The other night I had a dream about my Delta AmEx card.
Think it might be time to fire up the ‘ole sky miles.
Besides heading back over the Ocean for another extended stay, I am also considering a permanent move.
Not a big surprise. I’ve moved often in my life. At some point I was packing up my books once a year. Though less frequent now, I’ve hopped three times in the last ten.
I’m exploring making that an even four.
So, I’ve casually been looking at rentals and buys.
I am tethered only by one real requirement. For work, I can be remote but I must reside in the United States.
Also, because I like to divide my time between here and England, I want to be no further than 25 minutes from an airport, and not endure any one flight that is longer than 8 hours.
Those combined eliminate the likes of anything West Coast, Wyoming or Fargo.
Otherwise, according to how I did my Zillow search, the United States looks like a candy store.
How insane is that map?
If you asked me in 2017 to name all the places I’d ever consider living, I would have zoomed in only on Downtown Manhattan or D.C. After all, what else is there?
Now look at my view.
And, unlike restaurant menus, it appears there are never too many choices.
My large-city snobbery changed in 2018 when I moved into this poor wee cottage, with its charmingly sad garden gate, at the top of a street lined with other 1930s bungalows.
I had opted out of the comfort of my high-rise living, booked a moving van and left town.
On that first evening I stood on the front porch and felt a weight lift off my soul for the first time in oh so many years.
I took a leap that a change would do me good, and it worked.
I remember thinking: Maybe, it’s all going to be okay.
Before I came here, I had been tormenting myself over my failed relationship with JB … and unwisely living around the corner from that previous life. Visible but out of reach.
What a miserable mess that was.
It’s the reason I started this blog … to work through the destruction.
To sum that time up? First, I take ownership of the things I am about to put out there. It’s my view upon reflection.
But I allowed myself to feel erased by JB’s narrative (along with the ones his family and friends told).
After JB stopped writing short stories, he dedicated himself to executive reporting, and it became all about work, and working around his schedule. My life was that of an extra’s to his male lead role. It was his place I moved into. It was our holidays around his time. It was my Fridays listening to his music. It was Sundays with 8 of his closest mates. It was him complaining about our lack of cooking skills.
He would say he valued my decisions, then dismiss them. When I asked why he bothered to ask, he said “people like to be made to feel as if they had a say in the process.”
That’s diplomacy at its most condescending. I would know, I’m a diplomat’s daughter.
We’re both accomplished, well respected, educated people. Yet I felt less than. Again, I’m owning this one. But it felt like the only thing split evenly between us was the rent.
So, in my attempt to regain some semblance of who I was, I would lose it all: My things, my dignity, my courage, and the future with my vowed forever.
He was blindsided. I handled it poorly and made mistakes. He told me I ruined his life. I crumbled.
I moved to an apartment just minutes down the way, and there I stayed for 3 years.
Working, writing, sleeping. Rinse and repeat.
I was a broken shell. I assumed this was my fate.
Then one day my Irish Twin called. He had just bought a house and was trying to find someone to take over his lease.
When we ended the call. A light bulb went off. I rang my brother back and said: “How about me?”
And that’s when the shackles loosen.
So many personal experiences have a happened since I moved here.
I changed jobs. I re-discovered a great friendship with Marty. I’ve met some fabulous characters. I held their hands as my parents left this World. I asked for Forgiveness, and restored my Faith.
I’m sure I am missing a few gems.
And even though I stamp my passport a lot, for years my horizon was so narrow as almost not to be noticed.
So it warms my heart to look at that map, and see all those dots. Because that map represents me and possibilities. Not a “what if I won the lottery” game. Those are truly all real places that are just outside my door.
It’s madness how positive this has been.
Not one for sweets, if this is what it feels like to be a kid in the candy store? Pour me some sugar.