And then, we moved.
We sold our lovely home in approximately 73 hours (bidding war and all, huzzah!), Steve shipped down to Washington, D.C. to live with my best friend for a month so he could start his new dreamy job, and I spent 30 days packing everything we owned, selling or donating the rest, and wrapping up work at my (now) former job.
Steve flew back up to RI from DC late one Thursday night, we slept on our mattress in our empty home, and at 4:00am the next day–Friday–we loaded the mattress into the U-Haul, I loaded the pups into the car, and off we went.
About eight hours later, these two champs were in their new home (I mean, so were we, too, but they were particularly baffled by the process).
I was terrified of moving the dogs–I had read one too many horror stories about maladaptive dogs. My favorite? The absolutely realistic Hyperbole and a Half… ha! Thankfully, we only had 1.5 hours of screech-yodel-crying (Edith), and one big ole peanut butter vomit (…Aggie, I think, though Edith kindly buried it in the sheets for her, nice sister).
Slowly, our amazing movers started hauling things into the apartment.
Three weeks later, it’s almost completely done, but that’s another post for another time.
My bff Hala came over that night with wine, Chipotle, and a friendly face. It was so nice to relax, even if it was amongst all the boxes. All. Of. Them.
But we still weren’t done with RI…not quite yet. Had to actually, you know, *sell* the house. Like, close on the sale.
So the following Tuesday morning, I attempted to fly home to RI for 36 hours (attempted = airline canceled the flight as we were literally about to take off…!). Mission was eventually accomplished (thank you Amtrak!), closing went beautifully, and back to DC I flew on Thursday morning.
I start a new job on Monday–a wonderful hopefully eventually permanent job!–and I cannot wait. Playing housewife in my excellent apartment has been lovely, but it’s time to rejoin the world of the working, thinking people.
We live literally one block over the DC border in MD, a short walk to two lovely grocery stores, all the shopping, and a metro station. We’ve walked more now than before, and I got a FitBit One to keep track (“It doesn’t count if you can’t count it,” right Hala?) and it will be fun to track.
So, that’s what I’ve been moaning about for a while. We’ve been itching for a big change, Steve started applying for work all over the place once we realized that there was no real reason–aside from our families, who are mobile–to stay in RI. There was no growth. There was nothing to do that hadn’t been done. There was no…no…there was no culture of progress or intellectualism in Rhode Island, and that was unacceptable for us, so we left. We moved to Nerd Central, where everyone is up on current events and dork things, and we love that. It’s not for everyone, but we’re certainly not everyone. If we had wanted to continue living in the suburbs surrounded by unchangeable towns and minivans and the “that’s not how we’ve done it for 20/30/40 years!” mentality, we could have stayed. But we didn’t want that, and it was the right time to change.
And then we moved.
And then we were happy.
Apparently I needed to be more specific when I explained why we moved. Saying that we didn’t like it apparently meant to everyone else that it was awful place and you’re a moron for living there. That is absolutely not the case. We love Rhode Island. It was just time to go. When you’ve been in a place for almost 30 years and nothing seems as though it is changed for you, and there is nothing new on the horizon for you and the people you love, it’s Time to go. At least it was for us.
The state’s motto is Hope. And we didn’t have any.
The biggest problem we had–if I’m going to articulate this clearly, though I don’t promise nor do I owe a complete articulation–is that for almost 30 years neither one of us had ever been challenged. We were always rewarded for doing basically nothing. Never trying anything new. Never going anywhere new. While we were certainly rewarded handsomely for our efforts and for our hardwork, we simply didn’t see it going anywhere. For us. I can’t stress the “for us” enough. I didn’t think that that needed to be articulated! I only presume to speak for myself and in this case Steve also. I’m not saying that there’s NOTHING to do in Rhode Island. But when you’ve lived there for almost 30 years we really don’t want to go to the Newport mansions or go to Thayer Street or boating or dining in the excellent albeit numbered restaurants. We wanted to try something completely new. We wanted to discover brand-new places. Coventry is always going to be in the same place. There’s nothing new beyond those borders. It almost started to feel like Pleasantville. This is not a revolutionary feeling and I’m sort of surprised that people seem to think that I’m hammering on some raw untapped nerve when I say that sometimes people grow up, live in a place, and then want to move that’s okay.
Plenty of people move to (or back to!) Rhode Island, make beautiful things, have wonderful families, and make a lot of change. And I love that. And I welcome that. But it wasn’t going to happen FOR US. I’m proud of growing up in a place as feisty and tenacious as Rhode Island. And with this much history as Rhode Island. And a place as beautiful as Rhode Island. But it was time for us to move. And that’s all I meant to say. I’m sorry if I offended some of you, and I genuinely missed that people could think that this is about them or that it somehow diminishes their Rhode Island-ness–it’s not and it certainly doesn’t–this is just a saying “we moved FYI here’s why we were we were unhappy now we’re happy.” I guess I didn’t think that needed to be explained, but here I am like a damn fool saying too much.
We know that every place is essentially the same. And that people are all essentially the same. But we needed a new adventure, the circumstances were right, so we decided to go. That’s it.
I apologize for any typos, this was written on my mobile.