Maybe Someday I Will Settle Down

I’ve been a long time gone now
Maybe someday, someday I’m gonna settle down
But I’ve always found my way somehow

By taking the long way
Taking the long way around
Taking the long way
Taking the long way around

~ Dixie Chicks: The Long Way Around

Five years ago this past weekend, my ex-husband Michael and I drove into Raleigh, North Carolina to start a new life. While we definitely got the new life we were seeking, we ultimately just didn’t end up doing it together.

I started a sister blog a couple months after the move to chronicle the progress of this so-called new life. It was also a great way to keep friends and family abreast of all our movements from afar. Inadvertently it became a diary of sorts and its kept me honest with my sometimes raw feelings about the transition from Los Angeles-to-Raleigh, from wife-to-ex, from executive-to-writer, from Raleigh-to-Wilmington, and from divorcee girlfriend-to-wife. It has most certainly been the long way around.

Ironically enough, I was writing this last Sunday morning while sitting in the Los Angeles kitchen of my dear friends, and my amazing new husband.  Jason and I were in town for the weekend and had just…just…just that morning put in an offer on a new house in Norfolk, Virginia. I sat there over coffee, looking at these favored people, and reflected on my incredible life and the adventurous journey this has been. I am not quite settled down; I am a fortunate girl.

In 2008 I wrote:

“Many people questioned our sanity when we started talking about moving from Los Angeles to Raleigh. We lived in LA for 11 years…the longest we had lived anywhere. It is where our fabulous friends are, our three favorite Trader Joe’s, the best furniture store (HD Buttercup), and our standby Chinese delivery restaurant.”

We now have a Trader Joe’s in Wilmington, and we will also have one in Norfolk. I do still miss HD Buttercup. My friends are still fabulous and I miss LA every day that I breathe.

Well, I fought with a stranger and I met myself
I opened my mouth and I heard myself
It can get pretty lonely when you show yourself
Guess I could have made it easier on myself

But I, I could never follow
No I, I could never follow

“My job took me around the country and around the world so fast and so often that I spent uncountable hours in planes and airports. I could navigate the route from home to LAX in my sleep (and sometimes did). I knew the United counter personnel by name and the best seats on a 747. I knew which airport lounges were the quietest, had the most stable wireless, had free wine, a shower, and the best food. LAX can get you anywhere – direct to Hong Kong and Manila (Tagalog anyone?) or back to Appleton, Wisconsin to see my beloved family.”

After several years of a stable existence, I am now back on the road. This time though, I call a tiny little airport in Wilmington homebase and it gets me almost nowhere. United is a luxury  (they have no presence in ILM) and I am quite acquainted with my local TSA. I do still know which airports/terminals have the best food and thanks to a merger, all United Clubs now have free wine. (Not all luxuries die off.)

“We celebrated many birthdays and anniversaries in Los Angeles, including our 10th with a huge costume party and a vow renewal on Halloween. We drove up the coast to Santa Barbara, to Big Sur, to Cambria, to Carmel. We drove down to San Diego and to Mexico.”

Jason and I just celebrated our mutual May birthdays and our 3-month wedding anniversary. We will always celebrate with simplicity, style, and silliness. Halloween is no longer my favorite holiday; I choose now to celebrate without a mask on. This past weekend we flew down from San Francisco and drove up to Los Olivos. Yes, we miss our California.

“So why leave? We bought, remodeled and sold two houses, lived in five others, acquired an amazing dog (The Iona Pig), received our master’s degrees (almost a PhD for Michael), had a couple career changes, and came out of our twenties and into our mid-thirties in one of the most diverse cities on Earth. And we were tired, poor, and over it.”

Jason and I are close to closing on our first house together. We will not now, nor ever remodel one ourselves. In our mere three years together, we are in the midst of planning our sixth move. While she is much slower and older, we still have and love the battleaxe known as Iona. I have come happily into my forties with the most beautiful of thirties at my side. I am younger, thinner, blonder, and deliriously more content than anything before, and I am anything but over it.

“But Raleigh, you ask? Seriously? There is no Bloomingdales! No real international airport! No Pacific Sales! No Pacific Ocean! Yes, you are correct. And it is here that we found affordable houses in great historic neighborhoods (or brand new ones if you prefer), wonderful public schools for the children we do not yet have, access to the Atlantic Ocean and the mountains, and all the hospitality that a California girl with her heart in Wisconsin can handle.”

There is still no Bloomingdales in Norfolk. Sigh. There is still no real international airport. Sigh. But there is an Atlantic Ocean and a beautiful new home just blocks from it. There is a delightful stepson arriving on Saturday and staying for the summer. There is room in our new house for all our loves from all our states and countries to stay. There is the bright life I’m living and a brighter one ahead…lives I could never have imagined, and ones I wouldn’t dream to be without.

I have never followed. I have always taken the long way around. And perhaps someday…someday…someday we may choose together to settle down.

Well, I never seem to do it like anybody else
Maybe someday, someday I’m gonna settle down
If you ever want to find me I can still be found

Taking the long way
Taking the long way around
Taking the long way
Taking the long way around