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25 April 2005 @ 01:06 pm
The weekend  

First of all, I flew without having a panic attack. I believe that was in my list of things I couldn't imagine doing. I did it. Not without anxiety; there was definitely some erkness, but it didn't get out of hand. So good.

My flight was delayed, so I didn't get into Orlando till 2 am. Went home, went to bed, couldn't sleep. I was still having anxiety, so I took some drugs at 5 am, and sleep was forthcoming.

11 am. Mom wakes me up to tell me the realtor called about the house I'd flown down to see. The owner had promised to give me a chance to see it on Saturday. Nevertheless, she signed a contract with someone else Friday night. $#!@#$)!$#@$#@@%.

Parents went to church. I stayed home, called Rob, and cried. Then I went to the Internet to find new houses to look at, because I'd be fucked if I was going to waste the trip. We went to lunch (I had pad Thai for the first time ever, and it was delicious. I wanted to tell everyone at the table that Ryan ordered pad Thai on the OC, because I'd just rewatched that episode, but I restrained myself.)

After lunch we went to see the house anyway, because fuck her, we had an appointment. The house was very nice. I was very pissed off at this woman. I mean jeez, if she'd given me a chance, I would've bid up some. I'm used to that; it's how we do things in the DC, bitch. Gah.

We went to Sanford to look at more houses. Sanford is not downtown. It's a smaller town about half an hour to 45 minutes from downtown. On the busline, but the bus, it is sloooooow. But the town is so very cute-- wide streets, some of them brick-paved, little parks everywhere, giant old live oak trees, and mostly Victorian and Craftsman houses. I've looked there before but haven't found anything I loved.

We checked out the two houses available. Both needed serious work. We drove by a house that had a "For Sale" sign, hand-lettered phone numbers. I called. They let us look.

Wow. LOVE.

It's a 1910 Victorian, fully restored. They ripped everything down to the outer walls, and rebuilt the inside. Nice big kitchen, big dining room, guest room, full bath, and living room on the first floor. Another bedroom with bath on the second floor, a master suite with GORGEOUS bathroom, and a landing big enough to be an office. What I love is that it's redone with period-specific decor. It's not one of those vinyl-siding pseudo-Victorians that's all modern inside. This looks Victorian, only better.

Not a lot of storage. We could build a one-car garage. We'd have to. There's no attic storage, and no basement. Because you can't have basements in Central Florida.

Small back yard. Small front yard. No room to grow much. Lovely back porch. Gorgeous wraparound front porch. The house is painted with Victorian accent colors, but the main color is light brown. That should be amended at some point.

I put in an offer. We'll hear today how they take it.

This has precipitated a crisis. Because when we originally planned to move to Florida, we wanted to get some acreage. And right now, that's not happening. (I checked out that 23 acre plot. Needs way too much clearing, and is so very far away. We don't have the money or time to put into it right now.)

Rob and I talked last night. Our overall goal is to do work that has tangible meaning for us. That was going to be organic gardening down the road. Or oil crop growing. Or biodiesel manufacturing. We'd planned to wait, save up a bunch of money, and buy our farm. We've gotten away from that idea, and looking back, it's not the most practical of ideas.

So we move to Florida. Why? If we sell our house here, we can buy the house down there and have a lower mortgage, plus a far nicer house in a lovely neighborhood. But we're not just doing this to have a nicer house. Will moving to Florida further our life goal of meaningful work? If we stayed in DC, would we be able to find meaningful work?

Pros of moving:
Much nicer house
Rob will probably make more money
I may or may not make more money, but I will at least be out of the law firm system
We will still be able to save quite a lot, due to lower mortgage (well under $200,000 after down payment)
Appropriate land may come on the market down the line
We will no longer live on a primary terrorist target
We will be able to get involved with the Democratic party in a swing state, hopefully helping the state go blue

Cons of moving:
We have one set of friends who live over an hour away. No other fandom or freak friends.
We don't know what jobs we'll get, or when. (Note that we'll still have enough $ to live for a few months while we look.)
Public transit is much less convenient. We'll have to drive places.
Most bands we like don't tour down there.
Swing state means there are lots of reds down there. We'll have to put up with the red attitude.

