Monday, May 08, 2006

A long post in which I think out loud about moving

So. Apparently what with the whole job ending thing and the not knowing what I want to do next career-wise and the not having any sort of husband/boyfriend issues to tie me to where I’m at, the thought is that maybe I should move.

This is not my thought. Not that I haven’t been giving it a lot of time and headspace, it’s just that I’m not entirely sure I want to move. The girls and I were discussing this at dinner the other night, and everyone seemed to think it would be worth giving some serious consideration to. I agreed. I would consider it. Beth followed up on the conversation and recognized my reticence in really moving forward with figuring out where I might want to move – it’s fine to THINK about it, but really moving TOWARD it is something totally different. So Beth wrote a blog entry about it and asked her readers for input and experiences. I have gotten a lot of interesting food for thought as a result of the comments and also from talking to my friends here.

When I was in my awful job and feeling dark, sometimes I thought “I should just move away. I could start again and be whoever I want to be.” The more I considered that, the more I realized that that was a fallacy. Moving away doesn’t mean you become a different person. Sure, you grow and change, but you don’t become someone else. One of the comments really stuck with me: “You don’t get to leave your personal baggage when you move. It all comes with you. Your fears, your dreams, your personality quirks, whatever leaves you stagnant, or motivates you, it all comes with you, like it or not…”

This I needed to hear, because I have more baggage sometimes then I would ever let on. And one of my enormous suitcases is filled with fear. Fear of failure, fear of change, the usual things. But I also have a huge fear of loss. Sometimes I get a knot of panic that settles right in my throat when I think about losing my parents or my brother. Paralyzing. Fear. Moving away from my family and also my friends would be so hard that I’m not sure it would be something I’m willing to do.

I can’t run away from my issues. I have to face them, and to be honest, the thought of facing them in a place where I don’t know anyone is not something I want to do. Having to face hard things is bad enough – doing it alone is a whole other animal in itself. Like a growly, bear-woken-out-of-hibernation, you-don’t-want-to-cross-it sort of animal. Not good. And I’m not saying that by moving, I would be running away. But my idea of being a whole new person shouldn’t be the reason that I leave. Plus, as it turns out, for the most part, I like me. Again, the issues rear their ugly heads, but fundamentally? I’m good.

Of all my girls, I’m the only one who hasn’t left Colorado. Some of them left for undergrad, grad school, or just a necessary change. Karen made a good point when she said moving for school is easier because you have a built in network of people in the same boat. Plus, it’s exciting to move away from home at 18. I went to my first two years of college 90 miles away from home, and while it’s not that far, it might as well have been a different world. It was great. I wouldn’t trade that time for anything. And moving in your early twenties is great too, because you’re still at that point where you pretty much have no ties.

The Bad Cop and I were talking about this last night when I told him about the conversation. He said that it would be harder for me to move now because I’m settled here. He didn’t mean it in a negative way, but he’s right. I own my house, and yes, I know, there are houses everywhere, but I love my house. It’s mine. I’ve lived here for two years, which is longer than I’ve lived anywhere since I moved out of my parents’ house. It’s my HOME. I like to be here and while I like to leave now and then, I always look forward to coming back to MY HOUSE. He said that moving when you’re younger is easier because you don’t have nearly as many roots. Again, true. When I was 18, all my friends were moving around and doing something different. When I was 23, I lived with my parents – I owned nothing, not even my car, and my friends were still moving around. I could have left then. I didn’t, and you know what? I don’t regret it.

I love Colorado. I love that I can lay in my bed in the morning and look at the mountains. I love the fall and the spring and especially the summer. I love that it can be 90 degrees during the day, but at night I can sit outside and it’s cool. That it’s midnight in May and I’m in my living room right now with the patio door open because it’s still 60 outside. I hate to be cold, but I love that we have winter, complete with snow and without bitter cold. I can drive for an hour and a half and be up in Winter Park – right in the middle of the mountains. I like the beach, but I’m a mountains girl. I could go on, but the truth of the matter is, I have no desire to live anywhere else.

I have my house, and my beautiful state and the people in my life that I spend my time with. And the latter is what holds me the most. I love going to Sally & Joe’s and drinking wine on their deck, just chilling and talking. I love that I can see Mandy at least once a week. I love that in 15 minutes, I’m downtown at P.I.C.’s and we’re walking to an Avs game or a Nuggets game or for drinks on a patio somewhere or hanging out for our traditional Sunday t.v. night. I love being with The Bad Cop and never running out of things to talk about, whether it’s the middle of the day or the middle of the night. I love that Kendra lives three minutes away and Karen lives seven minutes away and even though we may not see each other all the time, it’s so comforting that they’re close by and we can meet up for dinner or shopping, and that if we need each other, it’s a matter of minutes. I love my youth group kids, and my summers with them are not something I’m willing to give up. I love my family and our Saturday lunches and that if I’m hurt or sick or upset, my mom can come and take care of me, and if I need something fixed, my dad can come and do it and if I miss my brother, he lives right by me as well. The list goes on.

So yes, maybe moving would be a good thing for me. Maybe it would expand my horizons and provide valuable life lessons and be a great new experiment in independence. But in thinking and wondering and weighing my options, it’s not where I am right now. Because fear and issues aside, the biggest factor is that I have a lot of roots here that I’m not willing to pull up. Will I ever leave here? I don’t know. I’m not ruling it out. I’m not in a “I want to move” sort of place. I’m in a “I want to stay” sort of place.

22 comments:

Hope said...

Okay, I'm sold I'm moving to Colorado. It sounds wonderful!

I read your whole post nodding, because I know how you feel.

