As you may know, our family is (again) in the midst of this:
Except that it’s not exactly a vacation of sorts, and I’m pretty sure the HBH (Hot Black Husband) has only owned a cowboy hat and a pair of shitkickers in my wildest, most exotic, Pioneer Woman of dreams.
Instead, the reality of packing and sifting, sorting and discarding is here, as we’re moving to Oakland on Saturday.
Really, we didn’t think we’d be moving again anytime soon. You may recall this post, written about a year and a half ago: we’d had a big break-in in the city, so we decided to hunker down and move to a quieter, safer neighborhood. We said good-bye to big city lights (or at least a view of big city lights from our residential pocket of San Francisco), and we eagerly waved a hello to a gated community with views of the Pacific, if you took the time to walk fifty feet to the path on your right.
We’ve gotten to know our neighbors, barbecuing and ordering in sushi, watching football and baseball, drinking chilled wine out of plastic tumblers on the common playground. We’ve invited people into our messiness, and they’ve invited us into theirs. I grew a baby here, and we brought that baby into this space (enticing my mother, I might add, to stay for two weeks in our make-shift guest bedroom of a single-car garage – bless you, woman). Cancan has morphed from baby to toddler here, Frodo has spent the entire span of his short life here, and I’ve turned into a Real Live Writer here.
A lot of life has happened here.
But there’s also been a whole lot of Messy Hard.
As much as I sometimes desire to ignore and flee from and paste a happy smile over the top of these Messy Hards, sometimes we have to jump into the muck feet first and try our hardest to gain footing.
And that’s what we’re doing now.
You see, the HBH started working in Oakland this past fall – and for the first time since I’ve known him, he’s in a job environment that’s healthy, at a company that values him for who he is, that desires to see him succeed and thrive. But the job has also come with a cost, a cost that has included upwards of a two-and-a-half hour commute everyday.
And deadly commutes are not for the faint of heart …not for those who commute, and not for the families they come home to. Deadly commutes don’t make for a healthy quality of life, and frankly, they don’t make a fifty-feet-to-the-right ocean view nearly worth it.
So, we’re taking the plunge, again. We’re packing our bags, excited and delighted and giddy to hunker down in home that’s just over a mile (a mile!) from the HBH’s work. We’re excited to be in a place brimming with diversity, “…with people who look like both Mama and Dada,” as we tell our boys. We’re excited to be in a house that’s a 92 on the walkability scale, mere blocks from Lake Merritt and Trader Joe’s and independent coffee shops alike . I can’t wait to string up lights in our backyard, Parenthood-style, and not make my mother sleep in the garage when she visits.
Mostly, though, I can’t wait to have Life back.
Like anything, with gladness comes sadness, too, because we’re leaving behind Our People. And that, I suppose, is another post for another day, because I don’t think all the newness and the starting over, the rebuilding and the good-byes and the want and desire to be known has quite hit me yet. Because really, “We do not see thing as they are; we see things as we are” – and the we of our story involves those we have shared in the messiness with, it involves Our People.
So for now, I’ll leave you and I’ll leave me with this picture of our future city, of the place we Really, Truly Can’t Wait to Call Home:
But until then, I suppose it’s time to get back to packing…
What about you? What sacrifice have you made for the betterment of you or of your family? What is moving to you? And if you have any “must-see’s,” “must-meet,” “must-do” in Oakland, please let me know!