I'm sitting here thinking about houses and neighborhoods and what will happen and then Jonathan Coulter's "Shop Vac" song comes on Pandora* and now I can't possibly move to the suburbs.
Actually, I'm not thinking about moving to the suburbs so much as moving to a very different neighborhood. This neighborhood is so far away, so unfamiliar and so not a part of my Seattle experience that it might as well be in Idaho. So I don't know why I'm sitting here with Redfin scoping out every house in our price range, especially since 1) we are living here until next summer OR LONGER and 2) the whole point of waiting is so that we are for sure as we can possibly be about WHERE.**
But I don't know. There's just something about that part of town that interests me. I was interested in it a few years ago and Phillip was all, "Dude. We don't know anybody there. We'd never see anyone. So, uh, NO." And he had a point. We are very close, by which I mean practically codependent, on numerous friends, all of whom live fairly close. It would be very sad to think I couldn't just hop in the car and go five minutes to spend the morning with a friend. Right?
AND YET. I look at houses.
The fact that I'm considering it, though, leads me to believe I'm in a Good Place. For the longest time I've sworn up and down that I am not leaving. I am not leaving my neighborhood or my church or my friends or my grocery store or my favorite walk, because for a long time I was so anxious I needed all of these things to steady me. Change is bad. And hadn't I spent most of my life moving around and losing friends and making new ones? For the first time ever I felt like I had roots. I felt that these roots were literally holding me upright. If something bad happened I could call this person or that person and they would be with me in minutes. My house was safe. I knew all the back streets. I knew things and I was known.
But these last two years I've been introducing myself to life without anxiety. Any significant anxiety, anyway. And it's... I don't really know how to describe it. It's like I built this big scaffolding around me - and the scaffolding was a good thing, you know, it was helpful, it propped me up - but now I'm realizing maybe I don't need some of it. Maybe I can put some of it away. I can always get it out again if necessary, but right now, it's blocking my view. I'm curious.
So I think about what we'll do next. One of my good friends is considering a move overseas and at once I'm jealous and confident that's not in our cards. We've got the only local grandkids, we're very close to our families, we love our city and state, Phillip has opportunities, we have roots. We're not going anywhere. But this small change could make a huge difference. It'd mean a different church. It'd mean making some new friends. It'd mean identifying with a completely different part of the city. And I can't help but be attracted to that amount of change. It sounds exciting.
Am I picking our next house based on excitement?
Our house money would go farther in this neighborhood, which is attractive, obviously. It has my required parks and water, just different parks and water. It's quick and easy access to downtown for Phillip, probably much better than where we live right now. It's closer and an easier drive for our families while still living in the city. My sister is likely moving sometime this year, and this neighborhood would be much closer to where she hopes to be. It's so much more diverse than my chunk of town, which I feel is part of the reason to live in the city. I have no idea what the schools are like, a growing concern on my radar***. And we really do have to hang out there a bit before I can declare that yes, I'm done with Familiar, I'm ready for New.
But I want new right now. I want invigorating and fresh and anything-can-happen. It's probably not a good thing to indulge these thoughts since I've got a whole second year of grad school ahead of me, and again, WE'RE NOT MOVING YET. Maybe if I use enough caps I'll stop looking.
*my usual Pandora station is based on Fountains of Wayne. I write really well to Fountains of Wayne, but I need to tweak it because there is WAY too much Weezer.
**Phillip feels that there are other reasons besides WHERE but since this is the only one that matters to me, this is the official Blog Position.
***Is this a growing concern on YOUR radar? Of course, I've done nothing about it except Fret.