Updated: Aug 1, 2019
And by "here" I mean the place after quitting my job and hopping a plane to Europe for an indefinite amount of time with anything but indefinite funds.
Roughly three years ago, a friend and I were joking that we would never get to be roommates because she was about to move in with her then-boyfriend 800 miles away, and they already had their subsequent five year plan pretty well set: live together while completing their respective graduate programs, get engaged by 2017, married within a year, then take off to location TBD for her husband to complete his physics postdoc. This brings us back to the aforementioned conversation when Emily said, "I guess the only way we'll live together now is if you move with us to Europe," and a plan was born.
In the meantime, I would leave the startup I was working at, take a job at a corporate event planning company in DC, transfer within that company to San Diego, and work there for a year and a half. A lot of life would be lived, but I would come back to this plan time and time again. In February 2018, Emily called with the news that her husband, Anthony, had accepted a research position at KU Leuven and would be heading to Belgium that same fall. She would join him six months later, and I, if I was still interested, would follow. I wouldn't make the call until almost a year after that, but I knew the minute she told me that I would say yes.
"Moving to Europe" is such a romantic notion to me, something that people say but never really do. I didn't quite know what it would entail - still don't - but there it was, pulling me on an invisible string across states, jobs, years, questions, and uncertainty to where I am now: at Emily's kitchen table 30km east of Brussels in the cutest bustling town where bicycles outnumber cars 10:1 and beer is €1.50. There is much to explore and lots of Dutch to learn. More soon.