I've shared before here and here about wanting to move out of LA one day. B and I had decided after our trip North that Sonoma area would be our "dream escape from LA." We took a trip up there this summer to scout out the area and decided we were 1-3 years out from being able to relocate, if all went well.
I had settled in to wait it out with Los Angeles. I continued to have a love-hate relationship with the gorgeously plain hipsters on Abbot Kinney. Chose to ignore the traffic that makes my baby scream on a daily basis. Vowed to spend more time communing with whatever nature I could find and visiting the waves that are less than a mile from my house.
But sometimes, when you have made your peace, Opportunity sneaks up and kicks you in the head.
Amongst our many visitors and fieldtrips from daily life, we spent a weekend in San Diego. We commented on how much "calmer" it was, how much more "real" people looked, and marveled at the fact that the beaches are so much more beautiful. And then we headed home and settled back into LA. Until someone jumped on Craigslist and pointed out the difference rental prices between LA and San Diego. And then someone else pointed out that B could just as well run his company from down south and then commute up when necessary. And then BOOM it hit me that this would be an escape out of going back to work.
We daydreamed a little. Spent some time on Craigslist. Daydreamed some more. Discussed with our family that was visited. And slowly, the dream about escaping Los Angeles was becoming a plan. And my excitement began to blend into anxiety as I realized, holy shit, is this happening?
And so people, here we are, only a few weeks later, looking at the very real possibility of relocating in less than 2 months. So real that we have already gone to look at houses down there. Let me explain the reasons why we are NOT crazy before I share the reasons why I am freaking out.
1) The lease is up on our current house in March.
2) I am scheduled to go back to work in March.
3) We would have to start paying our Nanny in March.
4) My sister (my best friend and B's employee) said she would be happy and excited to relocate with us.
5) My sister's boyfriend lost his job right after we started considering this idea and said his friend could find him a job in San Diego.
6) We found a perfect home with extra bedrooms, a back yard and a pool. A home that is a mansion by LA standards.
7) The house is north of SD a little ways and so the commute for B (and my sister) would only be 1.5 hours when he needed to drive up.
You might be wondering...wait, you said you wanted to move to Sonoma? So what are you doing going South? Oh well, at this point, I just want to be somewhere different. Plus, we are looking at it as a practice run to see if B's business can handle him being out of LA, but in San Diego he wouldn't be too far away to still commute easily. Sooo here we are. Within the span of two weeks we have possibly (most likely) made the decision to uproot everything and move.
So what are the downfalls? This is something we've been wanting for awhile. Our quality of life will change considerably in terms of our home and pace of life. My husband and sister will both be working from a home office at our house and so will be closer to Owen. AND I have a way out of having to go back to work, giving me more time home with Owen before I start looking for a new job. Seems like there are no downfalls, right?
Well here is where I need you all to jump in and talk me out of freaking out. Even though I have been dreading going back to work and even though I haven't been very happy with my current job, I DO love my career of being a psychologist and it is a very important part of my identity. My plan if we move is not to quick entirely, but just to "take a break" and then start looking for part-time work to ease back into it. Sounds good. And yet....
And yet I feel like a stereotype. When I left for maternity leave, everyone was teasing me that I "wouldn't come back" or that I would become a "stay at home mom" and I assured all of them that I would come back because I loved being a psychologist. They all looked at me with knowing eyes and said ok, we'll believe when we see it. And now? I will have to go back to work to wrap things up and listen to their "I told you so" chorus.
But ok, no big deal. It's not about what they think. It's about what I want, right? Well ok, then if I look long and hard at what I want, I realize that dual sides of my personality are battling once again. I want to stay home and watch my son change (yesterday he rolled over and giggled for the first time, all in one day!) and be this calm, relaxed, happy person that I've been for the past two months. But, at the same time, it terrifies me to quit working, even for a short time. Because, will I fall behind? Will I get hired again? Am I letting down my current job? Am I letting down myself? Am I letting down our future by not bringing in my income? And mostly, most important of all, will I resent my new role? Because, I love staying home. But I could see that I would begin to chafe against it and feel the need to go back to work.
Argh, I am just rambling here. Basically, my mind is spinning at the fact that we are going to walk away from the life we are currently living - a life that is very good, stable, and happy - for the possibility of a different, better life. And in doing so, I am going to shift my identity - for a little while - into something new. The part of me that loves changing is charging forward into this new life. But my logical side is holding back and wondering if I am making a irresponsible decision.
Whew. Advice? Thoughts? Have you ever made a huge decision in the hopes of a better life? Do you tend to lean more towards logic or emotion when you make your decisions? Am I making a mistake in my career to chase a dream? Any input is appreciated.