I’m looking at Andrew, who is staring at his laptop. He’s been staring at the same email for three hours. He’s taken a few breaks, but that’s pretty much the majority of what he’s been doing. He wrote it a week ago, and I think he’s about to hit “Send.”
This email accepts a new job. In Seattle. And it will move quickly.
It’s been an incredibly difficult decision. Andrew had been thinking about exploring some options for his career, but hadn’t made any firm decisions. He was seeking anything out. This opportunity literally fell in his lap through a cold call. “Hello. My name is Victoria. Have you ever considered working and living in the Seattle area?” No. No, we haven’t. Except in our dreams. Never in reality.
I’ve traveled enough to be comfortable as the Other. The person who doesn’t belong. I like to think I do a pretty good job at avoiding the Obnoxious Other behavior, but I definitely take a lot of photos and visit all the touristy places. I also regularly check my map, but hopefully having it on the phone makes it a little less obvious.
Anyway, I’ve traveled enough to be completely comfortable in my touristy state. I’m fine getting lost and figuring it out…or forgetting which room is mine at the hotel….or trying to remember which button turns on the lights in the rental car. I also recognize how special it is when you get to a city and are completely comfortable….as in a “this is my kind of place” sort of way. That’s Seattle. It’s my speed. It’s big, but laid back. It’s fun and funky but not pretentious. It’s intelligent and compassionate and left-ward-leaning. I’m sure not EVERYone is like this…but has always felt homey in a way. Soon it will be.
There are so many things that have factored into our decision to move. It’s been excruciating at times. Ultimately, deep down, we both know we need to give this a shot. It’s a great job. It’s a city we love. We’re so excited to raise our daughter there. We still have family in St Louis and Milwaukee, so we’ll get back often(ish). There are loads of opportunities for me to go back to work. And more importantly, we have a solid chance at redistributing that work-family-individual time balance that is so elusive in our society.
I really really really need to thank our amazing support network who have helped us out as we agonized over this decision. Andrew’s coworkers, our friends, our family – you’ve all listened to us and helped us sort out our fears and anxieties and excitement. Not one person has given us a hard time about this, and I think it’s because you all know how hard it will be for us to leave. You’ve made us think – pointed out new angles for examination – and let us hear ourselves think out loud. I’m so thankful for the voices of wisdom in our lives – near and far – that let us lean on them so often.
Thank goodness for Skype. And Facebook. And blogging. And airfare specials.
West Coast, here we come. This is going to be a CRAZY autumn!
(he just hit send)