Going home, and leaving home, all at the same time

So. I have some personal news to share.

I found out last month that my husband's company is transferring him back to Toronto at the end of this year. Permanently. Which means we're moving. In six weeks.

SIX. WEEKS.

Look at this map. It's about 2,600 miles, or 4,200 kilometers, from Seattle to Toronto. Did I mention we move in six weeks?



Needless to say, since we found out, life's been a little hectic.

Yes, Toronto is our hometown, but I'll be straight up honest: I wasn't exactly excited about the news at first. It's not that I don't love Canada – I freaking love Canada and am fiercely proud to be Canadian. But I became a writer here, in Seattle. The Northwest has been endlessly inspiring, and I'm not sure I'm ready to leave. But it isn't up to me. And it isn't all about me.

So in between finishing the second book and working on preparations for the CREEP Canadian launch earlier this month, I've been making arrangements to relocate. The week I spent in Toronto turned into a house-hunting endeavor. Thankfully, we found a house, but it was a frantic search, and there a hundred more things still to do. Canada and the US may be neighbors, but they're two totally different countries, and moving back is more complicated than I can explain here.

As much I'm looking forward to being close to family and friends again, I am going to miss Seattle like crazy. I love it here. Life is quiet here. I've had huge amounts of time to myself which allowed me to write at the pace I do. I love the rain and mist and trees, which turned out to be the perfect setting for CREEP and FREAK. I love how it never gets too hot or too cold. I love the easy pace of the Northwest, where people talk slower and move slower and traffic is one-fifth what it is in Toronto. I love the Craftsman style of my house. I love how there's a coffee shop on every corner.

I will miss the place where I became a writer.

I will miss going to Seahawks games. Canada has the CFL... but yeah, we won't talk about that.

I will miss Saturdays at Pike's Place Market...

... where I'd buy big bunches of flowers for ten bucks, and they'd last two weeks.

This is so random, but I will miss the guys who sing Doo Wop, a Capella, outside the world's very first Starbucks.

I will miss Powell's in Portland, Oregon. It's about a 3-hour drive south, which I was happy  to do because it's pretty much the world's greatest bookstore.

I will miss going to the Tulip Festival in Skagit Valley.

I will miss Teri, the very first friend I made here. I snapped this pic of her holding what I think might be the world's largest  cat ... don't ask.

I will miss lunches with Nancy, my first writing friend here. Wish we'd met sooner.

And I will miss the hell out of Micheleen, one of my best friends since childhood, who lives a bit north, but we made it work. It's going to be a little harder to meet her for dinner every month once I move to the other side of the continent. 

I feel like I'm leaving a lot behind. I promise to do a post soon about what I'm looking forward to about moving back to Toronto, but for now, if nobody minds, I just want to be emo and wallow for a bit.

Have you ever moved some place far from home?


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43 comments:

  1. I have lived in the same 10 mile radius my whole life. So sorry you have to move! Very hard thing to do. Yes, don't mention the CFL. Hope things work out for you my good friend.

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  2. I've relocated many, many times although never quite that far. It is very tough. I moved back to Philadelphia from my college town over five years ago and I still miss it! Not that I don't love it here. I know exactly what you're saying. It can be very, very sad saying goodbye to a place where some pretty important things happened to you! Good luck though.

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  3. Ooh, sounds exciting! And also, a right pain in the ass! It's hard for me to sympathize, though, since Toronto seems like such an awesome city to this New Yorker. :)

    But then, I always thought that if I had to live on the West Coast I would choose Seattle. You're quite lucky to have called both cool cities home.

    Good luck!

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  4. Ah, man. My heart really goes out to you. Your list brought tears to my eyes. Good luck with the move. I hope you find a wonderful writing community and friends in Toronto.

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  5. 2600 miles?! Wow, that's a lot further than my 1200 mile move we made nearly 3 years ago. It was a little hard to move, but it was such an adventure, I'm glad we did it. Although, if I lived somewhere are beautiful as Seattle, I would have a very hard time moving to.

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  6. Damn Jenn, you made me tear up. I know we don't see each other alot but I'm really going to miss you and Steve, and the "kids" I'm definitely going to have to come visit. Teri

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  7. We must talk, Jennifer. I love being back in Canada but, yes, many details to make the move. Six weeks... wow.

