..that is the question that's been plaguing us for the last year. Although there are many things I love about living in Southern California, there are just as many things I could live without. The traffic, the barren feel of the desert, the meth-heads. MM is especially unhappy here. He works outside and the temps in the summer are always in the triple digits.
MM is the type of person who goes somewhere on vacation and decides he wants to move there. Every time he goes somewhere he comes home, checks what type of pay he could get, then starts scheming ways to get me to move. The first time he did this was when we were still dating and he wanted to move to Montana. Y'all remember how that turned out. Since then he's focused on Alaska (Snort), Texas, Oregon, Idaho, Nebraska, Northern California and a billion other places I can't remember right now. I'm open to moving, but it has to be somewhere that's good for our family as a whole. Good schools, jobs, housing, cost of living, etc.
MM's dream is to live in a small, out-of-the-way town in the mountains somewhere. I'm opposed to the mountains because of the snow, but I could do a small town. Of course, when I think small town I think around 5,000-10,000 people. MM, on the other hand, thinks 50-100. No, that isn't a typo or a joke. He really wants to live in a town of 100 people.
Now, I've lived in a town of 100 people. It isn't all it's cracked up to be. Especially when you're a kid. Sure it was great to be able to run around from sunup til sundown and know every single person in town, but it sucked balls when you wanted ice cream or pizza or to see a movie and nothing was available. As an adult I can see the frustrations piling up - the price of groceries, the lack of options for shopping/oil changes/etc.
After much (as in A FREAKING LOT) of debate, we agreed to focus our energies on Northern California. It's still relatively close to our families, my brother lives there and MM's retirement wouldn't be effected. Plus, it's green and pretty. Then we did the thing you're never supposed to do when you want to move. We set all our hopes and dreams on it. We fell in love with some of the small mountain and coastal towns. We found excellent shopping and restaurants. We met people we knew we could get close with. We even found houses we absolutely had to have.
Then we didn't get hired. Anywhere.
With the current saturation in the job market, literally 1000s of candidates were applying for the same job. MM made it into the top 5 a few times, but we were passed over in the end. We were crushed. Especially since we thought we'd found the perfect compromise - somewhere high enough in elevation that it wasn't 100 degrees in the summer, but low enough that it didn't dump snow in the winter. Good schools, good access to shopping, amazing landscape and outdoor activites...the whole ball of wax.
Because the kids are about to start high school and we don't want to move them once they do, this was sort of our last shot. If we didn't move this year, we'd have to wait a minimum of 7 years - the amount of time until the kids graduate high school. So the blow was especially crushing. It isn't like we could say, "oh, that's alright, we'll just try again next year."
There are some good things about us not moving. We've made some excellent friends here, and so have the kids. Our families live here, and moving away from them was going to be hard on us. Especially since they're really involved with the kids. MM's job is really stable. But..well, we just had our hearts set on moving.
All is not lost. We'll revisit the idea in a few years, and start making plans. I don't think MM will ever be able to talk me into moving to the mountains, but I'm sure we can find a place that's a good compromise. Especially once the kids have gone on to college.
In the meantime, we did decide to look for a bigger house. MM bought this one when he was single and we grew out of it pretty much the second we moved in. We found a place nearby that's twice the square footage, with a huge fenced yard for the dogs and tons of trees for the kids. I might want to have babies with the kitchen, it's so gorgeous (Casee called it Amazeballs..I agree).
As much as I love the new house, I hate moving. I'm not looking forward to it at all. I have this week to pack. We're moving the bulk of our stuff on Saturday. The good news is that we aren't moving far, so we can take our time and not worry about packing as meticulously as we would have otherwise. I'm clinging to that, because I effing hate moving/packing/unpacking.
Speaking of..I'm hosting a moving party on Saturday. You're all invited. BYOB and BYOS (bring your own boxes and sharpie).