Considering a move

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: Boston’s weather sucks.

At least, it sucks for me.  In the winter my seasonal affective disorder (SAD) acts up.  In the summer, my autoimmune issues go wild.  Spring and fall are great, but they’re too short for my body.  And last summer pushed me to the edge.  I even looked for an apartment with central air conditioning.  I still wouldn’t have been able to go out much, but at least I would have felt better when I was indoors.  Unfortunately, anything close to the city was out of my price range.  I’ve known for years that one day I’d need to move out of Boston, to someplace that was healthier for me, but I’ve resisted.  My family and friends are here.  This is my home.

But recently some things have shifted.  I’ve been thinking more and more lately about moving.  There’s a lot in my life that I’m not thrilled with now, and I’d love a fresh start.  It’s not that anything is wrong really, it’s just that things are a bit stagnant.  I need to make changes, and I don’t think I can make them here.  And when I think about it, I’d love to try going someplace where the people are friendlier and the costs are cheaper.  And mostly I want to be someplace where I feel better.

So these thoughts have been going through my mind for a while, and then two big things happened last week.  First, we had two days of 80 degree weather.  That is not normal for March.  The temp was bad enough, but the dew point rose too – it was 56 and that’s close to my breaking point.  At 58 degrees I start having real problems.  So I felt really horrible.  And it’s only March.  Of course, this is New England, so yesterday it was 45 degrees and this morning there were flurries.  But this summer will be hot and humid, no doubt about it.

The other thing that happened last week is that a friend told me they were moving out of state.  My first reaction was to be sad they were leaving, but my second reaction was jealousy.  I was incredibly jealous that they were moving away.  Hmm, that’s not the usual reaction.  Maybe that’s telling me something.  Or trying to, anyway.

Last night I had dinner with them, and we talked a lot about it.  They’re moving back to the area he’s from.  They visit a lot and they have friends there, so they know the area and what they’re getting into, which is more than I’d have.  And they’re a couple, so they’ll have each other when they move, which is also more than I’d have.  But we talked about the desire to make changes, to start over, to reboot.  We talked about how exciting it will be to go someplace new (he’s lived here almost 30 years now, so it’ll be sort of new for him, and she’s never lived there.)  They showed me some rental listings they’re finding and the different neighborhoods they’re considering.  She’s on social security disability, so her money will go a lot farther there.  He works but doesn’t have a job in the new place yet.  Still, even if he takes a pay cut, they’ll be doing well.  So in less than two months, they’re going off on their new adventure and I’m incredibly jealous.

My landlord sent me my lease renewal today and I’m actually hesitant to sign it.  I’ll have to sign, because even if I move it won’t be before the renewal date, but I’m wondering if I’ll really be here another year.  I’d hate to leave my family and my friends, but I can’t stay here just for them.  And some of them have been moving away lately.  I need to go live my life whereever.  And it’s not like it’s necessarily permanent – I can always come back!  And of course I’ll be visiting as much as I can.

So now I’m trying to figure out where on earth I can live.  I have a lot of criteria (nice people, great healthcare, possible employment, etc.) but I have one that I have to filter everything else through: the weather.  Somehow I have to find a place with cooler summers for the autoimmune stuff and that also has a lot of sun, even in the winter, for the SAD.  Now that’s a challenge!  I was thinking about Portland, OR, but it’s too grey in the winter.  And there’s southern California, but I’ve already tried it and I wasn’t a fan.  DC/Baltimore is too hot and humid in the summer.  San Francisco is expensive and hilly (my poor knees couldn’t manage the hills.)  So I’m feeling at a bit of a loss.  I’m thinking about Denver or Boulder maybe.  Perhaps some other towns in CA.  But I really don’t know yet.  Those are places I haven’t visited yet, and I can’t consider anyplace seriously until I visit.  But suggestions are welcome!  (It has to be in the U.S. – I don’t have any way to get a work visa anyplace else.)

It’s exciting to thinking about starting something new.  And it’s exciting to imagine living in a place where I can go outside year-round without feeling completely lousy.  That would be amazing!  Who knows, maybe a year from now I’ll be writing from someplace completely different.  And until then, I’ll be dreaming and planning and exploring.  And that’s exciting in itself.

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If you can relate to this, please pass it along and share the camaraderie!  Thanks!

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