I've written before about how, looking back, one can see how their life is broken up into chapters. For me, the past few chapters have been Law School, Travels Around the World, Starting Life in Portland, Cancer Diagnosis & Treatment, and most recently, The Drift. The transition from one chapter to next is sometimes quite clear, such as loading up the moving truck to leave Wisconsin for Oregon, but sometimes it takes time for the delineations to make themselves known.
And other times, a series of events occur that tell you a change is coming.
I thought that The Drift was the short period between me ending and recovering from cancer treatment in the winter of 2010-2011 and landing my current gig as an in-house attorney in the fall of 2012. The Drift comprised me wanting to give private practice every chance to work out, primarily out of an obligation to my employer after they treated me so well when I was going through my cancer bullshit, but I knew that life was not sustainable and was looking for new opportunities. And when I found my new gig, I thought that was the start of a new chapter.
But, turns out, I've still been drifting. Despite my every intent to purchase a home here, I cannot bring myself to pull the trigger. I just haven't built a live out here. It's the same way I felt during my five-plus years in Seattle. As much as I love the Pacific Northwest, buying a home here means tying myself to the region, and given the way things are in my personal life, I just feel like I would be tying myself to a region where I have few ties. My ties are back home. In Wisconsin. Where my friends and family are. And, in looking back, I find the fact that that is the only place I've ever owned a home to be a fact of no small significance.
Anyways, the series of event. Yes. Well, I have this sabbatical coming up and I hope to spend some time doing some deep thinking. The hope is that I have a little clarity on which direction to take in the next few months upon my return. There are several options I am considering. So, the timing of this sabbatical is fortuitous. I had a very difficult spring at work, and I was ready to pull the plug more than a few times. But, he opportunity for some international work travel and this sabbatical were perks that tipped the balance in favor of sticking it out for another year.
So, with the sabbatical finally just a little over two weeks away, a few other things have happened that may be signaling to me that maybe this is the time to leave Portland (besides the increasingly shitty commute, and the ever-escalating and already ludicrous home prices!). Basically, without going into the gory details like I originally had planned, I've had a few friendships either end or diminish. One turned toxic and the other, our interactions have dropped off a bit as they've turned their attention toward a new significant other (we've all seen it happen). I have a ton of acquaintances around town, but that's not the same as having a few good local friends.
So, a big road trip coming up to clear the head and do some thinking, fewer ties to cut if I were to leave, and a job with amazing potential but that is trending flat-to-downward ... it may indeed make sense to move on.
Again, we shall see.