If you haven’t heard yet… I’m moving.

My family is kicking ourselves out of our San Jose, CA nest that we’ve painstakingly made our own over these past 19 years and are heading 2 hours north to Santa Rosa. For over 20 years my husband and I have talked about getting out of Silicon Valley and going somewhere less hectic but we could never figure out where we wanted to go. It wasn’t until recently, when considering high school possibilities for our son and not liking our options in San Jose, that we knew that if we were ever going to make a move out of town it needed to be before his high school years. So here we are, literally yanking our roots out that have so firmly took hold into the Bay Area ground, and are packing our stuff, which raises some very important questions:

What IS all of this stuff? How much stuff does one actually need? And at what point did I become so complacent?

If you know me at all, you know I am a minimalist. “One in, one out” is my motto when bringing new things into the house. Besides valuing original artwork and experiences I really don’t need or desire a lot of physical stuff. Unfortunately for me, my husband does not always share my motto and he often keeps a steady stream of Amazon packages coming to our house. Plus having a kid in the house makes my meager attempt at minimalism laughable, particularly whenever I suggest that my son considers passing on an old toy. So years of this behavior from my house mates has resulted in endless days of packing! How is it possible to box up 7 boxes of kitchens stuff and STILL not be anywhere near done in the kitchen? We’ve literally been packing for weeks and are still not done? I honestly think there needs to be a limit to how long people should be allowed to stay in one place before being forced to clean out their stuff! 19 years is definitely too long!

The second thing you may or may not know about me is that I don’t usually shy away from adventure and travel. When I first left home and went to college I regularly moved to a different town about every 2-3 years. I started at a new town when I left my hometown of Erie, Pennsylvania for Michigan State in East Lansing, Michigan. Two years later I transferred to Ringling School of Art and Design landing myself in Sarasota, Florida. After 3 years there, my first job took me to Huntington, West Virginia. Two years later I got the itch to move again and sought out a new job in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Two years later the itch was back, this time leading me to San Jose, California in the midst of the Dot Com years. Like clockwork, two years later, the Dot Bomb years came along and I lost my job. Had I not met Scott, I’m quite certain I would have headed back east at that time since I’d been feeling the pull to move again. But Scott WAS in my life, and whether he knew it or not he had inadvertently rooted me in San Jose. And somewhere in the 20 plus years that I’ve been here I stopped taking as many risks.

But all of my complacency has gone by the wayside this last month when our 20 year question of where to move to has been answered driven by finding a fitting high school for our son – which was found in Santa Rosa. In seaching for a home there, I’ve driven through San Francisco and gone over the iconic Golden Gate Bridge more times in this last month than I have in the past 10 years. We’ve sold our existing home and bought a new house in this last month. I’ve withdrawn Nathan from his beloved middle school and enrolled him in another hybrid schooling program up in Santa Rosa. We finally sold our van after trying to sell it for over a year now. We had no luck until just recently when we found the perfect buyer for it who LOVES the van and who coincidentally also had a vacation home just north of Santa Rosa that we will be staying in during our brief time of being homeless inbetween houses. And lastly, we’ve picked a contractor that is going to help us fix up our new home.

So although I haven’t been as adventurous as I’d wanted to be in my most recent years, I think these past two months more then makes up for things. As our roots continue to be yanked up in San Jose I can feel my adventurous side continue to awaken. There are places in Santa Rosa that I want to explore and new towns nearby that I want to see. Although leaving Silicon Valley is a big deal, and many places and people here will be missed, I’m sure that once the dust settles in Santa Rosa I’m going to be OK and new roots can start growing…just maybe not quite so deep this time 🙂