Road-tripping

I just got back from a fairly epic roadtrip. There were snow and ice storms and days where the temps were single digits or below 0. There were few places we stayed for multiple days and we drove and drove and drove. And then drove some more.

I was on a quest (still am) to figure out where I’d like to live next. Somewhere new. Somewhere fresh with no mistakes in it yet.1 Somewhere I could just be me, as I am now, who I may evolve into later. I’ve never moved anywhere without a specific purpose or need. I got into a college, so I went to that area. I got married and moved for a job. I went to law school and picked a school close to my then-husband’s family since my kiddo was 2 and we thought having family around would be helpful (punchline – they weren’t). My job can be anywhere (well, in the US). I could stay where I’m at. I could move. I don’t need to be any specific place. And it’s liberating … and a little terrifying.

Image of coffee shop with chairs and LGBTQ ally flags in the background and a collander hanging from the ceiling with a lightbulb

Northeast/New England has been the zone I’ve imagined moving to generally. I have family and friends in the Eastern time zone 😉 And I want to be closer, but there is definitely something about not being too close. I could go near the bestie, but she has a full life built up there. I don’t want to fit into someone else’s life anymore or a company’s or school’s. I want to carve out a slice of life for myself. Hence, totally new place. And understanding that my chiseling tools to carve with need to be sharp and strong.

On this lovely roadtrip, I ruled out Maryland, Rhode Island, and New York. I want more coastal so NH/VT weren’t really considerations. And Delaware was always out for a variety of reasons, most especially that they don’t do law license reciprocity, so I’d have to retake the bar. Hard pass, thanks. That left me with Maine, Massachusetts, and Connecticut. The ex and his family are from CT, which childishly taints that state by association. 🙂 But here’s the rub, because the universe is nothing if not attentively watching with popcorn and waiting to be entertained. North to mid coast line of CT is much more affordable for me than Mass. Sigh. Of course it is. Still though. Hoping for more idyllic things.

We drove all around Mass. I mean, everywhere. And I think I’ll likely end up on the North Shore above Boston. There are a couple of places South Shore that I’ll look as well since real estate is stupidly hot in North Shore. But if I were a betting woman, I’d say I end up in Mass. With the way the market is, I’ll have to sell my house, put stuff in storage and go out there to buy in person. Fine. I have a bit of a growing fantasy of doing that before a trip I’ve got planned in the late spring. And that makes me want to hurl a little bit.

Image of a snady beach, small grouping of rocks meeting the ocean waves as they hit the sand and a lightly cloudy sky with blue and orange sunset.

I love my little house. I was so excited to get back to it last night after 2 weeks of living out of suitcases and staying in a variety of hotel rooms. I’ll miss likely not being here to take those full bloom backyard pictures. And the reality that nothing is driving this change other than a deep, soulful sense of being so very done here makes those things I’ll miss extra pangy. But we found a couple of communities especially where I could picture waking up there, going to do some things, lolling about in my hammock, walking on a nearby beach, and trying to make friends. And that helps. It’s worth almost everything actually. That sense that I have made a home here … where I thought I could never fit or feel comfortable. And I can do that again – so much easier in a place where I can easily imagine me fitting and being comfortable.

For now, I’m going to breathe, do all the laundry and grocery shopping and other post-trip things. I’m going to relish cooking (nothing like a road trip to reignite the desire to cook). I’m going to start my new job and give it the focus and attention that deserves. And I’m going to let myself dream for a bit about those places we found. And will my excitement to become greater than my moments of fear.

1 – Lucy Maud Montgomery, Anne of Green Gables

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