Thursday, March 31, 2022

Should I stay or should I go?

After saying in January that I felt more creatively inspired and was going to be posting more: I did not follow through. Not that I haven't tried — I currently have four partially written posts sitting in my drafts folder — but so much has been happening that I haven't had a chance to sit down and give full voice to the thoughts swirling internally.


As I've said before, this is a transitional season. In the fall, I took over the last 11 months of a stranger's two-year lease and moved into a house with two other girls. The house and location are perfect; I could not ask for anything better. But three people in a home is a tricky dynamic, and tensions often simmer. I love so much about the house and I enjoy my roommates and the time I've spent with them, but I feel like it's a temporary home for me and have decided not to renew for 2023.

Yet while I feel fully at peace with that housing decision, it opens up new questions for the future (primarily: where and with whom will I live come late summer?). But even that basic question points to a broader question I've been wrestling with over the last few years. As those closest to me are probably tired of hearing about, I constantly go back and forth about staying in D.C. versus moving back to Raleigh or somewhere else entirely. More recently, I've been firmly convinced that I will move back to Raleigh eventually. But any time I start to plan for it, something happens that brings me back to staying in D.C. longer. So, Raleigh is my future at some point, but for now, I'm in D.C. indefinitely.

I sometimes have the idea that I won't, or can't, leave D.C. until I'm tired of it, that one day my patience and excitement will wear out and that's when I'll finally leave. And I'm finding that thought to be untrue; I can love a place but still leave it. Six of my coworkers lost loved ones last year, and it's made me consider my own family and longtime friends, many of whom are in Raleigh. As much as I love D.C. and would like to live in other cities, the reality is that life is about relationships, and life in D.C. is so transitory and I still have so many roots in Raleigh. 

And then there's the financial aspect. Raleigh, though growing quickly, is still significantly cheaper than the D.C. area in almost every way. Four and a half years into living in D.C. I'm having to ask hard questions about tradeoffs: is it worth it to stay in D.C., a city I adore with friends and a church family I would be sad to leave, or is it time to look more long term at buying a house and being closer to family? It's not an easy question to answer, but it's one I'm continually thinking about as time passes and my lease end date approaches.

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