It was always in our plan to move to Oregon. That’s where JB’s family lives, it’s where he’s from, it’s where we wanted to raise our children.

Then JB was working for Microsoft, and, well, you don’t quit Microsoft. You stay there as long as you can while they grind everything they can out of you, while simultaneously firehosing money and benefits in your direction. If you stay there long enough, you retire on a bed of gold ingots. Sure, your vocabulary will be replaced with Dilbert-speak, your eyelid will spasm whenever you get a new email, and your teeth will be permanently bared from years of aggressive turf-defending, but you will have a SAILBOAT.

We talked about Oregon a lot in those days, but it was never the right time. There were ladders to climb, promotions to get. My job was going well, too—I’d joined the company when they could only afford to pay starving-artist salaries, and now we were getting fat holiday bonuses.

After an insane amount of work and stress and plotting, JB and his business partners turned Vioguard from a dream into a reality. And he did quit Microsoft, which was a terrifying, epic decision and I’m so proud of him for having the balls to do it.

Forget those sailboats. They’re made of souls.

Somehow during all of this, the months and years just slid right by. The child who was a suspicious newborn will be a suspicious five-year-old next week. We thought we’d have plenty of time to figure out how to get to Oregon before the kids started school, then suddenly we were looking at local school scores and trying to figure out if we should move across town instead.

We ran low on money and we learned we didn’t need it the way we thought we did. We spent a week in Oregon with family and realized we didn’t want those moments to happen only a few times a year. JB’s father had another cancer scare. Traffic has gotten worse and city-living expenses keep piling up.

When the home you want for your family is a few hundred miles from where you’ve made your life, all you can do is keep checking that balance. For years, the scales have tipped in the favor of staying put. The timing wasn’t right. This summer, the scales finally tipped the other way, and it became clear that for a change of that magnitude, the timing will never be right. It will always involve risk and fear and compromise.

So that’s why we put the house on the market. If it sells, we’ll move to Eugene and start a new life there, and JB will continue his work with Vioguard. If it doesn’t sell, we’ll stay put until we figure out the next thing. We’re in a good position, in a lot of ways. Nothing’s forcing our hand with this move. It’s hard, once you’ve made such a big decision, to have no forward momentum—but we can afford to be patient.

At least we took that step, I tell myself. We broke out of the inertia of the timing isn’t right. Fuck the status quo. Fuck being comfortable. Fuck staying still and never reaching out to grab the ring behind the gold, the one that really means something.

August thus far has brought more changes than I ever would have thought possible—and none of them in the area I’d been focused on. Our house hasn’t sold, we don’t appear to be moving any time soon, and yet everything has tipped upside down like a snowglobe: all the little routines and realities floating off in a new direction, sparkling and winking as they catch the light.


59 Responses to “Why the sign is in the yard”

  1. Emily on August 28th, 2010 5:10 pm

    Over a year ago, my husband, 2 children and I moved from our home in Boston to my in-laws house so that we could more easily sell our home without the chaos of two kids under the age of 3 in the house. Now that we’ve finally sold, we are in a unique position of not being pressed for time to buy, but do not really have any clear sense of direction for our next destination. We could stay here in CT but have decided to take a leap to a new area in NC. We’ve finally made that decision and hope to act on that decision in January. We are diving right into the deep end without first getting our feet wet. Good luck with your sale!

  2. jen in az on August 29th, 2010 1:56 am

    I’m in the middle of a divorce now, which is completely different than your situation. But, the way this was worded just……well, no words can explain. You have a gift. Can’t wait to read your book.

  3. This, that, and the other « My Two (cents) on September 2nd, 2010 7:26 pm

    […] But I hope that the balance between us will lead to success in this endeavor. Tonight I read this post from my favorite blogger and it reminded me that we are not the only family in this world who takes […]

  4. Sheri on September 3rd, 2010 9:32 am

    The sailboats are made of souls…..I almost spit my drink on my keyboard. Perfect.

  5. twisterfish on April 17th, 2012 6:45 pm

    Just found your blog due to a friend who reads your blog and she told me about your move to Oregon. She told me about it since I’ve recently made the scary crazy decision to move across country to Oregon also! I’m now reading about your move with a smile on my face and more confidence than before. Thank you and good luck!

  6. OR Suz on September 9th, 2012 10:42 pm

    When I ditched Seattle for Lane County 3+ yrs. ago, I had stopped reading you.
    Came back for the old henna pix.
    Question is, w/o reading all the archived entries- did you do it?

  7. OR Suz on September 9th, 2012 10:45 pm

    Well then, never mind. I see that you have and perhaps I should start reading again. I found the transition from Queen Anne to Eugene more difficult that anticipated.

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