To move or not to move? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 8 Old 04-12-2011, 03:22 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I don't know if this is the right place to post this, but, to me, it is a personal growth question.

 

I moved to Los Angeles 8 years ago on a whim to be with my now husband.  He had a really great job here.  I never thought it was going to be the place I was going to live for the rest of my life.  But now we're here with a nice house in a cozy neighborhood, 2 kids, school, etc...

 

While my DH officially had an office here, he spent most of his time on the road.  He has recently changed jobs which has required even more road travel.  And as it happens, he doesn't even have an office here anymore.  His co-workers live all over the place... new york, Bay Area, and other places.  He works out of town all week, one week NYC, one week Boston, one week Seattle, etc...  

 

I'm from the Bay Area and I've always seen myself moving back.  I love it there.  My mother lives there and she is getting older.  We've flirted with the idea of her moving down here, but it's just not looking all that possible.  She has a business there that would be tremendously difficult to liquidate.  She's also really happy with her friends and all her regular haunts.  Plus, she has major hoarder issues, so getting her to deal with all her stuff and move just ain't gonna happen any time soon.

 

Last night my DH called from the road and said he'd be willing to talk about moving home (he's from the Bay Area as well, though has no family left in the area).  All he needs for work is to be close to a major airport and ideally on either coast.  

 

My issues with L.A. are the following... I have tried to love L.A. and in a lot of ways I do.  I have friends here, my kids go to great schools, they are happy.  I have a really nice house in a neighborhood I basically love.  Here's what I don't love.  I feel completely disconnected here.  I've tried to get involved in things other that kid-stuff, but it's always a total hassle.  There's always so much driving and traffic involved.  I need to go back to school if I ever want to work in a meaningful way again, but the academic programs for what I want to do are few and far between and again involve massive and un-doable logistics (driving and traffic).  I live on the other side of town from UCLA and it can take 2 hours to get there in peak traffic time.  USC is closer to my house, but it's hard to get into and massively expensive.  In the Bay Area, there are plentiful options for what I want to do, plus I have a family business I can work with and lots of family and friends up there.  

 

But if we decide to move, it's only because I selfishly want to.  I've been really depressed here for a long time despite my trying really hard to do all the right things to be happy.  My DH is open to moving, but he doesn't really want to--it would only be for my sake.  My kids definitely wouldn't want to move as they have lots of friends and activities they enjoy.  That said, they are 5 and 3 and I'm sure they'd find new friends and activities.

 

I'd hate to uproot everyone for my own selfish wants, but the fact that this option is now on the table has me questioning.  

 

I'd really appreciate any feedback on this.  Thanks so much!

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#2 of 8 Old 04-12-2011, 03:46 PM
 
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I think you should look into moving, even if it's only to make you happy. You deserve to be happy! If mom isn't happy, then nobody's happy lol! This might sound insensitive, but as for uprooting your children--I think they will be fine. I know the kids' friends are important, but they will probably not even remember their friends once they move. Well, I'm only speaking from limited experience here, so take it for what it's worth. My son was 5 when he went from his Pre-K into Kindergarten. He does not remember any of the kids from Pre-K. We even ran into his old best friend at the store, and neither one remembered each other. Maybe you should look a little more seriously into moving. Take a few trips to the Bay area to see how you feel. Good luck with whatever you decide!

 
 
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#3 of 8 Old 04-12-2011, 04:48 PM
 
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From what I'm hearing it sounds to me as though moving is something (at the very least) you should definitely explore and look further into. Especially since there are so many educational opportunities in the Bay area vs LA. BeckyBird is right, if mom isn't happy, no one will be happy. Your kids are still young, and the older they get the harder I imagine it will be to move. It's also nice that your partner is willing to entertain the idea of relocating and that his job has the flexibility for you to live elsewhere.  I really don't think its selfish for you to want to move. I can relate to your dilemma as I've been in a similar situation (not the same) the past 2.5 years. It's a tough call! But at the end of the day you do need to be happy with whatever your choice is. And whatever you decide, just be sure you can live with the decision. I made the mistake of just "going along" with what my partner was doing and not speaking up enough for what I needed until I couldn't take it anymore. I wanted to go back to school, but where we were living there was no program for me. Long story short - we moved, and now I'm starting a program this June and I couldn't be more excited! 

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#4 of 8 Old 04-12-2011, 04:57 PM
 
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I think it's OK to move to be happy, but my answer may be tainted by really hating LA. winky.gif

 

I think that your kids are so young that moving will be a minor blurb in their lives.

 

We've moved a ton for my DH's job (hence my screen name) and my concerns are these:

 

1. This is a really horrid time to try to sell a house. Really bad. Depending on where you live, you could take a HUGE hit, or even just have the thing on the market for years until it sinks you. This is huge.

 

2. Moving is expensive, and in your situation, you guys would be footing the whole bill and doing all the work.

 

3. Going back to somewhere you've lived before is odd. I've done it a couple of times. Relationships are different, and it's just ...odd. I'd be careful in your expectations so that you don't set yourself up for a big let down.

 

4. How happy we are is mostly about what is going on in our heads. If you have thought patterns of "if only I lived in the Bay Area, I'd be happy,"  I think it's possible that you won't be happy because you are in a thinking rut of "if only".

 

It is our ability to enjoy little things and focus on the positives that make us happy. It's true that some places make that easier than others. I find it easier to be happier in some places than others, even though being happy is mostly about my thought patterns.

