troublesome ’11

Today marks the sixth anniversary of my move to California. For those unfamiliar with the story, a recap:

I used my already-overburdened credit card to buy a one-way flight to L.A. after spending my first year and a half after college working a series of depressing temp jobs in the Washington, D.C. area. I was a receptionist for a third-party insurer; I copied legal documents at a law firm; I answered inbound calls at a florist; I updated technical manuals and shipped aircraft parts from a warehouse. I was paying rent to live with my parents deep in the suburbs. I was spending one and a half to two and a half hours in my car every day. One of my coworkers was my only friend in the area. I hadn’t dated anyone since graduation, and my ex-boyfriend, with whom I had a complicated relationship but nevertheless had remained a close friend, called me long-distance on my birthday to tell me he wasn’t going to talk to me anymore.

You could say I wasn’t very happy.

But three days after that flight to the west coast on January 6, 2005, I had an actual date with an actual person. One month after that, I started the first day of my new job. Two months after that, I met the beau. The years that followed weren’t necessarily as easy, and I’m not trying to say that CALIFORNIA! solved all my problems. But California was definitely my catalyst for major change.

And now? Change is back again. Peering in my windows. Knocking at my door. Digging through my kitchen cabinets and yelling, “Don’t we have anything to EAT around here?”

I want to move again, and people keep looking at me like I’m crazy. Leave California? Yes, leave California. I understand that in places that are Not California that there may be snow and/or other undesirable weather conditions. I hear that Not California tends to have less access to organic foods and urban coastal liberalism and other white middle-class problems. I understand that Not California is different! And yet I still want to go there! Wherever that is! Because, goddammit, I have but one life to live. Why waste it in one town?

Moving isn’t the only issue at hand, here. The beau and I keep talking about Our Future, and none of it makes any real sense yet. Now that we’ve gotten through the wedding and are married, we keep sorting through this bin of ideas but we never really take any up to the counter for check-out. We want to move somewhere! We need new jobs/careers! We would like to buy a house! We would like to acquire a dog! In which order should those things go? How do we even get from point A to point B in the first place?

The wedding enabled me to shove all this crap onto the backburner for about 1.5 years. But now a new year is here, and so is the guilt about my inactivity. [Sidebar: why does the transition from one year to another always involve some kind of guilt? Why can’t it involve, like, maple bars and rainbows and folding money found in coat pockets and people who smile at you in the street?]

I don’t have any of the answers yet, just questions. And the overwhelming urge to climb under the nearest pile of blankets and stay there until maybe the new new year. But it’s times like this I have to remember: I got myself out of undesirable situations before. I can do it again.

17 Responses to “troublesome ’11”

  1. You know whats best for you to do. Is there any place in particular or do you just want out of California? What kind of new fields are you looking to work in? Thats a alot of new stuff all at once but like you said, it worked great before. I wish you the best in figuring this all out! Until then, you have my total permission to hide under piles of blankets

    • I want to move more towards web development, but I also want to sharpen my design skills with some of my own projects. Gah. There’s not enough time in the day.

      We’re considering Oregon and Colorado. Those are probably the top two options. You heard of anyplace good?

      Ha! I’ll be hiding, then. :)

  2. What a great story, Lyn. I think you should move and break up the California monopoly on “awesome blog friends that live so far away from me.” I can’t wait to hear more about what you decide.

    • Like, like maybe move to Ohio? I’ll pose that one to the beau! I’ve actually thought about that, that wherever we go, I should make sure there’s a blog friend nearby.

      Sidebar: he asked me where I’d want to live and I was like, Vermont! And he said, what’s in Vermont? And I’m all, I have no idea but wouldn’t it be interesting to find out!

  3. What are maple bars?

    I hate little change (I’m responsible for WHAT now?? or You mean I have to take a DIFFERENT way to work?? or My hair stylist moved??) but I love big change, as in moves and new jobs. I’ve been in the same place at the same job for 2.5 years now, and I’m itching for a big move and a new job. Problem is, himself wants to wallow here for a bit longer. Argh. I’m trying to be patient. Patience is not my strongest suit.

    Also. Eff the guilt, about inactivity or anything else. Honestly. You’ll be active when you guys are ready. End of.

