It’s been nearly six months since I decided it was time to move to the Pacific Northwest. Yes, I made the decision to move. My Husband has been waiting on me to make the call for the last fifteen years. During the COVID surge in the Winter, we planned and researched Counties and Towns throughout Oregon and Vancouver, Washington. In March, we took the longest road trip any of us had ever taken and, we scoped out the areas we were drawn to. Right after, the search for homes went crazy and now, we are settling into our quirky new place.
I love it here. Here, meaning my new home in Vancouver, Washington. The air is clearer. Everywhere I look it's green, gray and, blue. Waiting for Autumn has become more exciting than it's ever been for me, as the trees keep bragging about what show they will be putting on when the Earth moves into its Autumnal orbit. I keep wondering what Halloween will be like here. More vibrant? More nostalgic perhaps?
I've been a busy Ghoul creating the Halloween feel inside the walls of my new dwelling. The “Basement” is coming along with more than enough room for all of my Halloween decor. I’m pulling out the seasonal stuff that I usually save exclusively for August. I wake up excited to do something within and outside of the house. I haven't been this eager to hear the birds sing in the morning and, at night. Frogs play "come-and-get-me" and the squirrels are friendly. Yes, I sound like some Snow White hoe right now but, I am simply happy and embracing this new environment.
I’d be lying if I said this transition was easy. To start, we've been driving from SoCal to Vancouver and Vancouver to SoCal since March. After months of planning and deciding against hiring movers, my Husband drove a moving truck and towed my car behind it. What is typically a 15 hour drive turned to 20 hours because the wind picked up in the Grapevine and, it didn’t let up until we reached Redding, CA. Not to mention the truck was a gas guzzler and that’s when gas prices began to skyrocket. The moving truck took steep grades at 30 mph going up and, went even slower going down. I was following in our family ride the entire time. I have never driven that much in my life. Nor that slow.
In addition, my emotional state has been erratic. I am beginning to feel the distance between the people I am leaving behind in SoCal. I am accepting that I won’t be at certain shows and events. It hurts and I feel like I am missing out on exclusive SoCal opportunities. At times, I feel like I am being looked over and excluded. I worry about travel safety and costs. I worry I’ll become too domestic and forget to write. I worry about feeling isolated or not being able to help my kids during the tougher times they are certain to have. The struggles that come along with moving to another State and starting at a new school were you don't know anyone.
But, on that moving trip up to our new house, my kids and well-behaved Fur-Baby kept the energy positive and happy. They were amazingly patient, silly, and fun to have with us. Their, rare positive energy fueled mine. I also, take comfort in knowing I am able to be present for my kids during their tough times. So many parents can’t.
I’m excited to frolic the streets of Portland with the PNW friends I have made through social media. One in particular is one of my first inspirations! I deflect my fear of feeling left out and missing shows by changing my thinking. It makes me feel important and exclusive enough to pick-and-choose what shows Michelle Halloween will be attending. There is a power in not making myself so easily available. I have had enough experience with being a “contributor” to know I am not doing myself any favors and it actually inhibits my ability to grow. While I look forward to sharing and entering my work with other bloggers, organizations, magazine and podcasters, I am now curating my own content.
It’s time to unleash Michelle Halloween to her fullest potential.
I don’t know what that will look or feel like. The journey is exciting. I compare it to my dream move. It’s going to take work, time, planning, money, anxiety and sad times. Just like the move. It's all been worth it. I had to answer the call to move in order to clear the path for the next chapter. Two years ago, I knew things were going to change for me. I welcomed it. Even though most of it has gone differently than I anticipated, the Pacific Northwest was were I was always headed.