In July of 2020, I was laid off from my job of 4 years and immediately knew I couldn’t stay in New Hampshire. We had moved from NJ to NH in January of 2018 because I got a promotion through that job. At the time, we were ready for a big change and my boyfriend’s job gave him the go ahead to work from home for the foreseeable future.
Moving to New Hampshire was anything but rainbows and butterflies, I was painfully aware the whole time we were there that our time was limited. My job was really stressful and I knew I couldn’t stay long term, and in order for my boyfriend to continue to move up in his company we’d have to return to NJ at some point.
I loved New Hampshire. Our apartment wasn’t great, but the location was. We were in walking distance and driving distance of so many great places and I just loved the atmosphere. Our time there was cut shorter than I really anticipated, and one of my core memories is sobbing hard in our empty apartment as we left it for the last time.
I talk about New Hampshire a lot and people will ask me, “why didn’t you just stay?”
It makes me think I acted out of panic, which maybe I did a little, but in the end, it’s just not that easy. it just wasn’t easy to make the decision to stay when the job market was better in NJ, when it would be better for my boyfriend’s career to move, when all of our family lived in NJ. I was in the middle of a global pandemic, unemployed, and far from everyone we knew.
We’ve lived back in New Jersey for almost a year now, but it feels like a lifetime because of COVID, having to get a new job, and having things open up again midway through. I don’t regret moving back to NJ, but it does make me sad to think about my life in NH. I try to think about how one day we could live there again, but I’m not sure if it is really possible. One our most recent trip up there, my boyfriend said it was nice that we at least have this special place to go back to. It’s a place we lived together and made memories together and we can always visit. And that’s a much better way to think about it.