However, I won't lie. In the past 3 years I retired, gave up my work persona, moved from the liberal north to the conservative south, and left our old home with acreage, dark forests, and beloved perennial gardens. In Florida we became strangers in a strange land. We adjusted to a different climate, learned about different flora and fauna, and started living in a freakin' neighborhood in a subdivision, dontcha know!
Happy or not, I had a hard time adjusting to all these changes. Change can be traumatic. T and I had too many big life changes in a relatively short amount of time. He can roll with the punches, but it takes me a while to recover AND I want to hit back. It was probably not the best way to manage the first months of retirement. Still, it has been worth the struggle.
I expected it to be hard. I have been through big changes before. The knowledge of what to expect helped me prepare for and cope with this move. From experience I knew the unfamiliar would eventually become familiar if I just waited long enough. I did. It has.
Like almost everyone else in the U.S.A., I descend from pioneers and immigrants. I recently read that trauma has a generational impact on families. The desire to move far away and start over is probably encoded in my DNA. I crave change even as I fear it. I have moved (or changed jobs) many times, always excited and happy to be starting over. This, in spite of the fact that I always know it won't be easy and will probably push me over the edge.
I grew up in Northern Indiana. My family moved to the Pacific Northwest when I was in middle school, and then we moved back to Northern Indiana three years later. I took off for San Francisco at 18, when that was the thing to do. With a few notable stops and starts in between, T and I, with toddler M in tow, eventually ended up in The Finger Lakes Region of New York State. We settled in, building an adult life and raising our daughter. I am not sure how well we managed the adult thing, but we did manage to raise our daughter. Then we retired and like all good New Yorkers we moved to Florida. I am not convinced this is our last move together.
This is a big country, and the last thing you would call it is homogeneous. It is a country of diverse regionalism. I find regionalism interesting, even though it is complex, often unwelcoming, and sometimes dangerous. I like to imagine having had the experience of living from sea to shining sea gives me an edge of sorts. I want to explore that edge without falling off the end of the world.