One moment last summer I captured this photo, my daughter mid-air with an expression of pure joy, My husband relaxing on a floatie in the sun in our yard... I would give anything to go back to this time and place in our lives. It makes me sad when I realize it's over.
Truth is, we were stressed out then too. We had big decisions to make The company my husband was working for wanted him to move to Washington, DC. We had just returned from a house-hunting trip there where we looked at over 30 houses and realized it was not the place for us. Then a company in Toronto called and made an offer.
When you have no family or long-term history in a place, you're less tied to staying there forever. The five years we lived in Seattle were the longest we lived anywhere so it seemed like this new opportunity was a sign it was time for us to leave. Five years earlier we were living in Los Angeles. (These were the tail end of the W. Bush years when the bottom dropped out for everyone.) We both lost jobs thanks to the outsourcing/downsizing boom and our house was worth half of what we paid for it thanks to the housing bust. Seattle came calling and rescued us.
We moved from a sketchy neighborhood in North Hollywood to a lovely suburban one in Renton, Washington. We soon had friends and a 2 car garage and a path lined with blackberries to eat on the walk to school. I felt like I died and went to suburban heaven.
Fast forward 5 years later and Toronto came calling. Why did we answer? Unlike in L.A. we were finally doing okay. We could have stayed. We should have stayed. We thought the natural progression of things is that when you follow your dreams life gets better. Sometimes though, people have bad dreams.
I feel like I'm just now waking up from a bad dream, trying to piece together what happened.