A New Life

As you may know, my wife, son, and I moved from Massachusetts to North Carolina last week.  But this wasn’t my first move.  I’m 32 years old, and (I’ve lost count) but I’ve moved at least 30 times.  Sarah has moved quite a few times as well—she was born in New Jersey, then lived in Hong Kong, then Toronto, before moving to Massachusetts.

Most of my moves have been local.  After I was born, before I was five we moved a couple of times in New Hampshire, I moved to and from Denver, and now I’ve moved to North Carolina.  Every other move has been within a 50 mile radius—probably 25 miles.

All of these local moves trained me in how to do the mechanics of moving.  My father would rent a UHaul, and we would load it up, drive across town, or a couple of towns over, and we could do as many trips as we needed.  At one point my dad started joking that we should just have handles installed on all of our furniture.

When I moved to Denver, it was my first move on my own.  I loaded up my Honda Civic (not the one I currently have, just another in a long string of Hondas) with all my clothes and stuff.  A friend and I squeezed into the car and drove out to Denver.  Then when I moved back it was the same thing.  It was easy because I was 21 and didn’t have furniture.

So this was my first big move with furniture.  I didn’t really know what to expect, because when you move locally you can do it a bit more piecemeal.  Things can get put away as you’re moving, this was a whole different beast.  We had our furniture roughly in place, but overall we had boxes anywhere we might want to stand or walk.  We’ve put away so much, and still it is overwhelming.

Anyway, I didn’t want to write about the mechanical process of moving.  I wanted to write about the emotional process.  So, one thing that I’ve felt every time I’ve moved, as we empty out the house we’re leaving is that it feels like the end of a sitcom, that moment when everyone looks back into the house and does a last memory check.  When Sarah and I got our first place together, it was like the start of a spin-off, but all of the old cast of characters were still going to be regularly appearing.  This move—nearly 12 hours away— is something different.  There will be guest appearances, but it’s a whole different show.

The weather here is different, the roads, the amount of things for Logan to do.  This place is just completely different and ultimately it will limit how often I get to see my friends and family.  I’m not complaining, I needed this big move, and I think job-wise, and weather-wise and in so many other ways it’s going to be a great decision, but that doesn’t make it easier to say goodbye to all the great things about my old life.

Now, I realize, that it’s 2017 and it’s definitely the best time in the history of the world to move away from you family—with planes and FaceTime— but until teleportation is available it’s not ‘easy’.

One of the big positives about moving, is that with the better weather, and Logan becoming more mobile I think that I will be able to make myself healthier.  I’m really looking forward to this.  We haven’t been here a week, and we’ve seen so many parks, and ‘greenways’—special paths for bikes and pedestrians— and we’ve been outside more than ever before.

The downsides are there is amazing but unhealthy food all over.  There is so much BBQ and fried chicken—it’s a fat boy’s dream down here.  I think the saving grace will be that Sarah and I love to cook, and so we hopefully won’t fall into that trap, and as we add activity to our lives—the beaches aren’t too far and I still plan on surfing— my hope is that I will lose weight, and feel better physically and emotionally.

Part of the key to making a move like this work, is changing.  I have to adapt my own life, and change, to some extent, who I am in order to grow into this new place.  I’m ready for this brand new adventure!

Moving

I have lived in Massachusetts for the majority of my life.  I’m 32, and other than a year and a half when I lived in Denver, and a couple of years—before my memory—when I lived in New Hampshire, it’s been all Massachusetts.

I’ve moved more than 30 times, although I’ve lost track of the exact number.  Most of those moves have been in the central Massachusetts area (as far East as Waltham, as far South as Uxbridge, and as far West as Worcester—within Massachusetts I haven’t lived much further north than the Mass Pike).

As many of you who read my posts regularly might know, I am not a fan of living here, I’m not a fan of the weather, the constant road-work, or the enthusiasm this state seems to have for fucking everything—”Fall’s the best!” “I love apple picking” “I love sweater weather” “I love pumpkins” “I love the Patriots,” you get it.  And when someone like me isn’t enthusiastic about the never ending parade of stupid shit, they all act like it’s a big fucking deal to descent in opinion.

So, my wife and I finally bit the bullet.  We decided to move away, partly the job market hasn’t been great, and partly it was a good opportunity for us to get better weather and a change of environment.  To be completely honest, Sarah and I love driving around on weekends exploring, and we were starting to run out of things to do here.

We’re moving to North Carolina, not exactly sure where—we’ve narrowed it down to three different apartments and just trying to decide—but somewhere in the Raleigh area. We’re very excited for a change of pace, but also there are the complications.  We’re both a bit nervous, not because of a fear of failure, but it’s a rather big move, and so we’re just jittery.  Telling our friends and family is tough, and while everyone seems to understand our reasoning, it doesn’t make it less painful, or feel less personal.

One thing that I’ve been thinking about is lifestyle change.  I know from experience, that Chinese food, and pizza can be extremely different depending on region—my father-in-law laughs and says “oh yeah, down here they make pizza with dough, and sauce, and cheese” but look at Chicago style vs. New York style vs. Greek style vs. Neapolitan.

I think that by going somewhere with a different culture will do two things, force me out of my comfort zone which will be a good thing, and it will possibly make me—beyond just the eating out aspect—become a little more independent and in control.  To stick with the food example, if I find that I don’t like the food in the area, it will force me to cook more, which will arguably be healthier, but also because I tend to get bored making the same thing, will force me to explore.

Overall, I’m very excited about the move, and I’m definitely going to continue blogging about it, and letting you know about the different challenges to moving to a different region.

What would you worry about most with a move like this?  Is there anything I should consider?