There are Only Two Stories-
-Someone comes, someone goes. The rest is just detail.
It seems I am going this time around.
What an interesting three weeks. After twelve years in our home in Salt Lake, we are moving (back) to the suburbs. The reasons are relatively simple. The house is: Newer, bigger, has a smaller yard, closer to Sheryl’s work, in an area with more children, newer schools. The choice was not an easy one; it still makes my heart hurt. There was a time when both Sheryl and I were certain this would be our only house. We liked that idea and did all our remodeling the way WE wanted, choosing materials in colors and styles we liked. We have nearly gutted every room, painted, sanded, carpeted, repainted each corner. Every plant in our yard was planted by us (mostly by Sheryl). This is home in almost every good and bad way.
But there was always a pull, a desire for something else.
I wrote before about the result of my move from West Valley to West Jordan and the way it allowed me to reboot my life. My kids need that chance too. Most of their lives, they have been at the mercy of adults around them, with very little choice about where they lived or for how long. They moved from place to place and later, from family to family. They might not have realized it, but they needed some stability. Hopefully, the five years they have lived here gave them some of that. Now, they need a chance to dictate the course of their own lives. Their history can be theirs to share, not at the whim of some adult (me included) who thinks everyone needs to know the whole story. Rarely do we get the chance to change with such a clean slate. I am trying to impress on them the significance of it, knowing full well they won’t, maybe can’t understand what an opportunity they have in front of them.
I have loved living in and near the city for these past 17 years (five at our apartment on Windsor Street). I was firmly convinced I would never return to the suburbs. Part of me is frustrated, but a larger part is convinced it is finally time to do something that is more for the kids than for myself.
As the house nears selling and the move more imminent, I start to see this area differently. Maybe it is just a different perspective, or maybe I am purposely looking for the negative, but there is a substantial change in the way I am experiencing my neighborhood. A certain level of hostility has emerged that I did not expect and while there has not been any overt meanness, some reactions to our move have been less than positive.
One realization (and I have known this on some level for years)-I have very few friends living right around me and almost none of my friendships have anything to do with geography. There are people in this area I have fondness for, and those friendships will most likely endure, but most of the people around here will slip out of my memory as I am sure I will from theirs.
I will miss the proximity to the city, being fifteen minutes from anywhere (yay for interstates) in the valley, huge trees and quiet streets. I will miss tennis partners, backyard neighbors, music comrades, religious leaders who never judged me or my family, but rather welcomed debate and honest conversations. I wont miss the underlying sense of entitlement or false humility that has filtered into interactions with many others.
No place is perfect and anyplace can be home. This has been home but now it is time to go someplace else, where there will be flaws and faults, happiness and friendships. “A voyage of discovery”