Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Home is where the heart is

I've spoke here in the past about our household's conversations regarding a possible move out of the area at some juncture. In recent months, that topic has become a bit more frequent. I miss "home," my family, and just the beach in general. I miss being comfortable in the outdoors in the middle of winter without a coat. Despite our incredibly mild winter, I've struggled particularly this season to understand why we are living in our current location. We've lived away from California for almost exactly 10 years now (in just a few weeks, actually), and while I thought I would grow used to life in Colorado, it has been a bigger challenge than I ever expected.
*Image found here
Our first few years, I fought tooth and nail with the idea of calling Colorado home. I went back to California every few months to visit and was convinced that this wasn't really where we would end up. It was a temporary gig... a hold over, if you will until life would return to normal in our home state. After those initial years, I began to realize that we actually do live here and that I had better start accepting that idea. I tried my best to fit in, to find things I would enjoy, to make friends, and so on. Despite my efforts, I still didn't feel as though this was my home. My decompression space, my zen-like atmosphere, is the beach - and I don't think that will ever change. I've tried to substitute the mountains, but they just aren't the same. They're beautiful, but different.

When we purchased our current home about two years ago, I was excited because we were finally living more in the heart of things and I knew life on a bike would be just a bit easier than it had been. However, recent conversations with a friend have had me inching closer to the thought of heading "home." So much so that I had Sam hunting for jobs in the area we would like to move.           And then, it happened.

He got an interview. Whoa! It's strange how things happen when we least expect them. Sure, Sam has a wealth of experience in his chosen field, and there's no reason someone shouldn't want to interview (or hire) him, but typically it's a tough thing to get an interview out of state (I know, because we tried to do it here when we were thinking about a move to Colorado). The phone interview went great and they set up a Skype interview. Then, the Skype interview went well and references were requested (and contacted almost immediately). A job offer was looming.

Meanwhile, panic set in. Are we really going to move back - the question kept running through my mind. It was all happening so quickly... It felt rushed, and I felt sick. It was exactly what I had been wanting for so long, but now it just didn't seem like the right choice. Except that in some moments it did feel right. Back and forth the conversations went with discussion regarding where we would live, what we would do with our current house, and what about the three dogs? That's a lot of beings in a space - and probably a small space - in an area that really doesn't seem to like pets in rentals. There probably wouldn't be studio space for me to work (though that could be rented outside of the home - and would give me a destination, perhaps making me more productive), and/or I may even end up back in a more traditional work role if we moved.

I truly believe that it's possible to live virtually anywhere if one is willing to change his/her lifestyle. Were we ready to change ours? What was most important? Being close to family? The beach? Having studio space in our home? The potential for growth in this possible position? Of course, a decent biking spot would be a requirement (which wouldn't be hard in the area we were looking). My head quickly spun with all the possible scenarios, and as much as I wanted to have things settled, I just couldn't come to a conclusion with any of the possible outcomes.
*Image found here
In the end, Sam decided to walk away from the potential offer. He thought that deep down, it wasn't something he was ready to jump into - and, in many ways I thought it was best as well. It's difficult to let a long-term dream go though, and there's still a part of me that will wonder "what if" on occasion. I can't help myself. There's the part of me that dreams of beach walks in December without taking a major trip or being bundled head to toe, and there's a part of me that misses being closer to our families. My heart is wherever Sam is though... and for now, that's still here in Colorado. We love our house, we have a good, functional space for our needs, and let's face it, we've grown accustomed to a way of life here - for good, or bad. We've met some cool people, and while I suppose we don't have a lot of close friends nearby, there are people we can count on when we're in need, and those we would definitely miss if we weren't here. As with any decision in life, it leads us down a path - for better or worse - and for now we're still on this same road. But, who knows where the future may take us? That's part of the beauty of life... it's always an adventure.

9 comments:

  1. I think you made the correct decision. California, at least the parts that I'm familiar with, requires two high-tech incomes to make it. In addition to the sky-high housing costs, the everyday costs (taxes, $5/gallon, idling on congested freeways) add to the burden. I suppose food is cheaper but that's about it. One way for you to make it work is to move in with friends/family if that's an option. It's also normal to dream about beaches and sunshine during dreary cold spells. In Pittsburgh, that's November through April.

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    1. We certainly went through many of these thoughts during our discussions. It's definitely not an inexpensive place to live and living with family would be a necessity for awhile. I think in this instance it just came down to the reality that it wasn't the right opportunity - or the right trade-off. Neither of us want to put ourselves in a worse situation. Most of us want the opportunity to grow and expand our horizons, but not at the potential cost of quality of life.

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  2. I can relate. Wow.

    Anyway, I don't think there is a right or wrong answer when it comes back to "should we move or stay?" All paths lead the same direction--into the future--and life is what you make of it. It's that simple.

    If you can be happy with yourself, and your travelling partner, then no destination is wrong.

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    1. By the way, we both hope that you guys are settling into your new home/area nicely. :O)

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  3. My gracious, what a whirlwind! And of course, there's nothing holding y'all back from heading off on a new adventure at a later time. Scott and I are doing the same thing as well with putting out feelers on a new places to live.

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    1. Hi! :O) I was thinking about you just the other day and hoping things are going well. It's funny how we get attached to people, even if we only "speak" on the web.

      Anyway, it sounds like you may be in for a life adventure soon, too. I think I get particularly restless in the winter, so I'm hoping that with the nicer weather coming in, all will get back to normal... but, I'm certainly not opposed to a move either if the right situation presents itself. I think this one had the potential, but it just wasn't quite there.

      I hope you are both doing great! :O)

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  4. Hmmm ... i'd be sad ... i'd miss my endless velo love ...

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