I suppose it needs an official announcement: We are moving.
I don't think I want to write much about leaving London, as I think it's already pretty clear I'm going somewhat reluctantly. Allow me to be sad about it - it means I had a really great experience; it doesn't mean that I don't like the States or that I'm wallowing. Like any move, there are things I'm looking forward to, things I am happy to leave behind, and things I will miss terribly.
Why are we moving? Basic reasons: work and kids. We knew we wouldn't be here forever, the plan was 3-5 years originally. We could have stayed, Cal's role here is highly valued and they really wanted him to stay here long term. There's been some restructuring in their cyber security global operations, and Cal wants to go a different direction with his career and that's only possible with the position in New Jersey. But to make things more interesting logistically, in about 6 months time, he'll be working at their NYC office. Who doesn't love a good house hunting challenge? So, when people ask where we are going, I'm just sticking with, "the NYC area."
The kids are ready to move. They miss our families and they've romanticized every convenience of American life. While they've adjusted to their British schools, they've always felt very conspicuous and at times unwanted. I'm sure I could write an essay about their experiences, the good and the bad, but I am trying to be brief. And the short answer is - they're allowed to have their feelings, even if I think they're understanding of life here will change as they get older. And the timing means that our oldest will only be in his second year of high school, which hopefully won't impact the academic and social transition as much as it would next year.
So yes, being an adult means everyone in the family has to be taken into consideration. Adulting is really not my favorite thing right now though.
We have found a place to rent in Summit, NJ (a place we found in between the two commuting locations), and it seems like everyone I mention this to knows someone who lives in Summit and loves it. The deciding factor for me was reading about the walkable downtown area and small town feel with easy access to NYC. I'm really not looking forward to returning to life in my car. Walking everywhere is something I will miss a lot, not to mention I've been happy to deal without car ownership headaches for 3 years. I'm pretty sure though that the ease and options of getting into NYC will not be as robust as it is with London. But as you may already know, the universe balances itself out and I'll get to drive the family car to Target again. #silverlining
This summer is going to be weird. 2 months of floating around and trying to get three different shipments to one place we can call home for a little while.
The real sadness is leaving so many people that have made my London life such a joy. I'm terrible with goodbyes or showing any real emotion in general - I just come off as insincere because I don't know how to act. But really, who is good at saying goodbye? And the truth is, I'm grateful that it's hard - because it's wonderful to have friends that have made me feel so much like part of this city and part of their lives. The time has gone by so quickly, but how wonderful it's been to be here, to have had this experience that has become ordinary and daily routine for us.
Which leads me to end with this quote from Stranger than Fiction, one of my favorite movies (featuring an angry baker) that sums it up perfectly:
“Sometimes, when we lose ourselves in fear and despair, in routine and constancy, in hopelessness and tragedy, we can thank God for Bavarian sugar cookies. And, fortunately, when there aren't any cookies, we can still find reassurance in a familiar hand on our skin, or a kind and loving gesture, or subtle encouragement, or a loving embrace, or an offer of comfort, not to mention hospital gurneys and nose plugs, an uneaten Danish, soft-spoken secrets, and Fender Stratocasters, and maybe the occasional piece of fiction. And we must remember that all these things, the nuances, the anomalies, the subtleties, which we assume only accessorize our days, are effective for a much larger and nobler cause. They are here to save our lives. I know the idea seems strange, but I also know that it just so happens to be true.”