Dear Huntsville,

Huntsville, you’ve been a lot of things over the past four years. Geographically speaking, you’ve been close to my Mom, and I needed that during this season of life more than I thought I would. You’ve also kept me longer in the deeply conservative south, and that’s been making it increasingly harder for me to be happy here. Having said that, I somehow found these amazing pockets of people who have challenged me and grown me in ways I didn’t think were possible. 

My TFA community, I can’t even thank you enough for coaching me, pushing me, challenging me, growing me, and allowing me to develop a personal and professional movement that completely align. I never thought that I would find such open minds in Alabama (because mine still has room to grow), but thank you for being here and making this work meaningful

My teachers, we go through it everyday together. There are so many teachers that have shared resources, laughs, “come to Jesus” talks, lunches, students, and long beautiful days with me. I’m lucky that a few of them came into my life as coworkers, but quickly became friends and family. 

Crossfit Huntsville! When I literally had no identity outside of being a teacher, you fell into my life and completely turned it around. Being surrounded by people who love to pick up heavy things and yell as much as I do; it’s magical. The love in this place is palpable. My mental and physical strength have completely transformed over the past year after getting consistently active.

Roomies! I have so much love for the people I’ve lived with across this journey. I am not a solitary person, and without friends to come home to, I would’ve packed it up and called it a day long before my growing was done. Let’s face it, I’m nuts, and pretty gassy, so you’ve endured outbursts of all kinds. I’m so grateful for you! 

A&M, you gave me a place to get a Master’s Degree that will allow me to keep teaching wherever I go. You also taught me to document everything. That is all. 

My students, I have never loved anything or anyone the way I love you. You make me so excited to be a Mom one day, and you also taught me that that day is not today! Watching you grow as problem solvers has been the highlight of my everyday as a teacher. Even more, watching you have each other’s backs and love one another leaves me confident that you’ll all be unstoppable. This year I took a step back and let you take the lead more than ever, and wow, are you amazing.

I’ve been fighting to leave here since the moment I arrived, but now there’s a bitter sweet knot in my gut that’s making this transition feel a bit different than I expected it to. I’ve poured every ounce of energy into my commitments here, and leaving has me feeling sentimental, but I think that means I’m not leaving anything unfinished. 

I have recently found myself starting to feel stagnant, and I’m going to listen to my gut and keep moving so that I can keep growing. Huntsville, the best thing you have taught me is that there are humans to love everywhere you go, and there is growth to be done wherever you are. I feel like I’ve done my growing here, and for that I am unendingly thankful. I’m not 100% sure what my future looks like next year, but I’m completely comforted by that. 

Here’s to new adventures, growth, and exploration! 

Never goodbye, always see you later! 

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