Moving on by moving

August 6, 2015

HuxleyHuxley’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!

23 comments on “Moving on by moving
  1. Karen Austin says:

    You have had many interesting seasons of your life…and counting. Thanks for taking us on a journey with you.

  2. Estelle says:

    I didn’t know you worked in Silicon valley in the tech field, Carol. I look forward to learning more of your story next week.

  3. I know exactly what you mean by this. I, too, keep moving on from one thing to another. I suppose that change is our only constant.

  4. I’m in Florida now. I’ve only lived in 4 states my entire life, if you count Navy training, but I always consider living in different places as part of a season. My ultimate dream would be to live in every state, home school our daughter, and then eventually travel abroad, too. *sigh* maybe eventually?

    • Zully, put it out to the Universe and it just may happen. I once wanted to live half time in CAlif and half in Colorado and a few years later it actually happened! Not in my time frame, but in the Universe’s. Much to my shock.

  5. Kelly says:

    I have lived in Kansas my whole life. Trust me – you don’t want to live here. I would move, but family and friends keep me bound to this place.

  6. I can identify in part with the desire to keep moving and changing, Carol. Only you’ve been much more courageous in the moves you’ve made. Looking forward to the series!

  7. I will totally stay tuned. As someone who has been married to the same guy for 38 years and lived in the same house for 32 years, I clearly need to live vicariously through you! (I did change jobs quite often though…so there is that.)

  8. Bernie says:

    You have me worried. Completely understand the need to remain stimulated, but to even think you’d consider Kansas spells trouble. I’ve found geographic cures to be time limited and real expensive at our age. Think it’s time for you guys to find a philanthropy (odd auto-spell immediately put up philander which I don’t recommend). Not volunteering or envelope stuffing, but give enough $ to put you on the board on something worthwhile that you enjoy.

  9. Not so much relationships- but up and outta there! Yes indeed. With a husband and kids= 3 states and 10 houses. What the hell is wrong with me???? And here I am in the beautiful Garden District of New Orleans and I’m itching again!!!! Kill me now.

  10. So far, Kansas has just been an idle thought. You know M. would put his foot down, and not in Kansas! No, our plan to rent a year round 2nd home in ’16 should give me the change I need, at least for the first year LOL. You couldn’t pay me enough to serve on another board….

  11. I’m not usually a “moving on” sorta gal. Though lately, my MS has crunched my cranium to a degree I pretty much don’t focus for long on much of anything.

    I look forward to your series!

  12. I can’t wait to read the rest of the story. For years I was on the move. It was both exciting and terrifying at the same time. Now that I’m older I’ve settled in beautiful Colorado and wouldn’t leave for the world. It’s so comforting to have finally found HOME.

  13. ananda says:

    congrats!!! LOVE that quote and LOVE Cali!! best to you !! =)

  14. SHEAN says:

    I can identify in part with the desire to keep moving and changing, Carol.

8 Pings/Trackbacks for "Moving on by moving"
  1. […] Are you moving? Have you moved? You’ll relate to this mini-series on a move I did some years ago during which pretty much everyone was tortured. In one way or another. Catch up here, with the preface. […]

  2. […] Preface: Moving on by moving […]

  3. […] Preface: Moving on by moving […]

  4. […] Preface: Moving on by moving […]

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