So after months of frantic preparation, we’ve sold the house. I suppose you can’t say these things with total confidence until the keys are turned over, but someone’s made an offer and it’s been accepted. I haven’t nailed down a move-out date with the new owner yet, but I’m lobbying for May 1.
Everyone’s been asking me, for months, where I’m going to go after all this is over. I’ve been saying, probably I’ll stay in Washington, but really I don’t know. Who’s to say how I’ll feel when this is all over? A lot of people seem to have trouble believing that I could really be that vague about it, so I’ve been going along with plotting out which neighborhoods I should look in and that sort of thing. My sister points out to me that she’d be losing sleep over not knowing where she’ll end up, but I think this is one area where my road trip really helped me. If you don’t know where you’ll be tomorrow, not knowing where you’ll be this summer is no sweat.
But still, obviously now I have to start thinking about it more seriously. At this point it boils down to three options:
1) My original plan of staying in Washington. I like the place: it’s a handsome city, a nice place to be a pedestrian, and it’s relatively near my family. I haven’t had much chance to get attached to it though, because in my six months of living here I’ve been so busy with family stuff that I haven’t gotten out much. Eve and Lee and his wife have been very welcoming to me, but I’ve seen each of them maybe three times since I got here. So Washington is a bit of a default answer: I’ll stay here because it’s easiest, and so I can find out if I really like it.
2) Go back to L.A. It surprises me that I’m even thinking this, because a year ago I was so ready to leave. And truthfully, I don’t like L.A. as a city, and don’t much miss it. But I do miss the people I left behind there. I had a therapist I liked there, and as anyone who’s been in therapy knows, that’s nothing to take for granted. And I miss the church. Readers may recall that last fall I visited a few churches around here, but my heart wasn’t really in it, and I haven’t been to one since my grandmother died. That’s largely for theological reasons, but also I wonder if, despite everything, PMC has simply become my church. Like family, it’s just mine. Maybe there’s no getting around this.
3) Join the Peace Corps. Or if not specifically the Peace Corps, something like that. I think one reason I’m having trouble working up much enthusiasm for my future is that I had a definite mission when I came to D.C., and that mission is about to end. I like to feel that I am doing some good. Also, the road trip encouraged the wanderlust I already had, and I know that someday I’d like to travel outside the country — something I’ve done remarkably little of in my life, given my card-carrying membership in America’s cosmopolitan coastal class.
This option might be more appealing, though, if I were making this decision farther down the road. Truth be told, I’m amazed that we’ve sold the house this fast, so I was expecting to have a quiet stretch before having to move again. And after ten months of putting my life through continuous upheaval, I sure could use a quiet stretch.
I expect that what I’ll end up doing, assuming I have until May 1, is visiting L.A., seeing how it feels, settling either there or in Washington, and entertaining the Peace Corps idea later. In the meantime, I hope to have more time for blogging. I appreciate you, the few and faithful, for bearing with me!