There is always another door, and greener grass, and a different path
Your sentence "...if I worked hard enough and long enough, I'd get paid in dreams." Beautiful. Everything you wrote rang true to my core. I felt the very same during the 30 years I was in the Bay Area, which did NOT love me back after the dot-com invasion. We couldn't hold on, despite our history there, our hard work, our supportive community. I'm asked the same thing about our "new life" in Vermont, and while it's not a country away, it's a different world here, a starting over in mid-life. Thank you, as always, for your beautifully resonant words, your honesty, your thoughtful insights.
As always, you captured the thoughts I’ve been pondering. (And we loved Porto as well!)
“We’re here now, and that’s good enough. It doesn’t need to be forever.”
Before we made the leap, I found myself describing the decision to other people as embarking on an adventure. Now sometimes I need to force myself to remember to frame it that way to myself to help me feel brave and, well, adventurous.
Nothing is forever, and I can just keep trying to enjoy the adventure.
Your post basically spoke my story on so many levels. I grew up in Central California dreaming of living in Manhattan. It took 25 years and living in three other big cities to finally arrive in NYC. It was the very first time I didn’t long to go anywhere.
It was my forever city until ten years later when I found myself married and my priorities shifting elsewhere. So we up and moved to Philadelphia. Now six years later, we are preparing our move to Porto (sorry you didn’t get to experience before now).
I’d like to think this move is forever... But it’s probably not.
Thanks for sharing your story.
It is always beautiful to read your words. Thank you for sharing your thoughts and your writing with us. Being portuguese and having (as a people) a completely different sense of distances - and also a completely different culture of "settling in another place" - I do admire very much all those who dare to change. I really do. Moreover, those who dare to change to somewhere totally new and "unknown" for other than plain economic reasons - for the reasons that are, ultimately, the most important ones. Now, on falling in love with other places, cities, towns, environments... than the one we live in, we - portuguese - suffer from the same "disease": "I could live here", we say, when we travel inside our little country (islands included). "I like it here very much, this meets my expectations", we say, when away on a few days on holiday. And then, we just go back home, and we just remain where we have settled, where our roots are, where our family is (yes, we have a whole different approach on the place we live and to the ties - or knots - that keep us in a specific place). What may be interesting - and that's what is really important - is how easy and doable it is to go back to a place we love, again and again and again. I love Porto too. I love Braga much, much more - in fact, all the Minho region. My father was born in that area (in the Gerês mountains). We still have family there. So we go back again and again and again, for years. It is easy, it is wonderful to be able to do it. At the end of each "visit", we just go back home. And it's ok. And we go back with a smile.
I just love to read your stories. They give me the feeling we are chatting over a cup of coffee somewhere, in fact, that would be lovely. I do miss Setúbal and the frieds I made there. I am happy you have adjusted well. Hugs. Ro
So beautifully written (as always) LaDonna. I too am afraid to go north for the same reasons; I find myself longing for richer forests, ocean waves, waterfalls, and a cooler climate. But I'm not ready, not willing, to leave the wonderful community and sense of belonging I have here. This post was exactly what I needed right now, thank you.
Fantastic post - especially as we negotiate to buy a house on an island where we swore we would never move! We wish you the best in your love affair with all the different personalities of Portugal.
“But I will not make the mistake I’ve made before and try to close my fist to contain this place, this moment. I will hold it loosely and gladly, and treasure the joy of now.
Forever is just a figment.
Blink, and it’s gone.”
Oh thank you for this entire post! My dreams and “forever” hopes took me from Pennsylvania to Oregon and then from Oregon to Spain, and now I’m settled in Portugal, forever?! I hope so, but I am holding all of life loosely these days.
Beautifully written, and love the tile photos!!
After a lifetime of military moves ("brat" and active duty and "retired" (early) at age 37), I found my home-of-the-heart when I first beheld the Monterey Peninsula decades ago, in1984... unfortunately economics forced me to leave for the Bay Area in 1999... the dot-com demise forced me to the East Coast in 2001... and I've never been able to afford to move back home. Still looking for an affordable west coast/best coast where I can walk the beach at sunset. Three more years of fiscal captivity till my adopted late in life kids graduate college, and I can once again find my place by the sea.... outside the USA. Thanks for a very thought-provoking post!
Holding life lightly... still love your words. Thank you.
Great pix, the wisdom of time is never say never; forever is a netherworld
Loved this post. I’m discovering Saint Paul after living here for 25 years. It is a beautiful city with mostly beautiful people. Twenty five years ago I wanted to live in Minneapolis by Lake Harriet but we settled in Saint Paul by the mighty Mississippi which Roger loved immediately and I have grown to love as well. Roger ran to the river for 24 years until he set out to run in January and his knee said no. The knee surgery is scheduled for November 1st.