Moving to Seattle, Part 1: Bittersweet

I haven’t written much at all this year thus far, but with good reason: I seem to find new ways to overload myself. On top of my app business, SAVO, and my Pluralsight course, I’ve been planning a cross country move - to Seattle, Washington! 

My wife, an RN, has been pursuing her masters over the past 3 years to become a Nurse Practitioner.  She began shortly after we got married - never a dull moment with us, believe me.  Of course, she’s done with this program now, and do we settle in to  comfortable boring married life? Nope.  Admittedly, we had always talked about moving to a different city over the past few years, but it wasn’t until the beginning of this year that it turned more serious.  With her impending graduation, she’d need a new job tailored to her advanced degree, but where to go?  The USA is huge, with lots of amazing cities, so as you can imagine the thought was both exhilarating and terrifying. 

Which city? Which side of the country? How will our friends and family take the news (everyone pretty much lives in the Midwest)?!  How long will we go for?  It’s a lot to think about. 

My wife decided to look into Fellowship Programs that are often one to two years in length. This seemed like a great choice because it felt like a good block of time - if we don’t like where we are, we could always come home.  We looked at Austin, Charlotte, and Seattle primarily, and one year program in Seattle won out.   

Everyone’s reactions to our announcement has been… challenging, to say the least.  Very bittersweet. It’s run the gamut from anger (“How can you leave?”), to sadness, to excitement, to “jealousy” (“I wish I could come with!”).  I’m not sure what I expected, but I never thought the reactions would be so strong.  For a lot of folks in the Midwest, you grow up there and stay there, end of story.  Moving away, especially from family, is mostly unheard of. It’s a fine way to live, don’t get me wrong, but it is just not us.  There’s so much to see in this beautiful world!  To not explore it properly by living in, not just visiting different places, seems wrong.  We have such precious little time. 

Despite my explanations, my rationalizations, I’ve been challenged every step of the way, which is incredibly frustrating and depressing at times.  Several people have acted like I’m never coming back, never going to visit.  I felt like I was dying! How awful.  Or asking when we’re going to come back home - I don’t know!  Let me move there first.  “Well, my one friend Bob moved away 20 years ago, said the same thing… never came back!”  That’s great for Bob, but judge me by my actions, not his.  My wife and I, while certainly not perfect, have always prided ourselves on keeping in touch with people.  It’s not easy at all, but we do it.  We’re fortunate to be able to do so. 

Despite the frustrations, I know that it really shows just how much people care about us.  They don’t want to see us go. I’m blessed to have the friends and family that I do. 

The closest I’ve come to a life change like this move was heading off to college at Marquette University in Milwaukee.  These are the types of events that change you forever.  Think about that - if Life is a path, then we are going Left (Seattle) instead of Straight Ahead (Chicago) or Right (???). It’s a heavy thought, but I look at it positively.  In Milwaukee, I learned how to live on my own, met the love of my life, really learned Spanish by studying abroad in Mexico, made new lifelong friends, and earned a degree that kicked off my amazing career.  Who knows what Seattle will bring!  Every significant positive change in my life has been the result of putting myself out there, pushing beyond my comfort zone. 

I’m writing this on Friday, August 21st, 2015 from my in-laws’ cabin in northern Wisconsin, enjoying the calm before the (moving) storm.  There is still packing to do, friends to see, and work to finish.  None of that matters at the moment.  I hear nothing but the sound of the waves reaching the lake shoreline and insects chirping.  One week from now, we hit the road for Seattle.  I’m ready, that’s for sure.  Until then, peace.

comments powered by Disqus