Is there a medicine for the whining?
It's a good thing they're so cute

We bought a driveway and a swingset and a dog

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.

Comments

Petroni

I wouldn't say that schools are "on my radar" right now (especially since Nate isn't even a year old), but we did just buy our "forever" house, so we had to think about it some. And we would NOT have bought in the city where we currently live if we had not been completely confident that we were not going to send Nate to public school.

I'm not a school snob, and in fact I never attended a single day of private school, from kindergarten all the way through law school. But we really want to do Catholic school for him, so that religious instruction and practice are just woven into his school life. Our parish school is fine-- not great, but good enough-- but it's only K-8. So I do worry what we'll do for high school. I've heard very mixed reviews about the Catholic high school in our city. There are plenty of other, awesome Catholic high schools in the DC area, but oh my gosh the TUITION. And the COMMUTE to get to them. I'm just trusting that you never know what can happen in the next 14-15 years; maybe the local high school will get better, or we'll be able to afford insane tuition, or something.

Christiana

Yeah, I'm already thinking about schools - we talk about having to move from our current house if we expand our family much bigger (1 bathroom, that's really all I have to say, isn't it?) but we are zoned for great schools! It wasn't a major factor when we moved here 4 years ago (pre-kids, and when we thought we'd be able to afford to move in a few years as needed), but it's a factor now! We both went to private school, but there is no way we're going to be able to afford that at this point, so...

Just a question: how far would this new neighborhood be from your church? Could you just commute further? My in-laws drive 30 minutes to church (one way) and we did that for awhile when we were initially church searching. (found one less than 5 minutes away, eventually, but we were commuting nearly 40 minutes for over a year) Is that just not done where you are?

craftyashley

The school thing is on my radar. I've got a year or two before kindergarten. But we are ranked last on everything to do with schools. So I'm thinking about an out of state move. I'd like to change everything up and move somewhere out of my comfort zone for once. It's a scary and exciting prospect. We'll have to see how life plays out, but I just don't see us here forever.

HereWeGoAJen

Matt started fretting about schools before I was pregnant. Mind you, we've moved four times since then. He wasted a lot of worrying.

lindsay

I only worry about schools in terms of house resale value (and even then that's more my husbands concern), and not whether a particular school is adequate for my not yet existant kid. I guess this is because I'm confident we won't live in a terrible school district and I've never thought the difference between an average and terrific school district is that much.

We've been house hunting on line for years. Who cares that you have another year or so where you are? Dream on!

Shannon

We are just starting the house-hunting process too, so I worry about all of this all the time. Seriously, everything you said- only you said it much better than me. And I feel like all the pressure is really on me to think through the process and make the right decisions because Konrad grew up in a 3 room apartment in Poland (yes 3 rooms!) and he does not much frame of reference for well.... just about any of it. The school thing especially has me worried.

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