1) We would buy a house and settle in an area in Pennsylvania we were comfortable with/felt like home just because that seemed like The Next Responsible Thing To Do.
or 2) We would up and move across the country to live in southern California.
If I'm being honest with you, number 2 didn't seem like something that would actually happen--more like a pipe dream, perhaps.
But here's the thing. I am not special or brave or crazy (ok, maybe a little bit), or wild and adventurous for doing this. My husband says, "yes, you are brave, babe". I say, "no, no sweetie, I'm not, because I'm still scared." But we took an idea, a dream, really--and began to let ourselves really think about it seriously. We played out every scenario in our heads, we got the ball rolling, we took the big, scary steps. We let each door open and if it opened we walked through it. We explored the avenues and broke the news to family. It was met with different feelings and reactions from everyone, as to be expected. Some very sad, some super excited for us, some ignored it, and some were wonderfully supportive. But then we kept on.
I've gotten a lot of comments, mainly on my instagram, things that go something like this:
You're brave, I could never do that.
I wish I could, but I just can't.
Leaving family is never an option for us.
I'd miss everyone too much.
It's too hard.
My parents would kill me.
The details make my head hurt.
I've always dreamed of moving to the beach.
I'll just live vicariously through you.
All of them are exactly how I felt, how I still feel if I'm being honest. I told Declan last night that it still almost feels like a dream that we live here. While we were going through all the little details that it took to get here (omg, SO MANY---), I thought we would surely die in the process. There's no way to figure it all out. Is there???
Turns out you can. And I know this is like beating a dead horse, but you just take one day at a time, one step. Before you know it you're there and scratching your head like, whoa, we did it.
My point is not to say, You should all move far away from your family. I'm not suggesting that at all, that'd be crazy and it's not for everyone. Some of us make choices to move away, and some of us don't get the choice based on careers or whatever.
What I am saying is that sometimes you have to ask yourself the hard questions and then answer them truthfully. Sometimes considering your little family unit and making decisions not based on everyone else's feelings is actually the healthiest thing to do. Sometimes stepping out into something so new and unknown can stretch and grow you in a way you may not have otherwise. Sometimes you have to think will the regret of never trying haunt you all your life?
Moving your little established family because you want to try it may sound crazy, and, you know--maybe it is, but I'm just gonna err on the side of this quote when those feelings of Oh God, What did I do creep in. Because I hope I'm lying in bed with Declan when we're 80 one day and reminiscing on our SoCal adventure with a smile.