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Leaving Texas

I never thought I’d leave Texas. Earlier this year I remember re-affirming to a friend that I’d always live here. I might live in Austin or somewhere in west Texas. I might not necessarily buy a house, but I’d be around somewhere to call the Lone Star state “home”. I love the state, its history, the food, the people, the weather, and it seems to fit my inflated ego. Now I’m moving to the Seattle area.

It was a set of unexpected and sudden realizations in May in my personal life that made me want to move. The decision on where to move was surprisingly simple. However, dealing with the underlying reasons for wanting to move, the consequences of actually uprooting and finding a new job has really worn me out over the past 4 months. The constant anxiety and loss of sleep are the real reasons I’ve lost so much weight this summer.

I’ve been editing and re-editing a blog entry for months to try to explain it, but I think for now I’m going to keep that to myself. In retrospect, I wish I had done a better job jotting down my thoughts privately every single day, because it’s been emotional turmoil. On paper, all the reasoning seems to check out. No less than four people have actually told me “you have balls”. Pretty much everyone I know has been supportive of the idea, which helps.

I had pondered “someday” about moving, knowing my lease was up later this year. It was the day I came home to a lease renewal notice on my door that forced my hand and required commitment to either stay or leave. I put in notice to vacate and started figuring out what I wanted to do. I was now committed so I started selling off my furniture and giving other goods to Goodwill. I didn’t expect to keep my job, so the general plan was to take a couple months off to unwind and figure things out before being a productive member of society again.

In the end, I’m still moving and I was asked to stay on at my current job and telecommute. Finding a new job had been the scariest aspect of the whole move idea. I didn’t want to get a new apartment until I was settled down at a new job. But, I also didn’t want to be somebody’s roommate and I can’t sleep on a floor forever. I have the savings to do it, but it was all a big unknown.  Keeping my job solved a lot of problems and removed a extraordinary amount of weight from my mind. I’m finally excited at the idea of moving now!

I honestly have no idea how I’ll like it in the Pacific Northwest. I look forward to doing lots of things with my friends there and having an entire new region to explore. Being acclimated to sunny 100+ F summer days, I really am concerned about the whole drizzly cloudy weather thing. I like to think I’m more capable of adapting than I think I am, and I’ll just deal with it. The PNW also has a different breed of people, and I hear the “Seattle freeze” of making new friends is no jokes. I’m going to miss girls in sun dresses, my Tex-mex and Sonic iced tea horribly. I’m also going to be a plane flight away from my family instead of six hours on the road. Offhand, I’m going to give it two years (or 6 months if the clouds kill me). Past that, I have no idea if I’d stay, move back to Texas, or try out California.

So, this is my last week in Austin. I intend to pack up a trailer this Friday+Saturday, and be on the road next Sunday. I’ll be graciously crashing on the floor of the Coppoleigh household as I look for a new apartment in east bay, probably either Redmond, Bellevue, or Kirkland. Keeping my job means I can (and need) to get a new place as soon as possible. Unfortunately, I won’t get my two months of wanderlust camping.

I’ve been thinking about this whole move for months now to the point the newness has worn off and it’s a dead and buried issue. I know it’s a major thing, but it still doesn’t feel major. My emotions and constant anxiety have finally settled down, especially after sorting out the job issue. It feels like I’m going down a checklist: buy fuel filter, pack books, move to Seattle, water plants, do Christmas shopping.  On some days I think I’ll believe it when I’m sitting at Brown Bag Cafe.

I hope I know what I’m doing!

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