I find a lot of enjoyment in being exact, especially with dates. On September 13th, 2002, I made a big move for a 22-year old small-town person and relocated from Missoula, Montana to Seattle, Washington. This coming September 13th, 2017, fifteen years after rolling into The Big City with zero contacts and just a little bit more than zero dollars, I’ll be reviewing offers for the house I’ve owned for ten of the last fifteen years. It wasn’t a planned Seattle-versary event, but it gives the next big move a feeling of rightness.
I’m Jamie. Slaven, my partner (LIFE PARTNER if we need to really spell it out) has also called Seattle home for roughly thirteen years. We came to the realization recently that Seattle was starting to feel stagnant and limiting. It seems like the opposite opinion of the 1000 or so new people moving here every week for that tech money and the proximity to nature, but speaking for myself, if I’m going to have big city headaches like terrible traffic and a high cost of living, I’d like more big city amenities like a world-class food, architecture, and an actual music industry. Seattle has been kind to this musician, but I’m ready for something more.
Slaven, who’s spent a decade commuting all over King County for work, wished for a new home with legit public transportation. And good food.
So, New York City it is.
I’ve spent the summer working on renovation and improvement projects. An unnecessary task given Seattle’s scalding hot seller’s market where developers will spend north of $400,000 for a house just to tear it down, and it’s common practice for normal buyers to waive all contingencies, but with every new floor tile I set or decorative grass planted, I’ve been hoping that buyers will invest in the added value of a house that has been well-cared for. Because, as nearly every person who’s learned of our NYC relocation plans has told us, New York City is expensive.
Beyond attempting to use Capitalism in my favor (which feels as awkward as me wearing a dress because of my pseudo-socialist leanings), this house has incredible sentimental value. My dad passed away unexpectedly in 2007, just a couple years into his retirement. He was 1) the best dad ever, and 2) generous enough to leave me with an inheritance that allowed me to put a down payment on this house. My dad, an avid carpenter and woodworker, built two of the houses that I grew up in and had no problem showing this tomboy child how things were done. Working on my first house – finishing the basement, improving the yard, having a place to entertain friends, futzing with all the minor fixes – was hands-on therapy for grieving.
So, it’s bittersweet. It’s sad to go, and it’s exciting to daydream on all the new adventures ahead.
The newness right now is a real cornucopia of unknowns. We don’t know when the house will sell. We don’t know exactly when we’ll leave town and say goodbye to all of our friends and chosen family. We’ve planned a road trip through the south on our way to New York, but we don’t have an exact itinerary. We don’t know where we’ll live. We don’t know what Slaven will do for work (I, fortunately, get to keep my job and telecommute). We don’t know who our new friends are. I spent five minutes of my day today worrying that I’ll take out the trash wrong in our new apartment.
It’s all new.