I have a horrible "flight complex," (I totally just made that term up) where whenever I'm in an uncomfortable situation my first instinct it to run away. Usually I can keep this at bay, but sometimes if I'm having a bad day or if Jeff and I get in a fight I get in my car and try to drive away from my problems, but 5 minutes later I realize I can't because they're in the car with me. And your post just really verbalized that for me.

If you're not ready to leave, don't. There are a lot of reasons I want to leave upstate New York, but there are a few very big reasons I'm staying and for now those are worth staying for.

C. said...

I don't know which would make you happier in the debate between moving or staying.. I tend to lean more towards you staying would make you happier. I do know this, you are an awesome individual, and you deserve to be happy! I am here for you always if you need me.. :)

C.

Okie said...

I was going to leave a comment but just realized I don't have much to say.

Sandra Dee said...

I could never move somewhere where I don't know a soul. Good for you for even contemplating it.

dasi said...

I think you already know in your heart you'll always stay. And you're right about moving to try to "start over" - it's not always the best idea. And I know - Reno, remember?? Like you, I need to be “home.” Besides, if you moved, I’d never get to visit Colorado, and after that description I’m DYING to go!!

Whinger said...

I'm glad you at least thought about it.
Bottom line: I just want you to be happy.

Janet said...

I doesn't sound as if you need a change of scenery... you just need some different activities. Perhaps this "moving" thought derived from boredom.

Hey, want to go bungee jumping?

Leesa said...

I say invest in a Magic 8 Ball, shake it up, and see what you should do! For me, I am moving to Colorodo! I just need to convince the hubbie and buy my own Magic 8 Ball.

Cheryl said...

You can expand your horizons and learn life lessons where you are. It doesn't take moving, it just takes trying to do those things. I don't think you should move if you aren't in that place.

And it really is true that the only thing to fear is fear. I am trying very hard to remember that myself lately. maybe we can help remind each other.

dorkus andronicus said...

there are other ways of satisfying a curiosity; perhaps you need to see some new things... you don't have to bring all your stuff with you to do that. having a home-- and a family you are close to-- i'll bet in the long-run that'll trump a lot of fleeting insecurities (which i suspect we all have) about whether-or-not you're living your life right.

i think you are.

-J said...

No matter where you go, there you are. :-)

I would say that to an extent, a change in geographic location can have an impact on your life. For example, if one were to move to a Bible Belt state and wasn't really very religious, they might have a harder time finding their niche. Another example might be, this past week I went out of town, and at the end of the week, I had accumulated more friends in two different States than I have in a year in Florida. (My friends and I think this is a byproduct of where in Florida I live.)

In any event, I think if you have a strong friend and family network and you are happy, you shouldn't move, unless your career or something else large and important, necessitates it.

I'm glad you have made a decision.

Edge said...

I miss my hometown. There is something to taking a risk - what fear can keep you from doing - and something to staying put and putting down roots. You are right, you can't run away from yourself. I've found I have to re-invent myself now and then, but always remain true to who I am. All of it is part of growing up. I'll never leave Texas as long I don't have too. Other places allure me, but this is home. I can take plenty of risks right where I am.

~Jef

Kendra said...

Just be happy - no matter where you are. That's all that really matters. Well that and my new counters. :)

Jill said...

For once, I agree with -J. (Ohmygod, a miracle, I know! ;) ) You have a strong network that you derive great joy from, so moving should only be a consideration for you if something large necessitates it. I think perhaps what you need to do is define what you want out of a job/career, looking at it from all angles. There is something leaving you unsatisfied, but moving will not satisfy it unless you are moving toward something. The first step is to define what more you want out of your life right now. A career with a sense of purpose? A job that gives you a steady routine so that you can focus on creativity and hobbies? I'm going to have more to say soon. I hope your search begins well.

Linda said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Kyahgirl said...

sounds like there is a lot to love about where you're at. if you really are a mountain girl and you like the seasons, PLUS you have many people to love and spend time with in Colorado, then its sounds like staying is good.

Hope said...

I have to add to my comment and expand on what dorkus said. You've said you wanted to take some time off this summer, why not travel? To another country, or even to some U.S. cities. Go just for the experience, but who knows? Maybe you will fall in love with a place and want to move there. But I agree with what everyone else is saying, don't move just to move.

Amanda said...

so many of the things you bring up are totally on-point, insightful and true. when you said you bring all your baggage with you, but having to face it alone, it reminded me of when i studied abroad. it was for a finite period of time with a so-called built-in network of people but at the same time it was completely isolating and terrifying. but it was the best thing i ever did. and if nothing else, it helped me confront my baggage, and unpack a little.

-J said...

Wow. This is rather cool. It's so much easier being on the side of Jill she has so many sides, you know, and they're all so striking.

Sandra said...

I admire people who 'pick up and start over' but much as I've thought about it too...there's something so comfortable about your hometown, where you know every street and never get lost anymore :) And it's true the baggage probably does follow us. Where ever you go, there you are. But Minneapolis was just rated the #2 place to live in the US if ya wanna move up North!!

Alice said...

ok i am SO late to this party. but b/c i can't not give my 2 cents: i think moving is pretty phenominal, grow, learn about yourself, blah blah blah. HOWEVER. if you have a perfectly good support system where you are? very hard to leave. hard to leave especially just because. in fact, a very good place to work out one's issues, since one already has the support with which to allow oneself to work out said issues.

please disregard me, i am full of wine. i realize i am rambly and possibly preachy and definitely notmaking too much sense.

Mr. Fabulous said...

I know that whatever you decide will be for the best. Good luck!

You could always move to Florida. I think everyone else has!

Actually, of the people I have known in Florida whgo have moved to another state, more have moved to Colorado than anywhere else.