As a long time California native, arguably this state does not hold the same mystique and enchantment that it does for many who long to live here. Please do not mistake me, I love my home state. However, I love it in the same way you love your childhood home or hometown. It’s great to go back to visit but you are hesitant to ever to live there again.
It has been said that it is a rite of passage to leave your hometown, often times even your home state. I, however, have never been successful at permanently leaving my home state though I keep trying. I lived in Istanbul, Turkey as an exchange student and was invited to move there permanently but was too young to appreciate the opportunity. Once again, I had the chance to move to the state Ohio and was excited about going (don’t laugh) but my then partner was fearful to make the move with me because we weren’t married yet and thought I would hate it and leave him there alone and single. Fast forward many years, I almost had to move to Fort Worth, Texas. This location was not even close to the top of my wishlist but I was willing to relocate for my then husband’s career. Fortunately that “opportunity” passed. Roughly a year ago, I was planning a move to Spain to see if I could figure out how to find work before the three month Visa ran out. Alas, some personal obligations back in the states postponed my plans indefinitely.
My own young son, beat me at relocating, now calling Pennsylvania home. Well, at least the majority of the year as he only returns to his home state now for college summer breaks. In 2005, I purchased what was to be the retirement home I would share with my then husband. Ironically, I kept it after the divorce and he is the one slated to retire this month! It resides in Southwestern Washington state where I attempted to move last summer after a four-month trial run living in a nearby town to see if it agreed with me. It did, but as fate would have it, family heartstrings lured me to Pennsylvania for a planned six month stay. Sadly, six months turned into two and a half when an injury turned my life upside down and I sought refuge and much healing with a family member in sunny southern California.
A few months ago, I swore I would never return to California to live but an impending knee surgery and nearby aging family has made me rethink my strong opinions about living here. Funny, how the more things change, the more they stay the same. Frankly, my personal belongings are tired of warming up a cold storage unit and I have nearly forgotten what I possess that was safely tucked away some sixteen months ago when I began this traveling sabbatical. So there it is, I have gone full circle as I once predicted. My quest to live daily out of my comfort zone worked so well, that putting down roots is now completely out of my comfort zone, therefore I must do it. Sigh…