Basically, we don't know if this move will solve what's wrong in our lives. All other considerations (house, money, etc.) are secondary. We do plan on getting involved in the biodiesel community down there, but then again, there's one up here we can join.

We don't want to move and find that the emptiness has followed us there. We want to be enthusiastic about our jobs, and feel like the work we do makes a difference. We also want friends we can relate to, and there's no guarantee we can find them down there like we have them up here. On the other hand, we don't really see our friends up here all that often-- maybe a few times a year. Still, with them I can be myself, the self I've grown into, rather than hiding so much about myself like I have to do with my family and the people I grew up with.

I feel like if we don't go, we'll never break out of our rut. But what if the rut is within us, and moving down there isn't enough to jar us out?

We could move back in a few years if it doesn't work out. But we won't be able to buy a house again, not in the DC area. We could in Baltimore, perhaps.

I'm calling for advice. Who can tell me what to do to gain eternal happiness? :)

[UPDATE: Our offer has been presented. They are concerned because my ideal closing date is end of August. Realtor is calling now to tell them we'll close sooner if they accept our offered price. More to come.]
I feel: Torn
I can hear: Hanson- "Underneath"
LLL's Heartfelt Wish: Beautymuse_neko on April 25th, 2005 10:56 am (UTC)
Comments before the advice ^^:

Freak friends will travel. Heh!

"Most bands we like don't tour down there."

ROTFL!! This is a terrific con. ^___~

Okay, the advice:

I think you should do it. As you say, sometimes the best way to break out of a rut is a change of scenery. You've thought about this move for a while now and it's something you real want. So go for it. Life shouldn't be a series of "if onlys." As for the farmland, give it time. You have plenty of time ahead of you to fulfill all your goals in life. No need to rush. It's better to plan and achieve than wish and dream. *oo, that was good! ^^* If you can't get the land right away, sock the mortage savings into an interest bearing account and plan for it in 5 years, or whatever it takes. Don't give up on your goals. Those that do only have regrets.
Elletheletterelle on April 25th, 2005 11:54 am (UTC)
I'm not sure about the traveling thing. People *say* they'll come visit, but I'm not optimistic. *sighs* I guess if they don't, we're not as close as I think, huh?

And you're right, we can do the land a few years down the road. And in the meantime... pretty, cheap house. :)
LLL's Heartfelt Wish: Beautymuse_neko on April 25th, 2005 12:05 pm (UTC)
I guess if they don't, we're not as close as I think, huh?

True. And bloody hell! It's Orlando. Who wouldn't want to visit?! ^__~
Jen: kierajengkierajeng on April 25th, 2005 12:36 pm (UTC)
You know I'll visit. Hey, I'm willing to spur-of-the-moment roadtrip. *g* Planned trip? You bet.
Jen: Faire texturekierajeng on April 25th, 2005 12:38 pm (UTC)
The house sounds beautiful (pics? *hopeful eyes*). And I second the thought that you can always buy land later, when something right turns up.

This house turned up just when you needed it--so will the land. :)
Elletheletterelle on April 25th, 2005 12:50 pm (UTC)
Re: PS
There are pics, but they're on a camera with actual film, and I have to take another 13 pictures before I can develop it. Hmm. Maybe we'll do a Saffie photo shoot tonight. :)
Dana: chris million miles awaythirdsouthobbi on April 25th, 2005 01:49 pm (UTC)
People *say* they'll come visit, but I'm not optimistic. *sighs* I guess if they don't, we're not as close as I think, huh?

