I should probably start this post with a disclaimer: I’m NOT pregnant.
I have, however, been going through a rather long and complex gestational period, growing a new life for myself in another part of the country.
It wasn’t easy for this idea to take root.
I’ve loved the Pacific Northwest since the first time I visited it more than a decade ago. (Honestly, I probably loved it since the first time I saw “Singles.”) I’m very fortunate that my job allows me to live wherever, but life circumstances kept me in the Midwest. Not yet, I’d tell myself. When this person is healthier, or when the business if off the ground. For more than five years, I’ve been deferring this dream.
So I started preparing the soil.
If you’ve read this blog before, you might have noticed a marked interest in minimalism and simplification over the past year. I wasn’t sure when or how I might move, but I wanted to be ready. More than just jettisoning stuff though, this was also a process of letting go of old identities, dreams and expectations. So many things I acquired were for a life I simply don’t lead (anymore or ever). Clearing out the clutter, both physical and mental, made looking forward easier.
This time, the idea found fertile soil.
I lived in Oregon for a month this winter. It was a chance to test drive my dream – a true luxury. It confirmed that this was the right choice for me. Combined with the five year anniversaries of both my company and my mom’s long-term health challenges, I realized that there would not be a better time. I could keep waiting, or I could stop making excuses.
Telling people has been both joyous and difficult.
Sometimes, I’m gratified by the delight and support I receive when I share my news. Sometimes, I see a flash of just how trapped that person feels in their own life. How my story makes them feel worse about themselves. Sometimes, people don’t get it. Mostly, each conversation reinforces that, regardless of what others think, I am excited. I’m eager. I’m ready.
Now I’m at the awkward, slightly uncomfortable stage.
You’d think I’d have nothing left to remove from my closets and basement, but getting a house ready for sale – and getting serious about what you really want to pay to have carted across the country – is an entirely different thing. This is also the hurry-up-and-wait period when property needs to sell before other decisions can be made.
Soon, this phase of my life will be over and a new one will begin. To some it may look abrupt, but they won’t know how long I’ve been nurturing this dream, staring longingly down the road, wondering what new prospects await me. My hope is that, after more than 20 years in the same town, I will finally feel at home.
Photo taken by my dad, from the plane, with my iPhone.