Wednesday, May 11, 2016

You can take the girl out of the PNW…

But you can’t take the PNW out of the girl.  The PNW, if you don’t know, is the Pacific Northwest.  That’s where I’m from originally.  I grew up in a small town in the Willamette valley.  I grew up primitive camping, white water rafting, fishing, hiking, dirt biking, trail dirt biking, exploring caves and lava tubes, and all sorts of fun outdoor stuff.  I grew up in nature.  Nature was where I was happy.

I’m not sure what happened, but during my teenage years I just couldn’t wait to get out of my little dead end town.  I guess seeing all the wannabe gang-bangers, the drug use, the teen pregnancies…it all wore me down and disenchanted me from the small town life.  I couldn’t wait to get out and see the world and big cities.  I joined the Army and sort of traveled the world.  I was stationed in Missouri, South Carolina, Washington DC and South Korea.  If I hadn’t met a guy that was stationed in Texas a couple months before I was discharged, I would have never moved here when I got out of the Army.  I would have stayed in Oregon. 

Instead, I moved to Texas for a sham of a relationship that ended quicker than it started.  And then I was stuck here.

Every time I go visit my family in Oregon and Washington, it gets harder and harder for me to leave.  If you read my blog for the second week of my Oregon vacation for this year, you might remember me saying to myself as I drove through west Texas that I was almost home and then immediately responding to myself that no, no I wasn’t because home is where the heart is and my heart is most definitely NOT in Texas.  It’s in Oregon, with my family and all my friends from when I was younger. 

Then, a little over a week later, as I was walking around before my therapy appointment, I realized…I hate Texas.  I seriously hate Texas.  I feel trapped in my job and therefore trapped in Texas.  It gets so hot here.  It’s not pretty.  I’m tired of the big city, too.

I discovered when I was staying the night at my brother’s house…which was built in 1908…I love and miss being in an old house.  There’s so much character.  They are just so…oh I don’t know…so much better in my opinion.  They’re more personal.  They’re not cookie cutter and slapped together in a month.  And I can have all the windows replaced with energy efficient windows.  But I want a wood burning stove.  And I want random rooms that you can’t figure out what exactly they’re for.  I don’t want a dishwasher (I don’t use the one I have right now except as a place to dry my dishes…ha!).  I want a large porch.  I’d love to have an old shed or small barn in the backyard maybe.

I’ve been thinking about retirement a lot lately.  I can’t wait to retire.  I have so many plans already.  The main one is moving back to the pacific northwest.  I want to find a place that’s 30-ish minutes from my brother and about an hour from my best friend, Patricia’s house and about 2 hours from my parents and other brother.  It’s the bright light at the end of the long dark tunnel that is my life in Texas.  I’m not trying to be negative and I know a lot of people love Texas and their lives here.  But I don’t.  I haven’t for a long time, but I’ve been denying it to myself…trying to ignore it with the hopes that it would go away.  All I was doing was making myself miserable.  Now that I’ve made the realizations and spoken them aloud, I feel freer.  I feel more positive and hopeful.  Knowing how I feel about Texas and my living here, makes moving back to the pacific northwest that much sweeter.  I will always be a PNW girl at heart.  Always.


  1. Totally get what you are saying ... and I hope you can make it happen.

    I like where we live in Corning NY - gorgeous area, loads to do outside, the schools were great for the kids ... but ...

    But it isn't home. It is too far from the ocean, too far from Boston, which we love. It is too far west of NYC so that once you step outside of the tech center of Corning or the liberal center of Ithaca ... you might as well be in rural Pennsylvania. Ugh.

    So in the fall both kids will be in college, and we are already looking out a few years thinking as soon as they're done - we move. But we want to be close to them - so we can't really make those plans yet either. Oh well. :)

    1. Hey! Don't knock rural Pennsylvania! Haha, in-laws there and I love it (but yeah, I don't live there, so I'm probably not the best judge).

    2. haha - there is a saying that Pennsylvania is Philadelphia and Pittsburgh with Alabama in between. I don't know about that - there's a fair amount of West Virginia in there as well :)

      But as very much a Massachusetts person, the mindset in these areas regarding many things is very different ... I am very much a New Englander at heart and hope we can head back that way - but fully realize that with two kids in visual arts majors the likelihood of them being in NYC or LA is probably 75% ...

  2. If it's what you want, my advice is to make it happen, don't wait for retirement unless you really think you have to. See if you can line up some job hunting when you're there next year. There are parts of Texas living that I hate as well, but I know I'd be miserable moving home since I really hate the cold weather and the snow. So Texas it is for the next 5-10 years, if not longer. Pacific Northwest is certainly more beautiful!

    1. Random aside to make a point - do you know how old our bed (i.e. mattress/box spring) is? It is nearly 26 years old. Seriously! It was one of those 'we're gonna ...' things that always was back-burnered because we were saving for a house, having kids, getting ourselves into debt remodeling our house, moving, sending our kids on trips, and saving for college, etc ...

      Always SOMETHING ... and our bed literally has 'hills & valleys'. So last week we asked ourselves 'WTF are we waiting for?!?' ... and this past weekend bought a bed.

      It was time to focus on US.

    2. Nice! Hahaha! Hooray for a new mattress!

    3. @carina I do feel I have to wait for financial reasons. I can't make the money I make at my current job anywhere else with my complete lack of college education. Not even in the same field, and I'd be starting from the bottom again most likely. I'd have to go to school for a whole new career and I can't afford that right now...or for the foreseeable future.

    4. I've always thought that whole "replace over 8" thing is just a massive marketing scheme by "big mattress." Ours is about 15 years old and we have no complaints!


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