“Make your mistakes, take your chances, look silly, but keep on going. Don’t freeze up.”
Thomas Wolfe, You Can't Go Home Again
We’re moving back to Boston.
And for that, perhaps, I owe y’all a little bit of an explanation.
I got scared about becoming a parent. I panicked. I strong-armed my wife into giving me the yes to head South. To get out of sharing apartments with folks walking above our heads. To get within a car drive of family. To give the yes to all the nos I started giving the city. It’s crowded. Expensive. Far away. Cold. Tough to raise a kid. We’re not from here. Etc. Etc. Etc.
We saw some Southern doors open and things align. We looked away homeward. We bought a house. Started a job. Met neighbors.
But it just wasn’t working. Writing our home address never felt like it really was. It felt like we were playing dress up and not ever really feeling like it fit. This city is great for a lot of fine folks. But it isn’t right for us. And despite how we kept trying to shake the memory of Boston and settle into this place, we just couldn’t. Didn’t. Haven’t.
Two months ago, I had to come clean. To apologize to Marianna for pulling her away from friends. From comfort. For trying to fix a whole bunch of stuff that wasn’t broken. For being too analytic and not emotional. We decided that the house was the only thing keeping us here. So we put it on the market. And in four days, we had an answer.
That answer comes with a little confusion. What, exactly, was God’s plan in getting us here? And in turn, leading us away? I guess I’ve always relied on the open door as the answer. This might be the first time there were a few open doors. I went off and walked through one but left my wife in the lobby. And that door cost us time. And some cash. And a crap ton of moving hassle. But it also gave us some perspective. And some good discussions. And a few great trips to see folks who we were missing.
I’m going to call it a sabbatical. We spent our 7th year in the South. Thanks to that, our girl will have North Carolina on her birth certificate. Born in the same state as her mom and her mom and her mom… And now we’ve got the stamina and energy to go another six or sixty in a far off place.
My buddy Cyrus Buffum said something great the other day. He’s from Barnstable, MA, but has lived in Charleston, SC for a lot of his life. I told him we miss the North and were headed back near his ancestral homeland. “Micah, your heart has a hell of a lot of pull to the places it learns to love and call home.”
We’re proud Southerners with hearts that are pulling us North.
And we’re headed home.