 

It sounds like part of the reason you want to move is for your education and eventual career, and I'm not sure how that is "selfish."  I don't think that because we are wives and mothers, we have to live our entire life as a sacrifice. I think that doing things, even big things that impact our families, that feed our souls is a good thing. It's all about balance, of course, but I think most of us on Mothering tend to fall to the "too sacrificing" rather than to the "too selfish" side. What would a truly balanced life look like for you and your DH? What city would make that the most possible?


but everything has pros and cons  shrug.gif

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#5 of 8 Old 04-12-2011, 05:04 PM
 
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Oh my goodness get ye too the moving company and get ye gone! I totally understand where you are coming from. I lived in LA for five...long...years and I was never able to come to terms with it. I always felt like this massive stress just thinking about walking through my front door and having to deal with...everything...the people, the lifestyle, the smog, the completeness rudeness and the traffic, the traffic, the traffic. Ugg, I feel oppressed all over again just thinking about it.

So I used school and family as my excuses and dragged my DH to the Bay Area.

It was the best choice for both of us and I love, love, love being here. If you move you will have a support network and you will be able to share with your children all the stuff you loved and experienced as a child. And of course the traffic is NOTHING like LA. Nothing.
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#6 of 8 Old 04-12-2011, 07:55 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Linda, thanks for these very insightful concerns.  Let me see if I can get the formatting right to answer them.
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Linda on the move View Post

I think it's OK to move to be happy, but my answer may be tainted by really hating LA. winky.gif

 

I think that your kids are so young that moving will be a minor blurb in their lives.

 

We've moved a ton for my DH's job (hence my screen name) and my concerns are these:

 

1. This is a really horrid time to try to sell a house. Really bad. Depending on where you live, you could take a HUGE hit, or even just have the thing on the market for years until it sinks you. This is huge.

 

Our neighborhood is still in high demand and prices seem to be steady as we are in one of the few neighborhoods in the district with an excellent public school.  Also, we are not opposed to renting it out rather than selling.

 

2. Moving is expensive, and in your situation, you guys would be footing the whole bill and doing all the work.

 

Meh, everything costs money.  We'll survive, we have enough to cover the expenses.

 

3. Going back to somewhere you've lived before is odd. I've done it a couple of times. Relationships are different, and it's just ...odd. I'd be careful in your expectations so that you don't set yourself up for a big let down.

 

Yes, I do wonder about this.  We still spend a lot of time up there so I still have a foot in the door so to speak.  It wouldn't be like we're showing up out of nowhere.

 

4. How happy we are is mostly about what is going on in our heads. If you have thought patterns of "if only I lived in the Bay Area, I'd be happy,"  I think it's possible that you won't be happy because you are in a thinking rut of "if only".

 

Yes!  What happens if we move and I'm still stuck in my rut?  DH has been trying to convince me for ages that Los Angeles doesn't make me unhappy, but it's my general attitude.  But for those of you who have lived in L.A., you know how isolating it can be.  I've lived in lots of places and I've only had that sense of palpable loneliness here, even though I actually have lots of friends.  I do have people I can call up and hang out with and I do maintain a decently active social life.  But, it's this quality about L.A.  There is very little fluidity.  And the feng shui is definitely off.

 

 


 

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#7 of 8 Old 04-12-2011, 08:27 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chamomile Girl View Post

Oh my goodness get ye too the moving company and get ye gone! I totally understand where you are coming from. I lived in LA for five...long...years and I was never able to come to terms with it. I always felt like this massive stress just thinking about walking through my front door and having to deal with...everything...the people, the lifestyle, the smog, the completeness rudeness and the traffic, the traffic, the traffic. Ugg, I feel oppressed all over again just thinking about it.

So I used school and family as my excuses and dragged my DH to the Bay Area.

It was the best choice for both of us and I love, love, love being here. If you move you will have a support network and you will be able to share with your children all the stuff you loved and experienced as a child. And of course the traffic is NOTHING like LA. Nothing.


 

It really is a different thing, isn't it?  

 

A friend once described to me that living in New York City was like living on a massive cruise ship or in a really, really big college dorm.  Everyone has their own place to shower and sleep, but all the action happens everywhere else (which has its own ups and downs of course).  But living in L.A. is like living on your own tiny island and everyone else is on their own tiny island and you need to whether the stormy seas in your own tiny boats to meet up.  

 

I really have grown to love a lot about L.A.  There are many good qualities to this city, I don't want to bag on it at all.  So, I'm just trying to figure it all out.  

 

The other thing is that my DH travels so much.  I am alone all the time during the week.  Yes, I do schedule things with friends, but I can't even stress how helpful it would be to have grandma around to help out.  She is always down to babysit or pick up the kids or help out in anyway.  Just today I had to cancel all my plans because DD was sick.  If I had my mom around, she could easily step in and would be happy to do so.

 

The downside is that I do have some very, very dear friends I would miss tremendously if we left.  I have some friends I met when my oldest was a baby and those kids are almost like cousins to both of them.  

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#8 of 8 Old 04-12-2011, 09:51 PM
 
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It's tough to figure out.

 

But if I had to chose between the Bay Area and LA, I'd chose the Bay Area, and I don't know a soul there!  It just seems more habitable and life affirming.

 

(I really hate LA. I feel trapped there. In any normal city, you can get in your car and leave. In LA, you can get in your car and park on the freeway)

 

On the happiness front, what if you knew that you could find happiness in either place, and you just preferred one over the other?

 

Maybe make a list of things like:

 

I would prefer to live someplace where ___________________ because ____________________.

 

I doubt that moving is the key to happiness for anyone, but being close to family support, being able to go back to school, being where the air is breathable, etc can all add up to more happiness.


but everything has pros and cons  shrug.gif

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