In a few hours I’ll be heading out to Seattle, which is weird considering up until January I’d only been once in my life despite living 170 miles away for a huge chunk of my life. And just for a long weekend, which I now slightly regret booking on a semi-whim. If you’re going to fly 6+ hours, you need at least four nights (and I can’t figure out why 6 looked good but four seemed appropriate in the same sentence–I’ve always struggled with copy-editing and consistency despite being a stickler about so many other things) but I was concerned about work and shirking. What I really need is six solid months off. I’m trying to figure that one out. Anyway, the only way to have a long distance relationship is to see each other in person every so often, hence Seattle, as a getaway for both parties.

I’m not sure I’ve stated this definitively in any other forum, but it’s fairly (haha, that doesn’t sound very definitive) likely that I will move back to Portland within 2-3 years. Saying it aloud (ok, typing in a Google doc) makes it seem more so. It’s also relaxing to have a vision, even if shaky. (I had never noticed what an insane planner I am, i.e. J on the stupid Meyers-Briggs. I just can’t chill out without solidity and tangible answers. It’s noticeable especially since 90% of my friends and loved ones are total last-minute,  see-what-comes P’s.) In a little over two years I will be have been in NYC 20 years. That’s pretty substantial. I just wish I could sublet my apartment, not as an escape route but because prices have already risen in the year and a half I’ve lived in Queens. It’s the only investment I’ve ever made.

The 20-year mark is arbitrary and circumstantial, by the way, even though I love tidiness. I’m not sure that I would’ve stayed in NYC this long at all if it were completely up to me. It recently occurred to me that 14 of my 18 years here were in a relationship with the same person, so I’ve experienced NYC is a really specific way (um, with dishwashers, washer and dryers, and cars). It’s possible that I’ve overstayed. I do that. With relationships. With jobs. I never used to. For a while I was going crazy about losing my 30s. That’s not really true at all. A lot of necessary stuff happened in ten years. It’s good melodrama, though.

I recall as long ago as 2003, thinking about moving to the Bay Area. This was before James and I moved in together and I finished grad school. That would’ve been a totally different direction. I actually don’t like the Bay Area that much, though, despite thinking I should have some natural affinity since I was born there. It feels dank and heavy.

I wanted to move to another country for years, even if temporary, when my job still allowed remote work from anywhere and I was in in a relationship with someone whose company had offices in Hong Kong and Singapore. (London, Budapest, and Monterrey too, but I was less interested in living those places, though still wish I got to visit that part of Mexico because even though it’s kind of dangerous it’s also where a lot of American chains locate–I’d risk kidnapping to try a south-of-the-border P.F. Chang’s.)

Anyway, I’m not losing my 40s even though the first few years whipped by at an alarming rate. (I should probably stop watching so much TV and sleeping until 8:30am on weekdays. Unrelated: I haven’t had a single recreational cigarette in over a month so maybe that will bolster my longevity and focus. I do love smoking on vacations, though, so this weekend will be a test.) A plan is forming. Action will be taken. 2018? I can handle it.