In early July I had an opportunity to make a lateral career move to Massachusetts. We have long wanted to leave NJ and live in Maine but have convinced ourselves that Massachusetts would be more likely due to our jobs. Seemingly, out of nowhere, Massachusetts it was.
This opportunity opened up and within 48 hours required a decision. It was one of the most exhilirating, overwhelming, unexpected 48 hours of my life. Ultimately we agreed that a lateral move was not tempting enough to outweigh the risks involved: husband banking on a job transfer that was, at that moment, non existent and off loading our home in such an uncertain market. Becoming distant landlords was not appealing either.
With a heavy, heavy heart full of disappointment I turned it down. I know deep down that when the time comes there will be no questions of my husband's career or how we handle our home situation. The pieces will fall together because I believe that when we find path we are to take it has very few unknowns. There may not be blaring signs to navigate our way, but we will instinctively know how to travel it.
Spending a week in Maine at the end of July changed the game somewhat too. In 2005 we went to Vermont to look at real estate. Our pockets were full from off loading our prior home in the market boom and we were not so sure we were willing to put our money back into NJ. Two viable homes were found and we waved goodbye to our realtor and headed off to Maine for some R & R and some serious decision making.
As we crossed the state line into Maine and I stared out of the passenger window I began to laugh. I laughed at us. Our foolishness. How could we think we could live in Vermont? We had just crossed the line into the only other place in the United States that felt like home. There is something about Maine that I cannot shake. My heart aches for it when I am not there and when I am there I never want to leave. It is truly my happy place.
Fear kept us from making that move in 2005. My fear of leaving my two brothers who I love and adore, our joint fear of regretting our decision and realizing it was a mistake. And so we stayed.
After this summer's lost opportunity and a wonderful week back in my home away from home, I have realized that settling for a life in Massachusetts while my heart pines for Maine isn't the answer either. Why can't it be Maine? There are no reasons it cannot be. My vision has been too narrow. Too scared of failing or financial insecurity. But I think now that Massachusetts wasn't the answer because it isn't the answer. I need to dream bigger and then make that dream my reality. It can happen.
All of these conversations back and forth have been bothering my sweet daughter. Towards the end of the week of our vacation she just wanted to get back home. As we discuss making a life in Maine she literally kicks and screams to the point that our conversations about our future now remain private between my husband and I.
I asked her why she is so adamant about moving. Doesn't she want us closer to home on a daily basis instead of commuting for hours on end? Doesn't she see how rude and awful people are around here? She knows I have been nothing but disappointed in her school and even downright disgusted at times too. She hasn't ever met any little friends that I feel comfortable are the right sort of friends for her to bond and spend her time with. Doesn't she want a more simple life too?
But it isn't about where we live to her. It's about our home. And how much she loves it. After one angry outburst she reapproached me and asked if it was possible that we could move the entire house to Maine with us. Literally pick it up off the foundation and settle it in a new location. My heart melted and as I wrapped my arms around her I told her that I wish we could too.
Truth is, I love this structure just as much as she does. It is our haven, our retreat from the world that drives us all so mad at times. While I know we will create the same memories and joys anywhere we are, there is something warm and welcoming within these walls.
It is truly home sweet home.