For the past couple years, Sam and I have been debating whether or not we wanted to put roots down in LA or head back to the east coast where we’re from to be near family and live in a more suburban, affordable area with our growing fam. Every couple of months we’d talk it over and then the months turned into years and you know…. life happened.
But, when I learned I was pregnant last fall, the conversation started up again—this time with a more serious tone. Did we want to stay in LA or get back to family? Yes, that would mean more snow and cold, but would the gains like family nearby and the possibility of owning a home outweigh the weather? I thought yes.
Once Henry was here, life was a whirlwind and left us little time to think or even plan for a cross-country move like that, but it was still always there in my mind. We were lucky if we could get a few hours of sleep at night, so planning a move like that was out of the question. However, toward the end of my maternity leave, I was taking some job interviews (you know, just seeing what was out there and not taking it all too seriously) and seeing what opportunities there were for me back east. Surprisingly, just a couple weeks before returning to my full-time job, things started clicking and they went like this:
- My dad’s 2-family home had a vacancy we could live in to start which would mean an easy transition for us and no lease to sign – leaving the door open if we found a house to buy. Plus the apartment would be right in between our two families and close to jobs.
- I made it 3 rounds into a job I really wanted and was onto references next…
- This job would be a step up for me and they’d help us with our move.
- The work flexibility would mean I could be near my family more and around for Henry more than my current role.
- I’d be leaving the entertainment field and working more in a small community around health and wellness (another passion of mine).
- My mom could watch Henry since she is retired.
- We’d have plenty of babysitters which would mean more time for Sam and I to hang out again, haha.
- My two closest friends have babies that are close in age to Henry.
Once I returned to work, I got the job offer that following week. It all happened so fast and I really wasn’t sure how it all came together—but it did!
When I gave my notice, I felt a mix of all emotions—happy, nervous, excited, relieved, and slightly bummed to leave California. (I’ve found that with any sort of change, comes a bit of mourning, of loss—but it’s necessary to grow.) Then, I remembered again all the things we’d gain—family, a slower pace of life, comfort, friends, the chance to buy a home, and a new start.
I could go back and forth all day on all the things I’ll gain or lose with this move, but it’s not about that – it’s way bigger than any pros and cons list.
Really, it’s about family. This is the only life we get. For 6 years, we’ve had a ball here in LA – traveling, dining, working, hanging out with great people – but our immediate family has always been so far from us. It’s been hard at times, especially now as new parents. A baby changes EVERYTHING. Even in our 30s, we’ve quickly realized we need them near-not only as a support system but also we want Henry to know and love his grandparents (and vice versa). There’s really nothing more important than that. Sure, we’ll miss the palm trees, the perfect weather, the ocean here… but it’ll always be here for us to visit. What we want is 3000 miles away and we are eager to go back and make new memories with those we love.
I’d like to think the timing is perfect. A year ago, maybe we weren’t meant to go back. Maybe Henry was supposed to be born here. I was supposed to have my LA maternity leave. We were meant to have these jobs to set us up for our next gigs. And now, it’s time to go back. To settle down in a place we know with a fresh perspective. To hold on to those we love with a tighter squeeze.
It’s bittersweet in so many ways. The family and friends we have here are irreplaceable. They’ve made LA home for us and supported us in ways we needed during really tough times. But now it’s time to fly back home. To turn the page and start anew, just as we did 6 years ago, only this time we’re going back to a more familiar place with even more open, warm, and appreciative hearts.
There’s really no knowing what the next 6 years will look or feel like. But, there will surely be a lot of love.
You have to take leaps sometimes.
Here we go.