always dreamed of being near the ocean and putting my feet on a sand beach. Little did I know that so many years later I would meet the woman of my dreams who longed for the same. We shared our dreams within the first few dates and it seemed so far off in the future at the time. Getting older has made me so less tolerant of the long cold winters of Missouri. I longed for the warmer temperatures and living below the freeze line. The winters of 2018-2020 made it even clearer. My body and mind really really needed a change, not just a vacation change, a permanent change. Seasonal depression was becoming more of an issue and a few days escaping the cold was just not doing it anymore.
We both have a very strong faith and we prayed about it often. We began to see signs showing up and then the pandemic hit. Everyone’s life changed in a matter of weeks. What was so important before was no longer relevant. Everyone was forced to look at the way they were living their lives. Family became the focus again. Dinner at the table cooked at home was now the norm. I spoke to so many people that had an epiphany moment when they realized how much time they spent chasing the very things that actually kept them separated from the very family they were providing for. They found they didn’t know their kids, family members suddenly gone, lives were forever changed. We all realized how short and fragile life can be. We didn’t want to be that couple that looked at each other at some point in the future and say to each other “why didn’t we?” Those eighteen plus months totally changed what was important to us.
She wanted to go to Maui however the restrictions and economic damage the pandemic caused made Maui no longer an option. We made a few trips to Florida, Jenn got offers and she put the wheels in motion. Although those original offers didn’t materialize as expected, the signs and desires were now it’s own force like a plane on autopilot. Sarasota ended up being our final destination in Florida. We are both starting new chapters in our careers and anxiously looking forward to wherever that lead us. So much happened so quickly that we both find it hard to believe that we are really finally here. It hasn’t fully sunk in yet.
We both want you to understand one thing out of this brief post. Your dreams are yours, not someone else’s. Follow them! Life is honestly quite short. Just look back on your own life, the memories that seem like yesterday only to realize they happened years ago. Time flies! Don’t be the one that asks “Why didn’t I?” or the couple that says “Why didn’t we?”. Go for it and realize your dreams!