I've done it; I've got a new job next year.
Upsides are many. The department is moderately large and friendly; they're a fun group, and seem to both work together and socialize together. The students seem to be a good group. (One faculty member described the students as "appreciative", and he was right: after I guest-taught an algebra class, I had some students come up to me in the hallway afterward and actually thank me for teaching their class. I could have passed out from surprise.) I have a good friend from college just 20 minutes away, and she and her husband say they've met a number of nice people in the area. The school has made me an attractive offer. (OK, so many things would have been attractive compared to what I was getting. Also it could have been a better offer if the school had been willing to count some of my previous experience, but it was in a non-tenure track job. And what could anyone learn from six years of teaching, coordinating teachers, course development, department work and so forth if there was no hope of tenure from it?) Oh, and real estate in the area is apparently pretty cheap to boot.
I've talked with my partner, and he's up to coming to this new location. I think to be honest if we can find an opening, he's a shoe-in for a job at the same university. And even if not, there are other colleges, and the public schools in the area pay well too if he wants to continue with that.
The only downside I see is that it snows. A lot. When I was little, I loved snow, and swore I would love it for the rest of my life. I pined for it terribly when my family moved from Indiana to Texas. I have a picture of me around the age of ten or so holding a snowball that I pathetically scraped together from scant dustings of snow on the corners of the yard and fence at around the age of ten when we had a small flurry in Dallas. But that was before. Before having to do anything in snow, like having to be somewhere on time or having to drive in it to get groceries. It was also before a few years ago when I slipped on ice and broke my arm, which didn't heal correctly. (You should see me trying to walk when there's snow or ice now--I'm such a wimp.) So I'm a little apprehensive, but maybe it will turn out alright. Maybe I'll rekindle my love affair with the white cold stuff.
But either way, I think I'm going to enjoy next year. In any case, I'm finally leaving where I have been for the past 13 years. I had only planned on being here for maybe four or five years, but grad school stretched out, and then I was waiting for my partner to finish, and then we were job searching. It was a temporary stop that lasted for more than a third of my life up to this point. I have actually lived in this area for longer than I have ever lived anywhere else, and I never meant to. There are things that I will miss and things that I will not. I'll have friends to say goodbye to, and favorite restaurants to visit, and tons of stuff to do like finding a new place to live and hiring movers (and excavating the apartment to the point where it can be moved). I'll also have to make a visit to The World's Largest Computer Lab(TM) so I can do my "I'm never coming back here" happy dance.
In a way, it feels like I'm finally getting started on my life. So Hallelujah indeed.