We take the turn at 1.5 mph, and hear a bone-chilling clunk-crash-shatter that makes my heart skip a beat. But before we even turn around, Andy and I know what we’ll see.
The project piece we toted across the country, and which has stayed frozen in its “project” state, finally gave up the ghost – shattering to pieces in the back of the car.
I make a feeble attempt to piece it back together, but fail – the broken, newly glued shards slide off a half hour later onto piles of bagged clothes at the thrift store. Instead of slapping them back onto the drawer front, I just turn and run – as if I just lit a firecracker at a gasoline station.
“Go, go, go!”
From the driver’s seat, Andy raises an eyebrow. I jump in.
“DRIVE! The drawer fell apart.”
“Chill out. It’s not like they’re going to run after us screaming, ‘How dare you donate something!'”
True. I dust off my hands, but find them sticking together with residual glue.
“Oh well. The albatross is gone. At least we tried to do the right thing.”
We get back to the apartment and find Toby wiggling around, exceedingly thrilled that his car crate is hogging the space the desk had occupied an hour earlier. It’s something ridiculously minor – the absence of a piece of furniture.
But Andy and I know that this is something more – the start of yet another chapter.
I never thought I’d be the type of person who moved around every few years. Mostly because I loathed it, having been forced to do so as a shovel bum for most of my early twenties. But here we are, nearing our two year mark in California – and commemorating it with a move to Seattle.
And I couldn’t be more thrilled.
Right before we moved out here, one of our friends told us that her time in California was like a five-year dream. And it’s sort of been true.
I mean, California is beautiful, and LA isn’t as bad as everyone makes it out to be. Like any new place, we sometimes let the not-so-great things outweigh the good. It’s a big city – and living in a big, sprawling city can wear on you with its grit, noise, and general impartiality for your feelings. But being homebodies makes doing all the things a little difficult. I mean, I’m all about seeing the sights and visiting everything, but I’m not all about sitting in gridlock for hours to get 10 miles outside the city. And I can only tolerate so many TMZ bus oglers clogging the streets and sidewalks. I know, I know.
Wah, wah, wah! First World Problems!
So instead of pledging that Seattle is going to be our “place panacea,” I’m going to view this upcoming move as what it is: a new experience – an adventure. It could last a year or two and end with us returning to LA, or last five or ten or forever. Who knows? The unknown: it’s the part of the puzzle that drives me nuts in all the right ways, even as I’m literally driving toward it.
Like our move to California, our move to Seattle is a decision we made – not one that was made for us. And one of the greatest things that we learned from realizing our man-infested destiny out here was that we can make big changes and be alright. We don’t have to be comfortably settled to be happy. When that moving itch hits, sometimes you just have to scratch and relish the relief that comes with it.
Leaving a place is never easy.
We’ve done a lot in our short amount of time here: Andy switched jobs, I switched careers, we moved to WeHo, got married, cut up our credit cards, adopted Toby and Pearl, and decided that, one day, we’ll have a kid. Did we make a ton of friends and get ripped and have perfect tans 100% of the time? No. Is that okay? Sure.
What friends we’ve made and what we’ve made of our time here are what count.
Not doing those expected Cali things has taught us a lot about ourselves. We’re homebodies. We like movies, food, antiquing, and playing with our pup. We like being snarky and cynical while also trying to do our best to be good people and give back.
I’m done apologizing for not doing the things I’m expected to do, and I’m too tired to care what other people think about what I actually like to do. I’m ready for a change. And all of the life lessons I’ll learn in the process.
Way, way up there.