Ok, you guys. I’m sorry. I’m sorry to you, but I’m more sorry for me because the guilt of not updating has been . . .well, not consuming . . .but definitely, present. Like a stone in your shoe or maybe a sort-of itchy bug bite. I’m aware of it and it doesn’t feel good, is what I mean.

There are so many reasons for this, and I could expand on them . . .like how the physical act of moving is exhausting but it’s nothing compared to the emotional exhaustion of being never fully landed, of needing to google map your way to EVERYTHING, of not being able to just go on autopilot for even one minute because nothing is what you know. Or how I used to pretty consistently update my blog on my lunch breaks but now that I work for the government I have the fear of God on me that any ‘inappropriate use’ of my work computer might get me fired. Or how once it’s been a little while, it gets harder and harder to know where to pick back up in a way that is at all meaningful and not just an endless drone of quotidian bullshittery. I do not want to offer you a blow by blow of my life because I KNOW I am not that interesting.

But I miss you. YOU, all the yous who are out there, the ones I know and the ones I don’t. I miss the cohort of fellow internet travelers with whom I grew up, metaphorically speaking. And while I don’t feel I OWE you anything, because I think you all have much better things to worry about, I do long for the interaction of this blog. And unlike other folks, I have not had any internal struggle with what to do about my blog now that I have a physical child, and maybe that’s because I actually didn’t expect my blog to become about infertility because it didn’t occur to me, four years ago, that it would be so fucking hard to get knocked up. So I want to keep posting, but there have just been a million tiny hurdles in the way, and I just don’t have enough fucks to launch myself over them.

But, no one wants to read THAT, the semi-apologetic crap about NOT updating. So, onward.

The logistics are this: One job ended (not nearly as dramatically as I thought it would), we packed everything into a semi-trailer, put L and her mom and three dogs in two cars while A and I boarded a plane and we all landed in Seattle and moved into a house we’d never seen before. I started a new job, our stuff arrived, and we unpacked it.

But none of that is very interesting, honestly. And they aren’t what I have wanted to tell you. But here, in brief, are the things I HAVE wanted to tell you:

  • I went from working at an organization of 10 people, to being one of hundreds. In Colorado, everything I did or said was under a microscope. Indeed, that was part of the issue and the drama that was emerging. So few people and everyone’s feelings needing to be handled and taken care of, everyone really knowing everything about everyone, even when supposedly it wasn’t the case. And here? Well, one of my colleagues said, “You could be sunbathing on the shore of Lake Washington and Willa (my new boss’s nom de blog) wouldn’t know a thing.” And it’s true. I mean, at some point your absence might be noticed, or the lack of work would at any rate, but in all honesty, there is no one keeping tabs on me – for better and worse. Ultimately, this is a good thing. It gives me the freedom and flexibility to do this job how I want to do it. But when you are new and need your hand held at least a little? It’s lonely and frustrating and scary. I didn’t have a computer at my desk for THREE WEEKS. My boss was on vacation (and she’s located in a different area anyway, AND she’s hella over committed so she wouldn’t have noticed anyway) and then the site coordinator was on vacation and basically no one cared. It’s shocking but also, as I’m beginning to understand, it’s common. I don’t mean that people haven’t been nice – they have – it’s just that in such a big system, unless you are someone’s actual problem, they don’t have the information you need and they can’t help you. It sucks.
  • Not being able to settle into a home is going to drag this unease far into the future, and there isn’t a damn thing we can really do about it. Also, I am terrible about not having a place to land. Everything in front of us is so blurry, there is so little we can even guess at, and it’s exhausting to not know what lies in front of you. We are in a house in a great neighborhood that we can technically afford. But it’s a crappy rental with a cheap ass property management company and we are paying a LOT more for it than we were for our house in Denver. Knowing we will likely be moving in less than a year means its hard to get invested in loving this less than perfect space. It doesn’t make sense to unpack all of our books or put all of our pictures on the wall, but without those things, it feels even more dreary and difficult to live in. We compromised and hung a few things, put out some knick-knacks and the books we haven’t read or want to read again. We’ll put up a Christmas tree and maybe even the Glitter pig. But, it’s not the house we want to be in, it’s not the place we’ll be calling home for years from now. It’s not home, and it won’t be home, and that’s ok but with everything else up in the air, it’s also really hard.
  • Let’s not talk about my feelings about finding what will be our home. I know we moved to a hella expensive city, so I didn’t exactly expect to find a giant, fancy house in the most gorgeous neighborhood ever right off the bat. And, the reality of the kind of decisions we might have to make when it comes time to buy is starting to set in. We will not be able to live in the city in a giant house that is super updated. One of those things, and maybe more than one, will have to be compromised on – size, location, current home quality. We had an idea that maybe we could move to Tacoma when we wanted to buy because things are SO much more affordable there. So we drove down this past weekend and it was lovely and there are so many gorgeous, refinished craftsman homes and it’s a cute medium sized city and no further from my job than Seattle. And, we’d have to start over again there, because Tacoma isn’t THAT far from Seattle, but it’s far enough that not many folks would trek down just to hang out. Would we trek north just to hang out? Do we want to spend a year making friends and getting invested in one community just to leave it in a year? The Tacoma idea isn’t off the table, it’s just not the magic solution either.
  • Colorado is really beautiful, it’s true. And maybe this is only because I grew up with Colorado’s specific kind of beauty, a semi-arid dusty brown mountains everywhere beauty, but . . .OH, Mt. Rainier rising out of nothing, this massive hulk of snow and light, it takes my breath away a little. And sometimes it’s hard to see (a lot of the time in the winter, I hear) and so when you do see it, it feels a little like you might be dreaming, it’s so beautiful and big. And the mornings here in the last week were all soft and gray, with light peeking around the edges and busting into cool winded sun by 2pm. Even today, it’s warm but there’s still this nice little breeze that lifts my spirits a little, makes it appropriate to wear a jacket and boots with my skirt, not feel trapped by my own sweat.
  • Because things are new, and we are new, we have a lovely incentive to go exploring. And we do. ON Wednesdays we go to the Farmer’s Market in the next neighborhood over (the one gentrifying too rapidly for us to afford a rental in, but which is close enough for us to benefit from), and on the weekends we adventure to the State Fair, or the fancy nature trails or the really good playgrounds or sporting events. We did this in Colorado, sometimes. But it was just as easy to fall into the same routine we’d always had.
  • IT’s hard to be the breadwinner partner when your heart kind of aches to be the stay at home, especially when your stayat home dandy wants nothing more than to win some bread. We are both grieving this a little, and looking for ways to boost each other’s spirits. We are probably over compensating, since we each want so much what the other has, but that’s better than building resentment, so I’ll take it.
  • Our house in Colorado STILL hasn’t closed. I’ll spare you the details, but the buyers had to get a new lender because the original appraisal came back all screwy and even though that meant waiting an extra month, it was still quicker than re-listing it. But, the appraisal with the new lender just came back at sales price and our realtor thinks we’ll close on the 20th. If not updating my blog was the rock in my shoe, this has been the very heavy raincloud over my head.
  • Approximately 75% of drivers in the Western Washington region are terrifying. To whit, I got in a (very minor) car accident last week when someone turned right on red without yielding to my green arrow and I grazed the person to my left while evading the blissfully unaware right turning asshole. I would guess I have to actively work to avoid being hit 2-3 times a day. And if this weren’t being confirmed by outside sources, I’d think it is because of me and maybe not being as confident on the road because of the aforementioned dependence on google maps. But nope, all the transplants I’ve talked to agree: Seattle drivers are terrible. They are passive and also sort of clueless. Pray for me.


