It took me four years to get back to where I belong.
That’s correct, we’re moving again. I promise you, we are not in a witness protection situation. My name really is Mary.
Since living in California, Andrew and I always have these conversation about where we’d go after our time in California, because we felt in our hearts that we wouldn’t stay long. We talked about different places on the East Coast, but I wasn’t convinced that I could see us living anywhere in particular. In May, I was returning home from a trip to the East Coast when I was overwhelmed by a sense of clarity. Why are we trying to live where we think we should live instead of where we really want to be? This thought came to me right around the time I was realizing I do A LOT of shoulds in my every day life. An AHA! moment, mother Oprah says. Let’s go where we really want to go. Do what we really want to do. It has taken me a long time to get to that point of self-realization and it feels spectacular. Let’s move back to Seattle, I said.
Shortly after this realization, we had a weekend planned to visit friends in Seattle. It would help us decide if we really did want to be back. It was a beautiful, sunny weekend full of food and friends and some favorite places. There wasn’t a doubt that this is what I truly wanted in my soul. Same for Andrew. He never wanted to leave in the first place but agreed to go experience somewhere new.
I returned to California after that weekend with a job offer to go back to my beloved former co-workers and company in Washington. The timing could not have been better. Andrew began talks with a friend about a non-retail job opportunity, which recently came to fruition. We decided I’d come up to Washington first, and he would follow soon after. Kind and generous friends offered us to stay with them until we get our own place. The pieces fell into place. We are getting really good at this.
When we initially left Seattle in September 2013, I was looking ahead. I wanted to experience new places. I thought we’d done everything we could do in & around Seattle. We landed in California the following year, and have made the best of our 3 years there. California has a lot to offer, and apart from it being too hot at times, the weather is incredible year-round. We visited countless beaches and three national parks. We’ve explored cities and towns in Southern and Northern California. I’ve worked with and for compassionate and generous women. It just is not Seattle. Nothing and no place will ever be Seattle for us. But I am so incredibly thankful for the perspective gained by experiencing another area of the country, and I rekindled that deep appreciation and longing for Seattle.
This past Sunday, I drove the 14-hour journey from Dublin, CA to my friend’s place just south of Seattle. I was so excited and determined to do it in one day. I am not a morning person, and yet I was on the road at 5:15, so that should tell you something. It felt like I’d won a leg of The Amazing Race. I’ve had a giant grin on my face ever since I arrived. I am so very happy to be back in Washington. Besides Central New York where I grew up, this is HOME to me. From the moment I first visited Seattle back in 2001, I knew this is where I belong. My heart is starting to be still.
Turns out there is a lot of hiking, biking, eating, exploring for us to do here. How silly to think we had DONE IT ALL. Not even close! I am feeling so overjoyed at this second opportunity to live, work and play here. My family is no longer surprised when we tell them we are moving once again, but they are unconditionally supportive even though they want us closer to the East Coast. I can’t wait for them to visit so I can show off this adopted home of mine. Love you, family.
The journey continues. In Seattle. I love it here**
((**Please remind me of this in the middle of a rain-soaked January)).