The recurring theme in my life lately has been me walking out of work, a store or whatever, and smiling because I'm stepping into the sun and not wearing a jacket. I'm not getting used to it, because it feels awesome every time. I also think it's because there's a certain validation that goes with it. We made up our minds we would move here, did so with a certain amount of risk, and made it happen.
If you go back and read my blog posts from the fall of 2011, you might find similar enthusiasm about moving back to Cleveland. Well, it was tempered enthusiasm. I still remember saying that all of the things we didn't like about Cleveland we still wouldn't like, but hey, at least we wouldn't be paying for two places to live.
The part that keeps creeping into my head, however, is just how shitty that first month back really was. I was never mentally committed to thinking the job I scored from 2,500 miles away was going to be the best ever, but walking around the crappy part of downtown Cleveland, having nothing to do at the job, and being told I had to be there 9 to 5:30 to do nothing was not exactly cool. Even though I had an interview elsewhere on the very day they told me it "wasn't working out," I still felt like I made a colossal mistake.
I had been in Cleveland for about five weeks when my Humana interview was scheduled, and getting the job there was a slam dunk. As it turns out, 2012 was actually a pretty awesome year in some ways. Working remote was great, and while Humana was not ideal, there were some really critical personal achievements and skill sharpening going on there.
I still wonder what would have happened if we stayed in Seattle. Certainly I wouldn't be missing my friends from there to this day. I don't think I would have stayed at Microsoft, but I definitely could see going back, especially now as the company is starting to find its mojo again, and is little by little casting aside the things that get in the way. Certainly my house would have sold eventually, but we would likely be renters for a very, very long time.
So there is still a little regret about that move. Seattle is awesome, and I do miss it. What eases the regret is that we did bank a lot and reach a financially stable place, and that move is what ultimately got us to Orlando, where frankly we're building a pretty happy life.
As I've said before, I'm not usually one to feel regret. It's a toxic emotion that doesn't serve anyone. I don't regret my first marriage, or anything else. Even the suboptimal parts of life can serve as something that ultimately helps you grow as a person. But that SEA to CLE move... not a great choice. It almost qualifies as a bona fide regret.