I've been avoiding my blog and the phone because I'm not sure what to say about our Portland trip. On the one hand, it was fun to get away together and explore a new city. It was GREAT to see OTRmama and her daughter (we became friends in preschool and were the reason our Moms became friends). We had three days of sun and only one day of rain (but it was good to get a 'realistic' sense of what Portland feels like in the rain).
Overall? Not a home run. I was really hoping for a mutual "Yes!" and neither of us got it. I know I could make Portland work, but then, gray weather doesn't affect me. Being in a whole city of liberal white people would just feel like being back on my college campus. The small town feel with access to nearby mountains and hiking also reminded me of college life. Housing was much more expensive than we'd anticipated (lessening the 'bang for the buck' we like to have), but much better than San Francisco.
I think that what I'm resisting is this underlying sense (dread?) that Dallas might be where we're 'meant' to be next. I'm so enchanted by the idea of being so close to OTR mama/daughter and my immediate family, who all live in Seattle, that it's been hard to listen to that still, persistent voice underneath it all.
Today I lunched with Artistic Scientist. She grew up in South Texas but is as 'crunchy', artsy, Christian and progressive as I am (we bonded through a love of a local farmers' market). I asked her to give me the scoop on Dallas. Could she see me there? Her evaluation is that if she wasn't in Austin, she could move to Dallas, "It's metropolitan, has great art exhibits and a bustling downtown. For Texas, it's progressive: they have a light rail, bike paths and an 'out' gay community. I think you could find people you'd enjoy. Honestly, people in Texas are much friendlier than people in Silicon Valley. Sure sometimes it can feel like fake Southern friendly, but most of the time it's very genuine. I think you could be happy there and I'm not just saying that."
I'm nervous that we're going to reach a point where I really want Portland and Jrex really wants Dallas. How do you choose? Who 'wins'? My prayer has been that if it's supposed to be Dallas, I would fall in love when we go in December; if Portland, that Jrex would be changed. I dread having to make a decision where one of us would have to face dreadful loss and be bitter with the other. I really am praying that we'll have one mind about this before we move. I have told Jrex that if we end up in Dallas, I'd love part of the deal to be that I don't get grief for flying places to visit my family or to go meet my climbing buddies...
Yikes! This is high stakes.