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Since it was Thanksgiving yesterday and I had the holiday spirits* I figured I’d write a quick Five Things on something I’m happy about. Unfortunately, I’m a snarky little cuss so I’m going to be thankful for moving the fuck out of the South. Enjoy.

1. The weather

Yes, the Pacific Northwest is rainy and chilly, but you know what that beats? Nine months of 90-plus degree weather and 80 percent humidity. Seriously, people who say shit like, oh, I’d just looooove it to be summer all the time” need to visit central Florida in August and go about a normal day. You know, commute in work clothes (I was a cyclist, it sucked) in the insufferable heat punctuated by brief, unpredictable, hot thunderstorms and the period after the thunderstorm which can only be described as swampy. Walk outside to get your lunch and immediately start to sweat. Start feeling sick because every time you leave the overly-air-conditioned indoors you sweat, only to freeze once you’ve walked inside. Ruin every single light colored t-shirt you own with horrific pit-stains, in spite of the fact that you wear industrial strength deodorant. Roast every time you get into your car, because the temperature climbs to over 120 inside, even in the shade, every day between March and November. Sit in 85 degree heat in your house while paying $400 per month on your electricity because your air conditioner sucks and your landlord won’t replace it. I can keep going here, people. Newsflash: when you’re not at the beach or the pool all day, high heat and humidity absolutely suck. And before everyone starts telling me I haven’t seen snow yet, I’m not an idiot. I moved to a place where it snows like four days a year, not fucking Chicago. I like rain, I like the cold, but I’m not a dumbass and I didn’t have to grow up with it to know shoveling snow sucks and that -5 degrees without the windchill factored in is just as awful as 100 or more.

2. It’s so pretty

I love fir trees. People here actually like to have lots of trees around them. I live on a tree-lined street in the middle of a city. The trees change colors in autumn! There are mountains! Excuse me, but I think I need to stop this particular line of reasoning because I’m starting to freak out about the beauty of it all. Suffice to say: absolutely gorgeously gorgeous. But no gorges. Come on, you knew that was coming.

3. My job

Yes, it’s temporary. Yes, it’s retail. Yes, I’m probably fucking up royally as I have zero retail experience. But I’m enjoying it more than I liked my ludicrously high-paying desk job that killed my soul.** I’d rather do something that is fun and makes the day pass quickly than sit at a desk and beat my head against a wall in the name of a career path any day. Hopefully one day I’ll have a desk job that I like similarly (I’ve had one before, it was amazing and right up my alley), but for now, with the economy as it is, I’m glad I’m doing something that I actually don’t mind doing each day even if it’s a stop-gap measure. Plus, having a thirty second commute is blissful.

But seriously, I hope I haven’t rung too many things up incorrectly. What a bitch that will be come holiday returns – I’d be immediately banned from the store.

4. What it’s done to my relationship

R. and I have been together for a very long time. We never got married, and even though we’ve lived together for a long time we moved in at a young enough age that we were still very much in the college-relationship stage of things for a while after even that step. The past few years, we’ve planned an international adventure, moved cross country, merged bank accounts and just generally grown as a couple. It’s sucked hard at times, and we’ve both been close to throwing the towel in but really: a move, a month-long trip to a continent we’d never been to, a sudden death in the immediate family, being jobless together, and completely giving up on the path we’d been set on in the space of about a year and a half, plus a bunch of other shit I won’t even get into? Show me the relationship that won’t test. We’re better even now for it, and will hopefully, like fine wine, continue to get better as years go by. Most of the growth and the decisions were spurred by the decision that we needed to move. So, I’m glad about that, as tough as some moments have been. Plus, you know, sex in hotel rooms is always fun.

5. Distance

I love my family, very much. I have fond memories of my childhood. This does not mean I have any desire to ever live in or near the town I grew up in, ever again. (Jesus Christ, what a depressing thought.) It does not mean I need to see my family every few days to maintain a meaningful connection with them. It does not mean that I don’t think I’m better off somewhere else. I’ve had quite a few people raise eyebrows at me – telling me I’d miss my family, the place I grew up, that “things would be different,” etc. And yes, I’ve missed my family. I’ve missed the familiarity of the places I knew. I know things are different now. But more than that, I am very happy. I returned to my hometown and the town I went to college in a few weeks ago. I wasn’t sad to leave. I honestly had no pangs of regret about moving or any wish I could stay. It’s a place I visit now, and I will visit, but in truth I’d mentally moved on years and years before physically moving. My body has caught up with my brain, and that’s a good thing. I feel a little more together, for lack of a better phrase, because part of my brain isn’t constantly thinking about how much I hate my surroundings and how much I’d like to move on. And that makes the move worth the trials, the planning, and all the uncertainty I faced then and now. So, in short, I’m still really, really glad I had the balls to move.

Thanks to everyone who has been reading – I appreciate it. Hope your Thanksgiving was as wonderful and food-filled as mine, whether you were flying solo or at a fifty-person gathering. Enjoy Black Friday, however you do it. I totally managed to not be scheduled to work today, so I’m going to hole up and pretend the mass-consumer madness isn’t happening.

* Gin, rum, and port, if you were wondering. Still coherent, though!

** The job is what killed my soul, not any of the people I worked with or for. They were amazing – the work was just really not for me.