One year and six days ago I walked into Rich’s office in the middle of the afternoon and changed our world. We were hip-deep in 2020 and it had taken it’s toll. Rich had been working from home since March. I quit working at the end of July to focus on my writing and my health. But on that day – Friday, October 23, 2020 – I interupted Rich’s work day for a quick conversation I know he wasn’t expecting. It went like this:
ME: “I’m not trying to run away but I really need to move somewhere else.”
RICH: “Okay, find us a house and we’ll move.”
ME: “That’s it? If I find us a house we can move?”
Rich: “Yep, find us a house and we’ll move.”
ME: “Alright, I’ll find us a house.”
Rich: “Make it happen cap’n.”
With nothing more than that, I headed back to my spot in the basement and started searching in Washington State. We’d talked for a few years about “What if…” ideas of moving away, but talked ourselves out of it every time. Maybe we’d just do a vacation house somewhere that we could rent out and visit, but where we wanted to be was too far away from where we were in Salt Lake for it to make sense. We knew we wanted to be in the Pacific Northwest, and the Puget Sound area specifically, and that wasn’t going to work as a weekend getaway spot from where we were.
Now, as adults with adult children and flexible careers, the idea of jumping ship and moving away seemed possible. And with everything brought to light through 2020, it seemed foolish to keep putting off what we knew would make us truly happy. So, I started the search that Friday and by this date a year ago – October 29, 2020 – we’d made the list, hired a real estate agent, and were waiting for word on the offer we’d made on a house we thought would be a good fit for us. The acceptance came through in the afternoon and set a whirlwind into motion.
Salt Lake was the only home I’d ever known. I was born there, and Rich moved from Texas at 12 years old. We met years later after we’d had kids and tried to make a go of it with other people. We came together in 2004 and built a life that was good. Our marriage was solid, our kids were figuring out their own situations, and Rich’s work made it possible to dream about moving to a place we really wanted to be. For the longest time though, I couldn’t make the jump. I wasn’t sure I could be the type of person who moved away from home. But something about last year made me decide I needed to try.
The news was a shock to most people who knew us. To be honest, it was a little bit of a shock for us as well! Telling people we decided to move to a different state, found a house, hired an agent, got approved for our loan, and had our offer accepted on a house we’d never been in makes the whole thing sound crazy. When we add the fact that the house we’re in was under contract when we first put it on our list, and that the first buyers walked away the same morning we made our offer because they decided it wasn’t a starter home, it almost feels like fate. If you believe in that kind of thing… That we did it all in six days was hilarious to the two of us. We still laugh about it sometimes.
Although our offer was accepted on this date, we didn’t close and move in until the first week of December. But the past ten months in our new home have been everything we hoped for. The house’s 1990’s design isn’t perfect but it will be when we’re done. Living away from my family has not been easy; I miss them all and I miss being able to get together without using vacation days. But distance doesn’t lessen love, and there’s something to be said about living in the place that makes you happiest. Still, I never imagined I’d move away from home to find where home was meant to be.