Huxley’s quote pretty much sums me up.
The problem is that danger, freedom and sin aren’t very practical. You can’t live like that and also, say, save for retirement. Danger, freedom and retirement. Welcome to my world.
Anyone who knows me will tell you I get bored easily. My life has been full of short attention spans for jobs, hobbies and even relationships. My middle name should be “Moving On.”
One relatively risk-free way I’d liven things up was to move to a different city and get a new job. Moving back and forth between the East and West coasts became a sort of a habit for me, which is why when people ask, “how long have you lived here?” the answer is not straightforward.
Even today I’ll think, “It might be fun to live in a small town in Kansas for a year.”
I don’t give voice to those thoughts because M. would look at me as if I were crazy.
Well, he still looks at me like that.
Maybe I am crazy.
Back in 1984, November, I moved from Tallahassee, Fla. to the San Francisco Bay area. I’d lived in Tallahassee since M. and I were young newlyweds. It’s where I finished college and then grad school, where I started my career. It’s also where M and I got divorced, where I remarried on the rebound and when it was clear that was not going to work, it was my springboard to a new life in California. I knew no one. I had no job. I just…leaped.
Oh, there’s a 12 year story there. But I’ll fast-forward it for the sake of this little series.
In 1990, I met Bob. He was more than a dozen years older than I and an executive at the Silicon Valley company for which I worked. He was smitten, and we were together for a very long time, most of it in the heart of the tech world. Many fun memories of that heyday for tech. But after awhile it got old.
Burned out, tired out, worn out – it was spring 1996 in Silicon Valley and I’d had enough. Enough of the traffic, stress, congestion, high cost of living, materialism, parochialism – I was leaving for a more peaceful life in Florida, where I could live comfortably on half my salary and buy a house twice the size of my San Jose home for half as much mortgage.
I moved to Tampa.
Palm trees rustling in the soft southern wind, blue skies, bare feet and the Gulf of Mexico— Tampa was a place where silicon meant sand and sand meant beaches. People worked reasonable hours and spent time with their friends and family, gave back to the community and moved at a slower pace.
“You will hate it,” warned the Korean CEO of my company. “There are mostly old people there and everyone is retired. It is not vibrant enough for you.”
“I want a different way of life,” I told him as I said goodbye. “More peace of mind.”
Bob also moved, but not right away.
Ah, Tampa. I lasted four years.
This is the story of my return to California. Well, not exactly.
It’s the story of my move with husband and three cats, which is another thing entirely. And if you’ve ever moved, you’ll relate. I’ve been reading so many posts about moving, downsizing, etc and I thought it might be fun to share the rather humorous and all-too-human tale of my move. It was years ago, but if there’s anything that is universal, it’s moving.
The series begins Monday and will be posted weekly. I hope you’ll tune in!