So, I am writing this from the cruising altitude for a Boeing 737-800 on my five hour flight to Boston. I managed to get the emergency exit aisle with only one other person for this five-hour flight, and I have plenty of room– probably the most I have ever had outside of first class. I have music in my ears, and I am well rested and ready to tackle the next work project.
But, I left Seattle. And I feel a bit of myself staying behind each time.The area is definitely growing on me. I found time to explore the immediate areas around Kirkland, and I was able to go peek a sneak at Mount Si. It was quite a majestic view to stumble upon by just picking a road that just happened to lead out of the city. I made a point to go walking in the sun, even though it was 85 degrees or so (I think I brought Phoenix with me). I got to know a few locals, made some acquaintances through a friend, and am slowly becoming familiar with how the roads and towns connect together. It’s the first city I’ve been in inside the states, where I’ve wanted to go explore and see what might be out there.
Of course, my friends and newly found acquaintances were quick to point out what areas not to go looking for a home. As they did so, that word “home” slung back around and hit me in the face. It was at some point during one of these conversations that I realized home was potentially no longer going to be where I’ve been all my life– for the last 30 years. I would be moving away from what is familiar, and really striking out. I’m nowhere near the first in my family to do this– we’ve been full of nomads– but it is a first for me, and it’s big for anyone their first time.
Hold your innuendo and jokes.
Because of how I developed as a person, I’ve been a little bit behind on all of the adult things to do by about five to eight years on average. Relationships, getting out into my own place, and now moving out across the country. But this rather alternate path I’ve walked has been full of wonderful experiences that I cherish, and even more recently I have developed some close ties with a few select people. I have made many friends as well, many that I know would pull the shirt off their back and freeze into a weapon for me to use to defend myself.
…I didn’t feel like going with the typical shirt analogy.
But there was one thing that my friend Lil brought up, and that it is increasingly difficult for me to personally grow in this area. I don’t think it’s just a matter of having been in one place for so long, though it is a contributing factor. But in all sincerity, I don’t believe Arizona offers as much for personal growth as other places can. It’s largely a retirement state, and has some trite and combative politics that don’t allow for much development in the state. Moreover, the places I would want to live in Arizona don’t have a good economy for IT jobs, much less an economy at all. If you combine that with someone who sweats in 60 degree weather while doing laundry, it just becomes a very unfulfilled and arduous state of being.
Mind you– I still have goals for Germany, but I am fairly certain that these next few years are going to be important in my professional development, and will round out my experience well enough to either work for my current company from Germany, or allow me to seek out a position within another company over there. It’s still my “north star” so to speak. See? Professional lingo is bleeding its way into my personal life. Not to say that it’s a bad thing; there are many things I’ve learned personally through my professional life, and vice versa.
But, I am a greedy person. I want to take all of the things I enjoy about Arizona (namely people), and uproot them with me for a few reasons: I want to have them with me, but more importantly I want them to experience someplace where I think they’d be able to grow and enjoy the world a bit more. I know some people would do better down in the valley, but those who have grown close to me I would want with me. I’ve made a few half-joke attempts with my close friends, sending pictures and saying, “Look at the shiny things up here!” I imagine their responses are equal in their half-jest form, but I know they’d come with me if it were easy and they themselves weren’t leaving things behind.
And, thus the conflicts of a new home arise. While I am leaving bits of myself in Seattle, I’d also be leaving large chunks of myself in Arizona. No one likes leaving behinds bits of themselves; we’re meant to function as one piece. But, I think that no matter where I land, these bits and chunks I’ll be able to heal together with new experiences and wonder. I guess that’s the love/hate with wanderlust: Leave yourself behind a bit. You’ll make room for new stuff.
Well… I guess I am about to find out where I’ll be mending those missing bits soon enough.