16 October 2008

Thoughts Before Leaving

We depart by car on October 23rd for Nanaimo and a Vancouver Island winter! Our emotions are diverse and keen: excitement, confusion, a bit of anxiety--but mostly excitement. What a great time for us both to choose to have no job or earned income, eh? On the other hand, though I left a part-time job to enable this adventure, Laurie was between jobs anyway, and given ‘the state of things’ even she, despite her talents and connections, might find a job search futile for a while. So might as well have some fun. And secondarily I sure look forward to escaping the U.S. election cacophony’s crescendo and the country’s ubiquitously panic-stricken atmosphere. 

This “trial run” in Nanaimo, besides being a great adventure, should I hope produce several practical benefits related to our now years-long contemplation of whether to relocate to Nanaimo. We’ll experience the full effects of the Pacific Northwest’s relentlessly dreary winter weather. We’ll make more connections in Nanaimo and at the least get a better feel for the prospects for employment, get to know people who may become a future social group, and gauge the extent of anti-American sentiment J. We’ll get a much better sense of what it’s like to live in Nanaimo, as opposed to vacation in Nanaimo. Whether this will allow us to make a decision about moving, who knows.

One impact of this winter’s adventure I’m already feeling is something like “relocator’s regret.” Being away for this long, and moving a big step closer potentially to relocating to Nanaimo, brings to the fore cons about moving I normally repress.  I'd miss the company of our good, core group of friends in the Twin Cities. Get-togethers with some family elements could--if we don't resolve otherwise--become less frequent because of the greater complexity and cost of travel from Vancouver Island. I like Minnesota and the Twin Cities very much, and there's much I would miss. I made a similar, in some respects, move in 1991, relocating from Frederick, Maryland--a place where I also loved living--to Minneapolis, though I had no job and no connections in the Twin Cities. I had a fabulous group of friends in the D.C. area, and it was very difficult to leave. But I felt strongly, after a lot of reflection, that in the long run I’d better prosper in the Midwest. And while it was tough at the time, I’ve never had a single moment’s regret about that decision. So while letting our options percolate this winter, I'll try to stay cognizant that what feels easiest in the short term isn’t necessarily what’s best in the long term, and a mix of emotions--some unhappy--will accompany any complex, even rightly made decision. And hey, few decisions are irreversible or un-modifiable, right? That’s my self-talk to short-circuit a tendency to over-analyze.

Can’t believe it’ll be spring when we get back to Minnesota…feels like cheating somehow, the ice and snow will (probably) be gone by our early April return. I will miss the Minnesota winter too. The other seasons would not feel nearly so enjoyable if not for the stark contrast with winter, I think.

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