Last week my wife and I decided to move from Eugene, Oregon to my home town of Lexington, South Carolina.
The decision didn’t come lightly at first, but the longer I think on it the more I feel that it is simply the right thing to do for our family.
Some back story: In 2003 I was nineteen years old and my then-girlfriend (now ex-wife) decided that she was going to move to Santa Barbara, CA to go to a photography school. Rather than discussing it with me, I was simply told that she was going to do this. The sentiment was very much “… and you can come if you want …” — which didn’t sit well with me. In an effort to convince myself that this was my choice, I immediately began to dæmonise the south and over-inflate my anger/disquiet/&c. To put it simply, it being out of my control caused me to spin out of control and rush head-long in to the move at any cost in an effort to save face.
Once I arrived in Santa Barbara, I quickly burned through the money I had just keeping a roof over our head. We quickly were living off student loans and grants as well as borrowing money from family. Thankfully, the relationship ended in 2007.
I was living by myself at that point in an apartment. Several friends of mine were living in a shared house nearby, so I moved in with them. It was there that I met Channing. We started dating and moved to her parents house (rent in Santa Barbara is impossibly high) and married a year after our first date. From there a child seemed to be the obvious choice, but a family in Southern California seemed unmanageable. Especially considering our desire for her to stay home with the kids while I worked from home.
We had taken a trip north to Portland, OR and we really liked it there. So, Oregon became the destination. First, we lived in Newport, Oregon where Odin was born. Just before he turned one we moved to Eugene, OR so we could live in a more populous area. When Odin was 2.5 years old we had our second son, Opal. When the decision to move to South Carolina was made we had been in Oregon for around four years.
In that time we had made friends, but we just had not found the comfort that we were hoping to have. A lot of it is just who we are as people, but it doesn’t change the outcome. Once the idea to move back implanted itself, all around me I felt that our eldest son was missing out on interaction with other people. My mother came to visit in June of 2015 and Channing’s family visited in September and during both visits Odin seemed to experience great personal growth. Suddenly he began approaching other children at the park to play with them instead of only playing when pursued. It seemed like happiness.
South Carolina has a lot to offer our family and I’m excited to make the move. In addition to having family the cost of living is even lower than in Eugene— which was already much lower than Santa Barbara. My hope is that we will soon be able to have a much easier and simpler life for our family.