Patrick and I have this uncanny connection when it comes to big things. Let me explain with an example. A few weeks ago, as some of you know, on our way back from Boston, Patrick and I simultaneously had a “What the hell are we doing?” moment about the wedding. It had gotten bigger than us. We had other priorities. We wanted something different; something that was more us. We wanted something fun, not stuffy. We spent the train trip home figuring out what we really wanted.
This happened again the other night, except this time it was us having the same thought, but Patrick had to drag it out of me because I was being stubborn about saying what I was feeling, heh.
As most of you don’t know, Patrick and I were planning rather seriously to move north to Boston. In fact, aside from it being a much needed vacation, our trip to Boston was a scouting trip. Honestly, it couldn’t have been more beautiful, and we had a ridiculously amazing time.
The reality was that we had both grown weary of living in DC. This past spring (I want to say April?), Patrick had said “Well, what about Boston?” He had never lived anywhere other than in the DC/MD area, and he ended up not loving DC like he thought he would. Both of us were feeling anxious here. When he brought it up, initially I balked. I said no. As time went on, however, the prospect became very appealing. His idea was planted firmly in my brain.
When I went up to Boston for Heidi’s bachelorette party in August, I was hooked. It was like being home again, like I had been gone for a very long vacation, and was just returning. And who can deny how amazing Boston is? I can’t. It’s where I grew into adulthood. It’s where I first gained my own sense of self. It was the home of my first real adult love, my first job, my first apartment… a lot of firsts. My kneejerk reaction was that I wanted to move back. I wanted to move “home”.
My renewed love of Boston led Patrick and I to seriously discuss the matter, and prior to our trip this past October, we were almost 100% sold on moving there. The trip was merely going to seal the deal.
…and it did.
We came back to DC feeling like we were ready to turn around and move immediately. Even Patrick on his own blog said: “But wow, what a beautiful town. I have to admit, I was pretty depressed leaving. I forgot what it felt like to be in a town with character.”
Then the weeks wore on, and I have to admit I had this nagging feeling in the back of my mind saying moving back north would be a mistake. I kept it to myself because I couldn’t think of any logical reason why we shouldn’t move back to the city we both loved; a place that honestly still has a very large piece of my heart.
This week it got much worse. It seemed like every time I looked around or thought about something we were doing, I realized how much I would miss it after we moved next year (a few months after the wedding).
It didn’t make any sense, though. I thought I had admitted a mistaken thought process to myself: that my return home to the area two years ago would be final. I thought I had admitted I was wrong; that really I had some unfinished business, but my home was elsewhere. My inability to admit that this was ALSO wrong had caused me to completely unravel. I kept saying to myself, “Everything is perfect now! And we’re moving to Boston! But I’m still incredibly sad…”
Finally, on Monday, it all came tumbling out to Patrick in a flurry of words. The apologies. The realization that I was wrong… again. Who was I kidding? I bitch and complain about this area, but it is my home… and much like family, you can’t choose what or where really feels like home. It’s this intangible feeling, and this area has that feeling for me, as much as I hate admitting that.
I honestly had myself convinced that I needed to leave. That I had done what I needed to do here. In actuality, I was probably just running away again. Over the past… I don’t know, seven months? I’ve been feeling a bit aimless. I hate using the term “quarter-life crisis” because it always makes me involuntarily roll my eyes, but I can’t think of another way to put it. I was unhappy about the direction of my life. I also think it was easy for me to try and write off this area after what went down with my mother last month, like it was some final nail in the coffin of this area. Once again I latched onto something, this time it was Boston, as a life raft that would fix my problems.
Patrick, of course, said he knew I was second guessing my want to move to Boston. He later admitted that the more he had thought about it, even though he was gung-ho about moving there, he was going to miss being around here too.
But the fact remained that we didn’t want to leave the area, but we DO want to leave DC. As I mentioned, DC was increasingly becoming less and less of our cup of tea, at least in terms of residency. Honestly I love hanging out in some areas, and I love the restaurants here, and the history. I love working here, too. Living within the confines of the actual city, however? Not so much.
So instead we are retreating to Old Town Alexandria, Virginia this upcoming March 1, when our lease is up. It took some discussing to figure out where we wanted to put down our roots together, but Old Town emerged victorious. We even found the community we are going to live in. For me, I couldn’t be more thrilled. I spent the early part of my childhood in DC, but then I moved out to Northern Virginia with my mom for the remainder of my pre-teen and teen years. And anyone who has been to Old Town knows how amazing it is… it’s the site of so many good memories…
The Scottish Walks every year. The restaurants. The waterfront. It’s also where Patrick proposed and where we’re getting married. It’s just a beautiful place.
Will I regret not moving there? I wouldn’t say regret, but it does make me a bit sad to realize that the Boston chapter of my life has closed permanently. Of course we’ll go back up for trips and the like, but it is now a place in the past… I think that’s the scariest thing to admit. And I think that’s one of the difficult things I’m dealing with right now.
When I was in my late teens and early twenties, life was full of options and paths. I had millions of choices, and I had time to explore. Now? Not so much. Now I still have options, but I’m at the point where I have to choose. I have to be the adult. It’s been a difficult thing to adjust to.
I think what I love the most, though, is how Patrick just knew. And how, once again, we were on the same page. I feel like I have my tail between my legs a bit because I got excited; REALLY excited. I was ready to move. I was energetic about it. I was pumped. I think that’s always been a flaw of mine. I get swept up and away in ideas before I take a moment to stop and think through everything. This time I will say I did think through everything. I thought long and hard, but it took some time for me to realize that it was not the right thing to do.
In the end, however, we realized our lives are here. Our jobs are here. Our futures are here. Our family is here. We’re starting to make some truly wonderful friends. The thought of leaving all of that…? No way. Bring on your tourists and your muggy summers. We’ll be here… right off the GW Parkway, a short drive to Mount Vernon, and a 10 to 15 minute walk to the Old Town Waterfront.
I’m so excited. Now I can honestly say, “Everything is as it should be,” but without the sadness.
Now we just need to get a car, heh.
P.S. Patrick, if I told this wrong, feel free to jump in and tell everyone what a moron I am. 😛