Hey everyone, I have some news.
The primary reason we visited Portland two weeks ago was because Jeremy had an interview at the Waldorf school there, and he got the job. We’ll be moving to Portland in four months.
This is fine. I feel fine.
Seriously though. This wasn’t in the plan. You know, The Plan! The one where you’re like, hey universe I want this. And the universe is like, you got it babe! Oh shit, that doesn’t exist? It doesn’t exist! We just prattled on our merry way thinking we had lots of control and nothing would ever ever change. Always good for a laff.
Clear up through December we did not expect to leave. We talked about it a hundred thousand MILLION times and every conversation went like this.
So hey maybe we should leave.
Yeah maybe we should.
It makes sense.
Yes it does.
It would be okay.
Sure it would.
Maybe it would even be great.
I think so too.
So we’ll just stay here then.
Yep sounds good.
But one day I had a thought. What if we made the decision based entirely on what’s best for our kids? And I know that sounds funny because don’t parents base EVERYTHING on what’s best for our children? Well, no. We actually take many things into consideration, and settle often for what’s good enough, especially when the kids aren’t immediately obviously suffering. And our children aren’t suffering. Sure, there’s only one other boy in Isaiah’s class of 7. Willow doesn’t have many chances to connect with kids who are a little more off-beat. But they are happy healthy children.
Still, when we decided to approach the question this way, the answer clarified. We’d give them as many opportunities as we could. Social opportunities, educational opportunities, cultural opportunities, environmental opportunities… We’d want their world to be as wide as possible (ahem, as wide as we can afford — world travel is not in the budget).
Let’s put it this way: Isaiah’s class is Portland will have 18 boys next year. Eighteen boys! You should have seen how Isaiah’s face lit up when he heard that.
Once we accepted that moving to a more populated and innovative area would probably be the best choice for our kids, we turned our attention to the benefits for us, the adults in the equation. Jeremy’s new position is in the math department for the junior high and high school. After graduating his current class, he’ll have a break from being a main lesson teacher (which is an enormous emotional investment), and he’ll get to pursue his first love of math in a professional setting. He’s thrilled, and I’m thrilled for him.
And as for me… look, I built my little meal-delivery business as an alternative to extremely limited job opportunities — because I didn’t want to cultivate marijuana for a living — because I felt smothered by office work — because there is no university here and even if there were, there are no jobs here in anything I’d want to study — not because I really want to cook for a living. As much as I love it, I recognize it as a compromise. In Portland I’ll have the opportunity to pursue work that is both challenging and meaningful.
Other benefits: public transportation, walkable communities, affordable mortgages, so many cultural events, tons of “ethnic” markets, a curvy yoga studio, bike lanes, a thriving Buddhist community (other than Tibetan), interesting architecture & history, cooler summers, places I can safely eat occasionally, NO DROUGHT, really great coffee, closer to family, and plenty of opportunity to overcome my latent fear of bridges.
I focus tightly on all of these wonderful things because the drawbacks include leaving our “logical family” (thank Maupin for that wonderful term!) and abandoning this incredible place. This will hurt.
For so long, I couldn’t even think of leaving because I thought we’d be running away, and I refused to run away. I refused to give up, or to give in to that grass-is-greener mentality. Before this point I couldn’t imagine what it would feel like to instead just turn very slightly in another direction, to redirect, and not with fear and regret, and to willingly keep my heart in multiple places.
So there you have it. Four months. Goodbye Mendo, hello Portland.