The first question I am asked when people hear of our plans is "what company will you work for?" and when I respond with "actually, we don't have jobs but have worked for four years to save a bit of money. My goal is to become involved in regional community development efforts but it's impossible to know if we'll be successful." the response is a mix of shock and perhaps a touch of awe. We didn't plan to move in the middle of a recession but here we are, leaving stability at a time when many in our country are struggling immensely.
After four years of planning it's hard to believe our move is finally here. We always liked to think we've lived simply, but emptying an 800' house took weeks of work. We listed items on Craigslist and sold our books on Amazon. We held two garage sales and donated our furniture to a family who recently found housing after being in cars and motels and other uninhabitable places for over a year. We gave clothes to clothing closets and M's toys to a shelter. On and on, endless runs around town and to the post until finally our house was empty and our belongings had been narrowed down to what we could fit in our car.
A downsizing of this magnitude took a tremendous amount of negotiation, weighing carefully which items we thought we'd need most in our new environment and what would mean the most to our child, making sure she was able to take her most cherished possessions and helping her say goodbye to the rest. It was painful at times because when you are four everything is important, that sticker book matters as much as your teddy bear, parting of anything is sorrow indeed.
For us it was slightly easier, I felt a sense of freedom as we watched our load become lighter and as I realized again and again that stuff doesn't make you happy. Holding onto material possessions has sometimes been my way of holding onto my past or to some false sense of control. But there is also uncertainty, we are leaving for a destination fairly unknown and with a giant leap of faith that we'll be able to make it work.
As we waved goodbye to our home, the one where we learned how to parent and grew as a family I felt the tears streaming down my face. While everything is temporary, we've given up a lot in pursuit of this adventure: work I've loved, our community, the closeness of friends and family and more than anything, the life we've known so far. We've moved to my parents temporarily, and yesterday my partner drove off headed east and then south, a man and his maps, forging the road ahead across two borders and the entire length of Mexico and beyond so he can arrive before us and begin to get us settled in our new little home, one far away from here and from everything I've known about my life so far.
Our adventure has begun.
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