Hard to believe, but it's been almost exactly one year since my husband, 2 cats and I packed up and moved from our home of 18 years in Oakland and moved to Seattle. In December 2017, we made the decision for a few reasons - including lower taxes/cost of living, better quality of life and leaving a drought laden state. It was not an easy decision for me - as a child, I moved 6 times by the time I started high school. I had set roots down in the Bay Area after graduating college at UC Davis, and living near my parents. 4 months later in April 2018, my husband drove his truck and his cat, and I filled up my trusty Honda with my cat and 2 close friends. Oh yeah, and my cat meowed nearly the ENTIRE DRIVE from Oakland to Eugene, Oregon (that's NINE HOURS)!!!
What I've Learned
Change is good! I've visited the Bay Area often in the past year, which has certainly helped with the transition. We initially rented a house, then bought a house a few months later, so it was A LOT of moving in a short period of time. It was hard to focus on my business during that time, so I cut myself a break and scaled back and focused on settling into our new home, and doing fun things like making pillows and scouring antique shops for furniture.
Change is good but it's not all easy! I have always had my studio in my home, but after moving, my husband began working.from home full time, and it took a bit of adjustment to have someone else around ALL THE TIME. I was accustomed to having the house to myself for long stretches of time and have always needed a lot of quiet time to concentrate on work. I'm not going to lie, I was downright super irritated for a while, but realized it was not fair and I had to make our situation work. Now that I have settled more on a routine and also spend more time out of the house, I've learned to work with our new set up.
Moving to a completely new place forced me to reassess my priorities. I was feeling burnt out from running my own business for nearly 3 years, and I did a lot of thinking about how I wanted to go forward with it. I wanted work/life balance and time to pursue existing and new hobbies. Since moving, I started volunteering as a career coach at Dress for Success Seattle, and it is one of the best decisions I've made. I've known about Dress for Success for a long time, but never had the time to volunteer. My time there is often the best part of my week, and I'm so grateful to have found them! I'm also making time to pursue my favorite hobby - baking - and taking classes at King Arthur Flour and the Book Larder.
This past year has gone by quickly, and Seattle is feeling more and more like home. But as with everything, it's a work in progress and there are plenty of things I miss about the Bay Area (my friends, my favorite bakery, Tartine and temperate climate). Have you made any big changes recently? I'd love to hear about them and any questions and comments you might have! Thanks for reading :)