    • Maple bar = bar-shaped maple doughnut. Sometimes they’re called longjohns, in certain parts of the country. Or wait, is that only for the cream-filled kind? Hmm. Maybe I should study up and make my next career be “doughnut expert.”

      I love your point about little change as opposed to big change. I’m the same way! But there’s something exciting about turning your life upside down. Also, I’m in the same boat — beau wants to stay for a little while, and I can’t blame him, because he’s got a great job. Argh, indeed.

  4. I think it’s a common thing to have the what now feeling after a wedding. I’ve been sorting through our what next’s for 6 months now and still no progress. Of course, I’m also a horrible procrastinator.

    If you’re looking for a place to move, we have even better weather than California! How many states can say that! Sadly, though, I think Hawaii’s cost of living is even higher.

  5. I love hearing the story of the move. :) I’ve moved all over the country and there is something indescribable about picking up and going someplace because you can. Silly home-buying means that now I must fulfill that wanderlust with trips instead of moves, but that’ll do, pig.

  6. Great story about the move. And you’re right, you can’t credit California with how it worked out, you gotta give that credit to yourself.

    I guess I’m a settler, because I have to honestly say I don’t quite understand the urge to move. But I have seen that urge first hand in some of my friends – mainly the ones who moved a lot as kids. Maybe the urge to explore new territory on a regular basis gets built in at that age. My one big move as a child to a new continent pretty much zapped that need from me forever I think. Regardless, it sounds totally exciting and I can’t wait to hear about what you guys eventually decide! Vancouver is pretty freaken awesome as you know but housing prices are ridonculous and then there’s that inconvenient border.

    • Nina, I would love to do Vancouver! I’m not sure Canada would be so thrilled to have me stay there long-term, though. Boo.

      Interesting perspective on settling. Sometimes I wonder if I’d be inclined to settle down one day, once I found my place. I think until then I’ll always feel compelled to go… I think the urge will also change when our family gets bigger. Whether it be a dog or a child, I think dependents would make me want to put down some roots.

  7. yyyep, the wedding was a lovely distraction that made me somewhat OK with my 9-to-5. now that that’s 7 months hence, I am in desperate need of something better that actually requires that I use my skills and talents, and perhaps even helps me learn and grow. I’m also searching for a path/direction, which is confusing and tiresome at times. Really I would just love to go back to school — it would solve so many problems, except for my debt. bah!

    Good luck as you ponder… don’t forget, you can always come to GA :)

  8. i reckon Oregon might be PERFECT for you. not that i’ve ever been there, but it’s so green and more sustainability-conscious, and, well, off the beaten path.

    but i know the feeling. after our wedding, i desperately needed a change. so I quit my marketing job and went into cooking. but there are lots of other changes i want and don’t know what to do with too. like i want to move away from southern California. and perhaps get a dog. and a dwelling with a backyard for the aforementioned dog. and maybe have some kids in the far future. but do i get the dog first or pop the baby first? ennnnnnh!

  9. Reading this is AWESOME, because I picked up and came to CA 3 years ago and life got really good, but after our Oct. 2010 wedding we decided to move from San Diego to Austin in April. Must be some sort of post-wedding cabin fever.

    Not that you need more encouragement to move if beau wants to stay, but I vote you consider Austin – super low cost of living, 300 days of sunshine, fastest dropping unemployment rates in the US, and 3.5 hr flight to anywhere in the country. Also, as a Texan-turned-Californian, I can say it is more like CA than TX, by a long shot, full of hippies, wine and good food :)

    And you’d have at least one 1 (blog) friend there already!

    • Oh wow! I didn’t know you came out here from Texas. Crazy parallel!

      I do like Austin. We actually had an opportunity to move to Texas through the beau’s job, but we would have had to live in Dallas. If it had been Austin, we would have seriously considered it.

  10. My husband and I got married in October, and we’re very likely staying put (in Little Rock, Arkansas); we own a home where we live with our two dogs. I have a good job; he freelances. Basically, we like our little place in the world. But I do feel that antsy, restless feeling creeping in; it must be the post-wedding planning phase. I feel like I have more time to do SOMETHING; I just don’t know what that something is (yet).

    About Austin: Did you see this article? Apparently “everybody” is moving there! xo.
    http://gawker.com/5731755/everybodys-moving-to-austin

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