I'm hoping to go back to Orlando for another CP... *hugs tight*
Elle: Kiss me!theletterelle on April 25th, 2005 01:59 pm (UTC)
If you do, you HAVE to come hang out with us. :)
Dana: hello (i_cracked)thirdsouthobbi on April 25th, 2005 02:40 pm (UTC)
Of course :) *hugs tightly* I have NO clue when it would be, though. Probably not for at least another two years.
rednikki on April 25th, 2005 02:17 pm (UTC)
People never came to visit me in Atlanta (except my then-boyfriend, and that's because I paid). I've learned over my many, many years of moving around that people not visiting doesn't mean they don't love me. Some people are far more resistant to travel than other people are, sometimes it's not in the budget (heck, right now we can't afford to drive to San Francisco, and we have free places to stay), and sometimes people's lives are just too busy.
Drowned Girl Fuschia: Violet simple; icon by snidgetyfuschia on April 25th, 2005 11:43 am (UTC)
Good for you for doing all of that this weekend -- personally, I think the house sounds lovely. I love houses from that era myself.

My thought is: do it. Move. As long as you're aware going in (and I think that you are) that the move will not be a panacea, then I think only good can come of it.

Having done a move for somewhat similar reasons, I can say that you need to be prepared that you'll still need to process the emotions and motivations and needs that inspired the move to begin with, but you'll be moving forward, which will feel so good.




PS Um...unrelated to the seriousness, do you have logs of the Russell/Ben interaction from your game that you were telling me about? I so want to read that...
Elletheletterelle on April 25th, 2005 11:49 am (UTC)
Game? I'm in no game. You must be thinking of remyheart. It's easy to get us confused. :)
Drowned Girl Fuschia: bella unforgiveablefuschia on April 25th, 2005 12:39 pm (UTC)
Oops! Sorry.
remyheart: Gay Marriage Formula by Kimiworemyheart on April 25th, 2005 12:43 pm (UTC)
I saw this, and I sent you the links. :) Damn, that was a fun scene.
fallencrowe on April 25th, 2005 03:10 pm (UTC)
...?! Now I'm all curious which scene(s). (I can pounce you on AIM :D )
remyheartremyheart on April 25th, 2005 04:08 pm (UTC)

fallencrowe on April 25th, 2005 05:11 pm (UTC)
Oooooo. um yes. mmm hmm. B)

R: Oh right, the BEGINNING OF THE END...
High-velocity pie of deathnixieq on April 25th, 2005 11:49 am (UTC)
i second the above comment. go for it -- the move could do you good, and get you away from a LOT of stressors. you could save up quite a bit of money, sounds like, which will only help you to achieve your goals in the long run. something obviously has to change in your lives, and this sounds like a good start. you're financially stable enough to be able to afford to look for jobs, and even though the job market still sucks, it's coming back a bit. you're both smart and capable, so i'm sure you'll be able to find something. also, if you do work in orlando, you're more likely to find freak-friendly places than in rural florida. there's a decently-sized goth scene down there, although it's lacking the industrial-angry-punkitude of DC. still, freaks. clubs. music. (they do get SOME bands down there; i saw VNV in orlando when i was living down there.)

anyway, yeah, go for it. what's the worst that can happen? you'll have shaken up your lives and reorganized everything, which (as far as i'm concerned) can only help, as it'll help you to see things from a different perspective.

good luck with the decision. but hey, you're doing fine, you know? and congrats on the minimally freaked-out flying. >:D
Elle: I am desperately seeking helptheletterelle on April 25th, 2005 11:52 am (UTC)
Hey, that's right, you were down there for a while. What clubs did you go to in Orlando? I'm more of an ethereal sp00ky goth myself, so I'm not wedded to the punkitude. :)

I went to the Castle in Tampa once, which blew me away. It's like a goth club in a movie.
High-velocity pie of deathnixieq on April 25th, 2005 12:01 pm (UTC)
the castle kicks MAJOR ass. i went there once, as well. wow.

i believe the club i went to in orlando was called club barbarella. i'll have to check.

