Eleven Years ago, I moved from Ohio to Washington state. It was a big, bold moment. In fact, it was the first time in my life I had specifically chosen the state and town I wanted to live in.
Up until that choice, every decision regarding where to live had been made by one of the following:
- The house I grew up in… my parents’ home.
- The town I lived in during my college years.
- The town I moved to after college, to live with my significant other, because that’s where he lived and worked.
- Moved for a job.
- Moved for another job.
- Moved again for another job.
It’s interesting that the function of where to live was prioritized over the place I might want to live. I never stopped to actually ask that question… until 11 years ago.
What was different then?
I was married at the time, and we each had a child from a prior marriage (yes, we were on marriage number 2). Our kids were the same age… only 5 weeks apart. We raised them together as much as we could, inasmuch as my step-daughter lived with her mother 500 miles away from us. But we spent summers, holidays and as many weekends together as we could.
I had the privilege and good fortune of being a stay-at-home-mom (SAHM) from the time the kids were 8 years old. When it came time for them to choose where they wanted to go to college, I encouraged them both to think about where in the world they would like to spend the next 4 years of their lives. I encouraged them to consider what type of environment they wanted to live in, the weather, the activities, the geography… regardless of how far from home it was. Once they realized these weren’t trick questions, they both chose universities on the West Coast of the US… one in California, and one in Washington.
And just like that, we were empty-nesters. My then-husband and I were living in Ohio, some 2000+ miles from our kids, but we had a unique opportunity. Since I was a SAHM (who no longer had kids to care for), and my ex had the flexibility to work from home, we took the advice I gave our kids, and started asking ourselves where in the world WE would like to live.
I had never asked and answered that question for myself before. Living somewhere other than where I was based on circumstance had always been an exotic dream of some far off place. So when I checked in with myself and answered from a place of desire, my answer was the Pacific Northwest, with its abundance of natural beauty. Once the area was decided I started looking at maps and geography to see where, specifically, I wanted to make a home. The answer was Gig Harbor, Washington. It’s a quaint harbor town on the Puget Sound, with water, ancient growth evergreens all around, and mountains nearby. Gig Harbor is a self-contained town with an identity all its own. It was the perfect place!
So, we set a date, sold our home, packed up and moved to Gig Harbor, WA, about an hour outside of Seattle. We rented a home until we figured out exactly where we wanted to buy one, and 15 months later moved into a house with the most gorgeous water and mountain views imaginable. And, since both of our kids were in college on the West coast, they were close enough to visit regularly. We quickly settled in to quintessential Pacific Northwest lifestyle, embracing outdoor activities and making new friends.
Then in early 2014 (Valentine’s Day, to be exact), my world was turned upside down when my then husband announced he was moving out the following day, and filing for divorce. It was a complete shock and bombshell, as we had just celebrated our 19th wedding anniversary, with no mention of what ultimately occured.
I believe there is a gift in everything.
Sometimes it’s nearly impossible to see what that gift might be, and sometimes it is only clear in hindsight. The gift in our break-up was just what I needed in order to begin doing the deep, difficult work of personal transformation. It was finally time for me to face my shadow-side, all of my demons, and work through them so I could heal.
It has been a 6 year journey to get where I am today. I am a changed woman. I won’t say I’m a new woman, because the change, the ultimate transformation, was one of returning home to me, to my true self. I cracked the veneer off the shell of the person I had become in a toxic relationship, and stepped fully back into myself.
Part of this shift included opening to my gifts, which I had long ago learned to suppress and hide. I have embraced my true nature and am more fully myself than I have ever dared allow myself to be until now. During this awakening, I was called to the Shamanic Path, which I have also fully embraced and immersed myself in.
Walking the path of a Shamanic Healer in an alternate state of consciousness shook something loose in me, and activated a deep desire to wander the globe, immersing myself in different cultures. This need to feel untethered is something completely new for me. I’ve always had a high need for stability and security… until I started walking the healer’s path. Since then, I’ve had this growing sense of restlessness, of wanting something more, something less, something new, something different.
As a shamanic practitioner who journeys within, I walk between worlds on a regular basis. This has been a very rich and rewarding path for me, for my soul, and has shown me my life’s purpose, which is to help people heal from past wounds and trauma. “Past” may mean earlier in this lifetime, or it may mean a past life. Time is just a construct.
There was something else at work along this timeline. My son and daughter-in-law (dil) moved to Texas to settle down and begin building their life. Until last year, my son’s chosen profession had him moving around a lot and unpredictably. It had always been in the back of my mind to move near them, to live near them, to live near family. So when they moved to Texas with the intention of putting down roots, a new possibility presented itself.
I believe the Universe conspires in our favor.
There are no coincidences. My real estate broker is also a personal friend, and we talk. So when she approached me to tell me that the real estate market in Gig Harbor is red-hot, and especially for view properties, I took it as a sign and started to consider my options.
- Stay in Washington, stay in my condo and remain tied down
- Sell my condo and stay in Washington because I love it here
- Sell my condo and move anywhere else in the world
I mentioned all of this to my son and dil, and we started talking about how nice it would be if we lived near each other. The more we talked about it, the more it seemed like a great idea. Meanwhile, my real estate broker was informing me that the market was heating up even more. Until this point, I had never considered Texas as a place to move to. But, all the signs pointed to this being the best option for me at this time.
So in December I decided to do some work on my condo with the idea of putting it on the market in January, thinking I’d be moving by spring. Long story short, the work was completed, and the day before it was to be listed, I received a full-price offer on my condo. Talk about time being compressed when you are clear on your intentions!
All of that said, I find myself walking between worlds right now. I am purging and packing. I am going through all of my belongings, deciding which items will make the journey to Texas with me. I am constantly shifting between my past and my future, purging things that remind me of a past that is better left behind, and packing what will be part of my new life.
There’s a dissociative feeling between me and my condo now. For the last 5 years, my condo, my home, has been my sanctuary. I have remodeled it, and filled it with things that have meaning to me and bring me joy. But now I’m detaching myself from the cocoon of my home as my thoughts turn in the direction of my future.
As for my mental state, I am experiencing all of the feelings. I’m excited to live near family. I’m overwhelmed with all of the details associated with moving across the country. I’m anxious about the long road-trip. But I’m also looking forward to the drive, and seeing new things along the way. I’m feeling lighter because of letting go of so much “stuff!” – both the literal and metaphorical baggage! I’m sad about moving away from beloved friends who are like family to me. I scared and intrigued by the unknown. But this is all part of the Quantum Shaman Life. Shifting consciousness on the smallest level in order to expand my universe.
It’s a beautiful feeling, to be simultaneously loving the place that has been home for me, and envisioning what my new home will look like once I’ve got it put together. I’ll be leaving Washington in a couple of weeks, driving toward my new home, memories of my time here gently fading into the past.
A fond farewell it will be.
I’ll catch up with y’all once I get settled in Texas. Oh, and, Universe? It hasn’t gone unnoticed that I will be moving exactly 11 years to the week from when I moved to the PNW. You’re a funny one!
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