10 thoughts on “Prodigal

  1. The adjustments to a completely new city sound intense. I always tell my wife I want to move (which I do and we probably will in a few years) but I have a better grasp of what it’s actually like now. I know that over time you’ll adjust but these times are definitely challenging.

    ps… this didn’t show in my reader!

  2. My lanta. No wonder you haven’t updated. (I’ve missed and been wondering about ya’ll.) I’m sorry there is so much uncertainty. And the PNW drivers super suck. Bleah. I truly hope things get smoother amidst the abundant crunchy.

  3. Welcome to Seattle! I am hearing that it’s been quite a ride so far for your family to get settled.
    The Seattle Freeze (small clicks of people you think you would be great friends with that for whatever reason you just don’t connect with) is a real thing, the drivers are especially bad when the weather changes, and the best advice I got upon arrival was “don’t buy an umbrella.” I came here in 2000 with the intention of going back to Colorado after my doctoral program, but an awesome wife and four kids later, Seattle is now a love affair.
    I’m sorry it’s been hard for you guys. Yea, housing prices are insane and we do have some friends that did the Tacoma move for more house and they all seem really happy. It’s kind of a cool little city but you’re right, people won’t drive.
    Reach out if you want information though it sounds like you and your family are quite self-sufficient. I hope it gets better, and that your job is amazing once they figure out you’re there. My wife is a stay-at-home mom so tell your spouse to reach out if you need some helpful hints that aren’t too obnoxious. Baba

  4. I’ve been thinking of you guys so much and hoping for an update! Which is silly because I could have just messaged you and said “hi, how’s life?” But that didn’t occur to me. I am totally fascinated by your move because it’s something I long to do someday. Although ironically, we will likely move TO Denver. I feel you on the housing issue. When we bought in LA, we opted for an (affordable?) so-so house in a so-so neighborhood that’s close to people who love us because that seemed more important than other factors.

  5. I’ve been wondering about you guys and how your move went. Fyi we waved as we drove through CO in early August. 🙂
    Moving is tough! And it only gets harder each time you do it, which absolutely surprised me. I can’t imagine the stress of moving and knowing the house you’re in isn’t even semi-permanent. On the plus side, you can get to know the area and what’s available and take your time. Then when you finally do settle in for good, you’ll know you’re in the best spot possible.
    My wife and I have also switched the bread winner role and it’s tough. But it all evens out… I think. 🙂
    Anyway I hope you can establish and find friends. Seattle can be tricky to make friends in – you kind of have to be super into initiating contact and activities, which can be tiring.
    And a random tip to end on: if you visit pike place, you should go to the crumpet shop. So good.

  6. Moving in state is hard, I can’t even image uprooting to a new state and being in house limbo. You have to set up glitter pig! I have one too, they can be pen pals (the pun was incidental). Last year I moved from a medium sized nonprofit to state government, it’s totally different. Hopefully your benefits are good, that was the biggest perk for me. It’s weird some things are easier in govt and some things are so unnecessarily complicated.

  7. Congrats on the new position and the move. As a person who has moved no less than 20 times in my 33 years of life, moving sucks. I lived in Seattle some years ago. It’s definitely an adjust but it really is a great area.

  8. I miss reading entries from some of my dearest blog friends…even i get sucked into the craziness of life. Settling in to a new place is always a little crazy, and even more crazy when you are sort of in limbo between locations. Keep your head up friend. Things will all sort themselves out…nice to hear your voice on here again…

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