I’ve done this post before in other places, but those iterations mainly talked about the logistics of a big move, not the feelings. I think those are far more interesting.
It never struck me as some weighty thing over a year ago when I found out my partner had received a job offer in Redmond, Washington. It still hasn’t, and after six months of being here, I’m beginning to wonder if it ever will. I attribute most of that to feeling stuck in my small town in upstate New York. I needed a change in the worst way, needed to shake the thankless, albeit well paying job, needed to move out of my parents’ house, needed to get myself out of the rut I felt like I was in.
No matter what I did, where I went, it felt like I was just going to end up with more of the same. Accepting a new job in New York would inevitably be exchanging one small town for another. Moving out would simply moving into somewhere equally uninspiring. Aside from the potential of striking it big as an indie author (fingers still crossed), everything seemed like a lateral move. Seattle offered a shot at something grander.
And the things I left behind were things I was going to leave behind eventually anyway. My mom’s dog, my parents, my sisters, my friends, at least in the spatial sense. When you move in this day and age, the communication methods change, but the connections don’t dampen. I interacted with most people through the computer (as writers are wont to do), and that still rings true. Sure three thousand miles is different than three in a lot of ways, but I forged bonds over similarities of mind, not proximity.
I’ll miss the late night, mid week trips to the First Niagara Center to watch hockey in Buffalo, but to pin your life to a hockey team, something entirely out of your control, is absurd. Simply put, there are things more important to me than hockey, and Washington is a better place for virtually all of them. It’s better for me as an LGBT individual, as a BDSM lover, as a polyamorous man, and as a writer. It’s better for me as an artist, as a liberal, and as an independent thinker. Hell, it’s better for my dog too. Washington has an air of freshness and moving here was like trading in an old virus-laden computer for a gleaming new machine.
Oddly, aside from my friends, what I’ll miss most of all are the brutal winters, the sort of weather that makes you throw up your hands and say “fuck it, I’ll stay inside.” There is an odd allure to battening down the hatches against mother nature. But I can hole up with a roaring (actually hissing because it’s gas) fire alongside my dog just fine in Washington when the sky decides it’s going to piss for a while.