High-velocity pie of deathnixieq on April 25th, 2005 12:05 pm (UTC)
here we go. apparently it's considered a punk club, but i think they had (possibly still have?) regular goth nights.

Best punk club: Barbarella, 70 N. Orange Ave., 407-839-0457
Runners-up: Sapphire, 54 N. Orange Ave., 407-246-1419; Wil's Loch Haven Pub, 1850 N. Mills Ave., 407-898-5070

(from a local newspaper.)
Elle: Let me make you bleedtheletterelle on April 25th, 2005 12:20 pm (UTC)
Hmm. Guess I better hang onto the goth drag. :) How did they dress? Up or down? Were people friendly? What music did they play?
High-velocity pie of deathnixieq on April 25th, 2005 12:42 pm (UTC)
mostly dressed up, although who knows whether that was specific to the show or not. people seemed aloof, but bear in mind that it was the one & only time i've ever been there, and i wasn't exactly dressed "goth", and julie & i were chortling behind our hands at their dancing and being generally catty (although trying to be quiet about it). so we weren't exactly trying to chat people up.

as for music, i honestly don't remember. mostly i was irritated because we'd driven the 2 hours to orlando specifically to see VNV, gotten there around 10 or 10:30, and discovered that they weren't going on until after midnight. we were able to stay for exactly 2 1/2 songs before i had to drag julie away and drive back to englewood so i could throw my paper route. *grumble mutter*
Dana: no giving upthirdsouthobbi on April 25th, 2005 01:55 pm (UTC)
Orlando does get some bands... I know that while I was down there, Crossfade, Evanescence, Breaking Benjamin, Godsmack, Korn, Seether, Three Days Grace, Sevendust, Shinedown, Saliva, Future Leaders of the World, Chevelle, Nonpoint, Hoobastank, and a few others that I don't remember right now came through.

Of course, you may not like them :) *hugs* Crossfade goes through there a lot, though. I really think you'd like them.

*hugs tight* I'm glad the weekend went pretty well, though.
rednikki on April 25th, 2005 02:15 pm (UTC)
From someone who has done it...
I feel like if we don't go, we'll never break out of our rut. But what if the rut is within us, and moving down there isn't enough to jar us out?

I've moved several times to break out of a rut. (In fact, that was the specific reason I moved to Atlanta.) It didn't work. In fact, it was pretty much the opposite of working. The only times moving has broken me out of a rut (moving to DC, moving to Boston, moving to LA) has been when there has been a specific goal in mind. (I moved to DC so I could be near friends, I moved to Boston to go back to school, I moved to LA to get involved with the TV industry.)

My husband moved out here to California to break out of a rut. Between you and me, it's not working out so well for him. (It's GREAT for me, but my reasons were different than his.)

That actually applied when moving around the DC area, too. I moved to Arlington, VA from Chevy Chase to be closer to my friends, and that was effective. I moved into a shared apartment for a change of scene, and boy, did that turn out to be a fiscally and mentally destructive idea until Rob moved in. I moved to Alexandria for the same reason, which turned out to be one of my WORST decisions ever.

So I guess what I'm saying is, ask yourself, "Does this move me closer to my goal?" If it doesn't, it's time to rethink.
Elle: Listening to Godtheletterelle on April 26th, 2005 08:00 am (UTC)
Re: From someone who has done it...
Fantastic advice. Thank you so much.

I've thought a lot about it yesterday and today, and I talked to Rob this morning. I think it does move us closer to the goal. Because of the opportunity to save money and live in an appreciating area, we'll be more financially secure. And there are opportunities for us to make a difference politically. AND, for the ultimate goal of building a solar-run house and having land and gardening-- that's just far more possible in Florida than in DC.

So I think it's a good move. And I'm glad you brought it up and made me think.
And The Clocks Were Striking Thirteen: Squee!_redpanda_ on April 25th, 2005 03:12 pm (UTC)
*SQUEEZES* I'm so, so, SO rooting for you here. (sorry so short, back to work now, augh!)