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.
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.]