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  8. Congratulations on returning to your first home. I hope everything works out for you guys. Moving can be difficult, especially when it's great distances. Have a Happy Thanksgiving!
    Julius

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  9. I'm so sad. I've been dreading this announcement for weeks because it just makes it all too real for me. You've become quite special and important to me and I'll miss you and being able to take off and meet you for lunch. But we can still text and Tweet, right?

    I so get what you mean about all those qualities that make Seattle special and unique. I love the doo wop guys at Starbucks, too, and the marketplace in general, the rain and the trees, everything.

    You've been the one person here to make it all bearable for me. I, too, wish we had met so much earlier. But don't think you're never gonna see me again. I'm planning a trip to Philly to see Lisa, with a detour through Toronto, so I can visit with my best gals, my writer buddies, my confidants.

    Before you leave though, remember, we need at least one more date, preferably you, me and my old Silver Patron! In the mean time, I'm here to help with packing and all that. Cheers, my friend! And don't mind the tears. I have lots of Kleenex!

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  10. Wow, that's huge news! I'm sure it's been hectic with everything else in your life. I'm positive everything will work out as it should. It always does. Best of luck to both of you!

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  11. Some wallowing is definitely called for--that's a big change! But I know you'll find your writerly way in Toronto. Good luck with all the details!

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  12. I've only moved once in my life. A whopping 8 miles door-to-door. That's why I love to travel.

    And there's nothing I miss about my old town.

    Nothing. lol!

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  13. Hugs! Moving is never fun but I'm sure you'll settle back sooner than you think :)

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  14. I feel for you. I've moved three times across the continent and now am stuck where I don't want to be. It's hard leaving a place you love, that feels like home.

    Although you can look on the bright side...now you have a place to go for vacation.

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  15. I always told my husband if we have to move, it better be for a really good job!

    I can see you are really going to miss Seattle, but think of all the new things you can explore in Toronto. And, in place of the Seahawks, you get the Maple Leafs (quickly becoming my preferred sport as my son has taken up hockey!)

    Best of luck with all of it. When it's all done, I'm sure you'll find exactly what you are looking for-- a great place to write and inspire you.

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  16. Congrats! But also a huge sorry for your move. I am a west coast gal and moved from Vancouver to Toronto many years ago. I must say that Vancouver still has my heart. The ocean, the mountains, the slower pace of life and the smaller city. Where It is more important how you live life than how much is in your bank account. If you ever just need to wallow once you move back give me a call and we will recount our days as west coast gals over a cup of starbucks! Happy to have you come home...I am super excited to have you back. However, I can totally relate to your loss of the west coast. Love, Deyana

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  17. :HUGS: I'm sorry you have to leave Seattle but yay for going home. Ten years ago, I left my home in Michigan - my family, my house, everything that was ever familiar - to head for different and hopefully warmer settings in Florida. And eventually ended up in Colorado seven years ago. (Long story.)

    I hope your husband's job transfer goes well and that the move is as smooth as it can be.

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  18. I reckon you won't be smuggling the world's biggest cat to Canada, now will you? :))

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  19. I feel your pain. I HATE moving. Hate it, hate it, hate it. It's not the leaving one place and starting anew someplace else that bothers me, it's the actual packing up and unpacking, and having to settle in where you don't necessarily feel settled for weeks and weeks. I've moved a lot. I haven't spent more than 3 years in a place in the last 10 years. The next time I move I vow to never move again!

    Um... that's my rant. haha. On a good note, at least your moving to Canada :) (I'm a Canucker)

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  20. I couldn't imagine a big move. Then again, I wouldn't want to have to move all my books, so I think I'm stuck here for now.

    I did move away to Missouri from Virginia for college, so it was quite different, but I came back to home to stay.

    I hope your move goes well. At least it is somewhere familiar, so that should help make it easier. :)

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  21. Wow, that cat...

    I know you're going to miss so many wonderful things about Seattle, but I also think you're going to love going back to Toronto. Big changes like that can really inspire. Ack! That is a lot of pressure, though. Six weeks! Fingers crossed it all goes smoothly.

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  22. My previous company moved me from St. Louis to Boston. A couple years later, they said I could move back to St. Louis or lose my job. They are my former company.

    Changing jobs is scarier than moving, but sometimes it's the better choice. Especially when you find the place that is meant to be home. (For me, that's New Hampshire.)

