no constancy

I’ve long considered myself a man of logic and reason, but I also recognize I’m a man of contradiction. Logic insists that prophecy, fate, destiny, et al. are purely subjective and therefore can’t be proven as a matter of fact of the human experience. That being stated, a series of events I experienced during the past few months have led me to the belief that now is the time to make the move.  The move is a longtime dream of mine to move to the Pacific Northwest, the greater Seattle area specifically. When someone asks me Why Seattle?, I don’t have much a response, although I could quote author Tom Robbins, whose sentiments regarding Richmond, Virginia, eerily reflect mine here in Indiana as a Hoosier, who gave his reason for moving to Seattle as follows: “I only knew two things about Seattle: one, it was a long way from racist, sexist, homophobic, hide-bound, purse-lipped, gun-toting, church-crazed, flag-saluting, bourbon-swilling, buzz-cut, save your Confederate money, boys! Richmond, Virginia; and two, there was reputed to be something not quite right about its weather.” But as a child and long before I saw the Midwest as the cesspool of ignorance that it is, I’ve had a fascination with Seattle. I used to tell my mother that one day I would live in a high-rise apartment with a view of the Space Needle. To this day I don’t know what sparked the fantasy (and, at this point, I don’t want to know), but it has never left me. Up until a few months ago, my now ex-girlfriend shared my dream of moving there after our respective degrees were achieved, but the facts being as they are, I no longer have to wait for her to complete her education.

Another peculiar event occurred the day after my final, final exam last month. A man I worked with for several years at a previous job passed away. He was a semi-retired man whose life experience far surpassed mine, and I’ll never forget a conversation we had when I first began working with him. I was in my mid-twenties, he in his sixties, and he gave me a subtle kick in the ass when he asked me what I wanted to do with my life. My response was lacking because I lacked direction at the time, but I did tell him of my strange desire for Seattle. He urged me to move sooner rather than later, saying, “If you don’t move while you’re in your twenties, you’ll never do it.” He also urged me to go back to school and make something of myself. “You don’t want to drive a city bus the rest of your life. Your future can’t be this.” I silently resented him for a time because he saw something in me I refused to acknowledge. I was a disillusioned twentysomething going nowhere fast (as disillusioned twentysomethings tend to do), but now I’m a 33-year-old man (who doesn’t feel like a 33-year-old man – I feel much younger, but more on that some other time) who recognizes that now is the time. This move is something I must do. I’m leaving very little. A family disintegrated. An expired three-year relationship with a woman who no longer acknowledges my shadow. Friends consumed by connections that render me an afterthought. I could go off the rails here and write about the hurt of giving another (and another and another and…) more attention than is ever reciprocated, but now, as a 33-year-old, I’ve (more or less) accepted the broken nature of things. Perhaps it is a curse to expect constancy from allies and strangers.

So, yes, in less than two months I will pack what fits in my car and travel 2400 miles to find a new home. I’m putting off research until I pass NCLEX (the national nursing exam), but I’m considering Tacoma. It’s about 40 minutes south of Seattle. Right now it’s difficult for me to conceive the concept of making such a move, but I have to do this. School is over (for the time being) and the relationship is over. Finding a nursing job here will almost certainly trap me, so it’s time to go. Many think it’s reckless to move cross country without first visiting the prospective city, but this is supposed to be an adventure, not a carefully coordinated transfer in which practically every uncertainty is whittled down to a risk-free proposition. Up until this point I’ve lived my life averting risk whenever possible. Play it safe. Don’t do anything I wouldn’t do. For me, “throwing caution to the wind” has meant nothing but a cliché. It’s time to take a chance. It’s time to open the window knowing a crumpled leaf of failure might float through. It’s time to break from constancy. It’s time.



~ by the coordinates of memories on 17 January 2012.

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