For Larissa and me, 2012 was the year of stasis. We had big plans, and we worked towards them diligently, but a great deal of it felt like marking time until we could pull the lever that would propel everything into motion.1
A year ago, we threw that lever and began the adventure. Leaving our jobs, packing the car, and driving west to Seattle was a carefully orchestrated gamble, but a gamble nonetheless.
I went to the woods because I wished to live deliberately, to front only the essential facts of life, and see if I could not learn what it had to teach, and not, when I came to die, discover that I had not lived. I did not wish to live what was not life, living is so dear; nor did I wish to practise resignation, unless it was quite necessary.
–Henry David Thoreau, Walden
2013 was the year of transitions. We moved across the country and set up house with a dear friend who needed roommates. Six months later, we introduced her to another dear friend, with whom she promptly fell in love and moved to Boston. We left our landing spot in the suburbs and moved into the heart of the city, in the shadow of the Space Needle and just blocks from the scenic waterfront of Elliot Bay.
I found a new job. Larissa found an old one.
One romantic relationship came to an abrupt end, to my dismay. Another unexpectedly came into being, to my delight.
I left one podcast, and began the work of reviving another.
Darling, I’ve always tried to find the road not taken
From Monterey to Macon, two lanes have been my friends
Coastal highway, bayou byway, out and back again
But if you say you’re lonely, you know there’s only 40, 80, or 10
–Tanya Savory, “40, 80, or 10”
I drove the entire length of the country, from Georgia to California and up to Washington.4 I saw the Grand Canyon in all its glory, and traversed the Great Divide. I travelled to destinations old and new: Portland, Oregon; Vancouver, Canada; Salt Lake City, Utah; Columbus, OH. I explored my new city and it’s surrounding lakes and mountains, the place I had chosen at long last, to call home.
Over the course of this year, I’ve not done some things as well as I would have liked. I have been a terrible correspondent, relying much too heavily on social media to keep in touch. I’ve done an even worse job reaching out to newly local friends.5 For various reasons, I’ve done very little podcast recording this past year, though that was almost entirely not by my choice. This blog has been too too neglected, though I made a couple of efforts to remedy that, and I hope to do a better job in the coming year. And it will probably take most of the next year for our finances to adequately recover from moving all the mountains we had to shift in order to make it to where we are.
But where we are, I have to say, is pretty damn good. As the year draws to a close, we are finding a new equilibrium, and settling into new habits and routines. There will always be change; the wheel will always turn. But I feel as though the great transition we set in motion a year ago is complete.
We are home.
This is my ghost, this is my home — millions of miles my mind can’t own
No one’s seen it all; no one will
But I want to memorize it, every inch, want to remember where I’ve been
I bless these waves, I bless this wind, bless this grace & all my sins
–Marian Call, “Highway Five”
I remarked to Kathleen Sloan in July of that year that I felt like we were turning our entire world upside down in slow motion. ↩
Where I also was a program participant on a wide variety of panels. ↩
Aside from a 12 week introductory group class in 1998, I’m entirely self taught. Many of you are now nodding and thinking “Ah, that explains it…” ↩
I’ve now driven pretty much the entire length of I-40, most of it on this one trip. ↩
Social anxiety is awkward. I really do want to spend time with all of you. I’m just really really bad at actually saying that. ↩