I am struggling, and have been for a while, with the idea of finding “home”. It is an unsettling feeling, which I alluded to in a past post, and the planner in me is having a hard time sitting with it. I feel like I have a finite amount of time to figure out what our “home” plan is before our lease ends and we recommit to something just due to need. Yet, ironically I find myself wanting so badly to place down roots, that I witness myself trying to fit a square peg into a round hole. And with this behavior I am bound to wind up even more stuck than if we simply wait to make a move.
If I had it to do all over again, I would travel more before settling down and ideally live somewhere new. I never quite felt at home in Florida, perhaps because I had never lived anywhere else and I always yearned to be somewhere new and exciting. Despite my strong desire to attend college out of state, I was highly encouraged to stay in Florida due to financial benefits (full in-state scholarship). I struggle with this at times, but understanding the steep price of college (especially out of state tuition), I get why my parents thwarted my efforts to leave.
After college, I bought a house close to the University in which I lived in for 7 years before moving into a larger home (for my expanding family) only 15 minutes away. Becoming a property owner so young had its benefits. While others my age where spending money on rent, my home became an investment I was eventually able to pay off. But – it also came with one major disadvantage – it kept me in Florida. Having two dogs by 23 also limited my travel as I either had to find someone to watch them or I ended up paying a hefty price to board them. My parents often helped out when they could, but needless to say, I was not off seeing the country.
I think traveling more – specifically spending time in other parts of the country – could have been beneficial in helping me understand what I may want from a “home”. There are so many parts of the country I haven’t even seen – what if that’s where I am supposed to be?
I have a friend who found herself in the same stuck feeling and is currently traveling the country with her husband and three kids in a motorhome for the next year trying to figure out their “what’s next”. In fact, if you are interested, here is a link to her musings. I have to say, I’m a bit jealous, but mostly in awe of their commitment to taking life by the horns and trying something new regardless of the risk and discomfort it may cause.
I want to do this too. But then, fear creeps in. Or other people’s voices. And I let it get to me.
The problem is, that I am not a single 22 year old girl anymore. I now have more variables to consider. My husband, his job, my employment potentials, cost of living, our kids, school systems, our extended family…it’s overwhelming.
If there were no constructs in my way I would pack up all my stuff and move to Colorado tomorrow. It is the only place I’ve ever been that I felt made me feel alive. Every single time I have been there – even when young – I’ve wanted to stay.
After a family trip out there this past spring (and then a solo trip for me in August), my husband and I decided at summer’s end that Colorado was it. This was where we were going to go at the end of the school year.
But, as the months pass by and job opportunities don’t seem to line up, it gets more and more difficult to make that decision. Do we just leave our jobs and hope for the best? Do we find really low cost housing and simply get part time jobs while we try to create new opportunities for ourselves by starting our own companies? And this is only one barrier. Even more challenging (emotionally at least) is moving either farther from family. Colorado is not a quick trip from the east coast, nor is it a cheap one. I realize that we would almost be ostracizing ourselves if we moved out there. There wouldn’t be any quick weekend trips back to Florida to visit my family, or drives to the mountains of North Carolina to visit my husband’s. The visits from family would dwindle significantly and I am not sure if we’d have any friends make the trek out there.
I think about this all the time. It keeps me up at night.
Why do I feel so pulled to go out there? Am I simply glamorizing it? My mother would probably say so, lol. But my cousins who live out there swear that it is one of the most amazing places to live. And honestly, most everyone who I’ve ever spoken to about my desire to move to CO talks about how amazing it is. Perhaps it’s the high altitude and legalized marijuana…lol (I kid, I kid – I do not even partake in such extracurricular activities). But, the phrase “the mountains are calling and I must go” is how I feel. Colorado makes my heart sing.
At the same time it breaks my heart to feel so pulled to move to a place that would take me so far from my family and friends – specifically our parents and siblings (because I do have an awesome aunt and cousins in CO). I feel ridden with guilt for even wanting to go. Living in DC has given us some idea of what it is like to be away from family, but we are still spoiled with low cost flights from FL to DC and parents that are more than willing to make the trek. We’ve even hosted several friends since our move. What happens when the flights are 3-4xs as high and the length of time it takes to get out to us is multiplied? On top of that, my father in law doesn’t fly – and driving to CO from the east coast is no easy feat.
But, should that stop us?
I just don’t know.
I keep trying to fall in love with DC enough to truly want to stay. And perhaps I would be in love enough if the prices were more reasonable. I honestly really like living here! There are so many benefits. We live in a great area of diversity & culture. We are only a short drive to the mountains, the beaches, and amazing cities. But then I dive into the hunt for a home and I just feel like we are giving up so much by staying. Do I really like it enough to sacrifice so much? But wouldn’t I be sacrificing if I moved to Colorado? And is Colorado really the answer? Or would I just find myself in the same confused state, just farther from loved ones?
On one hand I think – you only live once…take a risk! And then on the other hand I think – you only live once…spend it with the ones you love.
The only thing I know, is that despite my family and friends being there, Florida does not feel like home. But that just makes me feel even more lost.
I guess I should go meditate.