This is one of those stories where I could start by saying; “If you’d told me a year ago that I’d be leaving California and would move to Georgia I’d say you were crazy!”
As one of life’s little ironies, I see that my long ago prior post was written just after we’d moved. As the title reveals, we moved again. Though not at all the intent when we bought our second California home just a little over two years ago, many things played into this momentous (and believe me, it was momentous!) decision. I’ll be writing about some of them in upcoming posts.
Here’s a little backstory. Over the course of many years, the hubby and I have done some serious research on many states in an effort to answer the question; “Was there any other area in any other state that we would like as much as the area we lived in, in our home state of California?” When we thought about it and looked into numerous states the answer always came back “No.” There were many reasons this was the case; schools, housing, weather, cost of living, crime, trees and lifestyle. When you factor all those things in, it seemed that every state we considered always fell short and a move didn't make sense. If we found a beautiful area with trees and great schools we’d find the cost of living was even higher than where we already lived. If we found a great area for low crime, good schools and a lower cost of living, it would be under a blanket of snow for months. Although there were things we didn’t like in California, (the high cost of living being one of them) we’d always come to the conclusion that there just wasn’t another place we felt we’d be as happy overall. We still continued the search though since without any local (or even within a few hours driving distance) family members on either side for us, we realized there was really nothing holding us in California if we could in fact find some place we liked as well.
Flashback to last summer. I was having a coffee date with one of my favorite mommy friends when we had a discussion about various states in the country and I shared with her the above sentiments. She said; “What about Georgia?” My first thought was pretty much; “I don’t think so.” All the stereotypical things you might think of (particularly if you've never been here) when you think of “the South” were going through my mind and I just couldn’t imagine it. As we talked, she shared with me the aspects of the suburban areas north of Atlanta from having visited family members who moved here (also from CA) who love it. It sounded an awful lot like where we were living. It was really sounding like it had all the things that were important to us and with a lower cost of living, which is the biggest negative of living in any of the nice areas of California. The humidity issue came up, but the more I thought about it, the more I realized that we hardly had ideal summer weather where we were either. There were many days of triple digits and frankly, hot and miserable is hot and miserable, the air conditioning cools you the same and you stay in.
I couldn’t wait for the hubby to get home from work that day so I could tell him all about what I’d learned and share with him the homes I’d already looked at online. Within a few weeks, the hubby and I were on a plane to Atlanta, Georgia. The story goes, I knew before the plane hit the ground. As I looked out over the green land below me I was overcome with emotion and absolutely knew it was meant to be home. The time we spent looking around the area, seeing various homes with a realtor and realizing what our life could be like in this state cemented this in my mind.
Our California home hit the market 6 weeks later and the only reason it wasn't sooner was because we had to fix up a few things first. The Real estate process was all the usual drama and stress you’d expect when selling a home. It took a while and we had a few offers and a couple cancellations before finally selling. The months involved in this process allowed us to research even further our decision to make this move. It got to the point that when we rehashed all the reasons regarding both why we wanted to leave California and why we wanted to move to Georgia that when it came down to it, the “test question” was; “Would we still make the move if we were to, say, win the lottery and have all the money in the world to afford a higher cost of living and all the expenses related to remaining in our home state?” The answer was a resounding “Yes.” That coupled with no family to get together with was enough for us to realize there were no longer enough reasons to remain in California and to feel assured that this was absolutely the right decision. And here’s where life is so ironic; when we think about the various matters that led to this decision, (and you could definitely say many were negative), it really turns out in the end that those things were actually “blessings in disguise” because they led us to a decision that we otherwise would not have made. Sometimes the things in life that bring us down; finances, disconnected and disinterested family members and various other circumstances, while certainly negative at the time, can actually be occurring for a greater purpose and one that ultimately brings about very positive changes. Sometimes when we don’t have the things we want, we get the things we never even knew we wanted. This is exactly what we feel happened. And I am both amused and delighted by that irony.