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  23. I've never had to move before, so I can't imagine having to leave everything/ everyone. And not to mention packing!
    As for the inspiration, I'm sure you'll be inspired in Toronto too and write more great books!

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  24. Aw, I'm sort of sad! We're only 8 hours away, I figured I'd meet up with you someday, you know, under the pretense of doing book research. ;) Glad you're moving back home, though. Familiarity can be so wonderful. Good luck! :D

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  25. Isn't it crazy how if this move had come up a couple of years ago it would feel so different than it does now? But you aren't losing anything; you just have more things to love.

    From another writer who's moved A LOT--from the Midwest to the Midsouth to California then to the Gulf Coast back to the Midwest and back to California.

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  26. You are allowed to wallow for a bit!!!
    I moved across the city once. It was such a short distance in camparison, but everything was different, so I feel your pain.

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  27. I recently made a move from NYC to San Diego, so I know how hard it can be. At least you're moving where you know people, so it won't be a completely new place. Best of luck!

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  28. That's a bummer. :( Wallow all you like!

    I loved your memories, though. Such great photos! Hmm... maybe there is a bright side to this. You're so much closer to Ohio now. ;)

    Best of luck with the move!

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  29. Just for a little while and then you have to look at all the positives.

    1)Your actually moving closer to me.
    2)You can always call me and I will depress you so writing about serial killers will be easier.
    3)You are now strategically positioned to stalk Stephen King for me.

    I realize all these positives include me but I can't help that. I hate to think about you feeling down!!

    PS: That is a damn scary cat.

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  30. I don't think any of your other posts have made me so sad. =[ Having moved 5 times from New England to San Diego and back again (and again and again) by the time I was 8, I can feel your pain!

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  31. It's a huge step. Yes, we moved from Britain to British Columbia. What you're doing must be very similar logistically. Hope your move is as positive an experience as mine was.

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  32. Ah, I am sad for you! I love Seattle and I've never even been there. I'll let you be emo and not mention silver linings and stuff.

    P.S. That really could be the hugest cat EVER.

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  33. Oh! So bitter sweet! And so stressful! I wish you all the best doing all you'll need to do in the next six weeks! Oh my gosh. That's HUGE.

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  34. I can imagine what you're going though -a complete mix of feelings. Happy on one hand, sad on another. It's great that you were able to blend in to Seattle life - likely it didn't happen overnight. You'll likely find the same with Toronto - all the things you loved about it will come flooding back. Is the house you searched for their nice? Space and comfort is paramount to settling back in. I reckon once you get into the swing of things you'll be fine. Plus - you're going back a Published Author! People will have to give you your space and respect now :o)

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  35. It's okay to feel sad - transitions can be painful. The happy will come soon - you'll be closer to family and old friends. And you'll make new writing friends, I'm sure. Good luck with everything - 6 weeks is so short!

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  36. I'm sorry you have to leave the home you've had for so long. At least you're going somewhere else familiar. I hope the move goes smoothly! My husband and I considered moving across the country for .5 seconds before realizing we didn't want to be so far from our families. I bet being closer to yours in Toronto will make the transition that much easier.

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  37. WOW, that is a lot to deal with! I really hope that the move goes well. Moving like that is almost like losing a very close friend, you can visit, but it's never the same. But once you get settled, that feeling fades. I hope you find a new place to call your own and it feels like home very soon... And may you have an awesome writing space that is all you and distraction free! Have a safe trip!

    p.s. the beauty of the bloggisphere... your friends are just a click away! no fear! :)

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  38. Thanks for sympathy and encouragement, guys. You really are the bestest blog friends a girl could have. Thankfully that never has to change. :)

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  39. I totally understand. When I decided to move back from Utah to California after 6 years (not quite the other side of the continent, but still far enough), I only had 6 weeks to leave the life I'd built for myself. It was hard. But also awesome.

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  40. I totally get you, too. I was born in PerĂº and when I was 8 we moved to Chile, and in here, I've lived in 3 different cities.
    I wish you luch with your moving days! <3

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  41. I feel lame. The farthest from home I've ever been? I moved from San Diego to Los Angeles. I can drive it in under two hours after 8pm on a weeknight. Don't ask how fast I'm going.

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  42. Six weeks is not a lot of time for such huge move. Wow!

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  43. Well, that gives me a good reason to visit Toronto, then! Good luck with the move.:)

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