I’ve just finished a five-day drive to move from Houston, Texas to Oregon.
As I write this, I am not yet home. I am (well, technically drafting this in advance on the road, but when you read this I’ll be) staying with my parents outside of Eugene, Oregon. This Friday I’ll be starting a new job in Newberg, and on May 7th (or maaaaybe a bit earlier) I get to finally move into my new home: an apartment in Tualatin, which is about 20 minutes south of downtown Portland. I’m still learning how to pronounce my new hometown, but my best understanding of it right now is TWA-lah-tin. The second syllable rhymes with father, not the way you usually (I assume) say Latin.
This move is the culmination of six months of job searching and twelve months of resolution, but only on the second day of driving did I realize this move would put me not just in Oregon, but in Pacific Standard Time – i.e., two hours behind most of my best friends, even the ones outside of Texas. This was unexpectedly distressing.
Why did I move from Texas to Oregon, leaving behind a wonderful employer and all of my real-life social support communities, to a state where I know a total of three people by name (excluding the new employers, though I’ve met none of them in person yet)?
Many people have asked me a variation of that question as I announced my plans for this move. I give a number of reasons: I’ve been in Houston for twenty years (!), since I was six, and I’m ready to live somewhere else, in a different region of the country, and I definitely don’t want to die in Houston; I’ve looked at my life and realized I’m in the best place to do this kind of cross-country move (as ready as anyone ever is to give up all one’s meatspace social circles).
But one of my dearest friends hit on the truth when he said, “But you wouldn’t be moving to Oregon if it weren’t for your parents there, right?” Well, yes.
My parents (being my mother and step-father) are pretty much my only family left, and I’d like to see more of them while they’re still in good health. They did their own Oregon Trail in 2012, and I didn’t intend then to follow them, but everything’s worked out to allow me to go with as little regret as I ever could have. (I think. I guess that remains to be seen.)
Also, as you might have heard, Oregon is basically the Shire.
Photos forthcoming! As well as, I hope, finally posted book reviews I’ve had in draft for probably a month now.