If you’ve been reading for a while, then you’ll remember that Nick had been offered a promotion that would require us to move from Ogden, UT to Cincinnati, Oh. He turned it down four times and was offered the position – a promotion and raise, or a demotion for staying*, one final time. Gotta love the corporate world.
We decided to take the trip out to Cincinnati so that we could make a fair and equitable decision. As I’m mentioned, I do not want to move. But, I am also a reasonable human being and I understand the desire to be successful and rewarded in your work, to be respected by your superiors, to be desirable, to provide for your family. I also understand the desire to travel and experience life in all different ways and means.
So I put on my positive attitude hat and set off on an adventure with Nick.
As we took off from SLC, I watched the Wasatch Front disappear from view, become farm land and flat terrain, the sky a never-ending ocean of inverted white caps. I thought about how we always want to “make a difference,” “leave a mark,” and creating something of lasting measure in a place. What we don’t think about is how much a place makes an impact on us.
When we first moved to Utah, we thought we were an active, adventurous family. We thought we were part of something back in Everett. We had no idea. Moving to Eden we began biking – both road and mountain; we began running – both of us doing our first 5k that year; we began adventuring on a daily basis rather than just a couple weekends during the summer. We lost that “part of something” out in Eden – so remote and excluded from life. But when we moved into Ogden we gained it back ten-fold, quite possibly more.
Ogden, and Utah, have created that “something of lasting measure” in us.
And I wondered what life in Cincinnati could possibly offer us. I tried to put the doubts and questions out of my mind and just enjoy the time with Nick.
We spent the weekend at the Hyatt Grand Regency in downtown Cincy. It happened to be marathon weekend and from our amazing room on the 19th floor we could see the expo and staging area.
Our first night in we went to a Reds game with two couples – one of the company VPs, Nick’s would-be-boss and their wives. It was at the game the I learned “So Cincy” is what the locals use in a similar way that we might say “shop local” – “that’s so Cincy” means something is locally owned, is of local flavor, has a local vibe, etc. I think that’s one thing I won’t be bringing back to Ogden with me… “that’s so Oggy” just doesn’t work the same
Funny enough, I kept waiting for a sign to just help me make this decision. A sign that would say “yes” or “no” definitively. At the Reds game, the woman in front of me had Jeremiah 29:11 tattooed on her wrist.
“For I know the plans I have for you, plans to prosper you and not to harm you.”
A verse that has followed me since 8th grade. Given to me at graduations, appeared at major life junctions, been on billboards or recited at random when I needed to hear it the most. I’m not super religious, I don’t go to church, and yet, this verse comes up quite often for me.
My sign. Not to choose Cincy, not to choose Ogden, but to be at peace with whatever the outcome may be. And I felt it hit me like a tidal wave of comfort in that exact moment that I saw the inscription on her arm.
“Plans to prosper you and not to harm you.”
Over the next two days we decided to hit the road and tour around the area a bit. One of our first stops was the train station turned museum, an absolutely incredible piece of architecture.
We also stopped in at Big Boys – the old time, pre-McDonalds, fast food chain that we don’t have on the West Coast (that I know of…?). We took a river boat tour and we drove around Mt. Adams, a neighborhood teetering on the hillside, anchored by nothing more than history and time.
We visited a couple really cool parks and walked along their river parkway which has an outdoor music venue, a cretin labyrinth and several playgrounds – all things that I’d like to see developed in Ogden. Which is all I kept thinking: man, we could do this in Ogden.
We rode on a ridiculously corny horse carriage around downtown, we photographed a multitude of historic churches, we drove the marathon course, we drove to Dayton, we looked at houses online, we went to a brewery and soaked up the sun, we had sushi and incredible Thai food, we did a ton really.
And it was great.
And perhaps there will be some time in our lives when taking that job at corporate will be right for Nick and for our family. But that time is not now.
Demotion and all, we’re choosing Ogden.
*The position Nick currently has is being divided out between several locations. He was offered a promotion to a position within the corporate offices, located in Ohio. Turning down the job in Ohio and staying with the same company here in Ogden meant he would take a position cut and fill a job that was available at the Ogden plant. It’s all very complicated, but the bottom line is that Nick is a hard worker and this was a choice that we made, not a forced downgrade.