Friday, February 7, 2014

the why


Ever since Gregory and I started to tell people about our move, the number one question we've been asked is, "why?"

"Why are you leaving France?"

"Why Massachusetts?"

"Why not go back to Dublin?"

"Why aren't you staying in Texas?"

And I get it, people are curious. Heaven knows if one of my friends dropped a bombshell like that on me I'd be all up in their kool-aid, questions coming out of me a mile a minute. So I thought I'd do my best to answer right here (this way the next time somebody asks me I can direct them to w w w dot Sara in Le Petit Village dot com). 

Warning: Things are about to get real. 

From the time I first moved to France, Gregory and I haven't felt settled. It's not that we don't love living in Provence, trust me, we do, it's just that we haven't felt like it's where we were meant to be. That's one of the reasons we left the original Le Petit Village, we were trying to burrow down and find a comfy spot, but alas, the new Le Petit Village wasn't it (sooooo not it).  We wanted to blossom and grow and with everyday that passed, we knew more and more that in order for us to do that, we had to move, like really move. 

We toyed with the idea of moving to Paris or to London. We even thought about moving back to Dublin. (Remember my 'surprise birthday trip' to Dublin last year? That was actually a 'surprise, you have a job interview in two days trip'... it ended up being between me and one other guy for the position and as much as I would have loved that job because it was perfect for me, I was kind of relieved I didn't get it, I wasn't really 'feeling' a move back to Dublin). But when it came down to it, Paris, London and Dublin didn't feel right. 

Talk of a move to the U.S. was floating about but I never let it be more than a poof of an idea. Truth be told, I wasn't ready. Gregory was, but I wasn't. After living in Europe for such a long time, I didn't think I was ready to 'go home'. Partly because I knew what a daunting task an overseas move was. The last time I did it it was stressful enough and that was without a houseful of stuff, a husband and a dog. Plus, if I moved back, what would be the chance I'd move back out again? Slim to none I'd say. And besides all that, where in the U.S. would we go? I couldn't see me back in Poughkeepsie, and Texas didn't seem to fit either... maybe Austin but still, Texas didn't seem like the best fit for Gregory. 

But then last summer something happened... I was chatting with my sister (as we do on Skype every Wednesday), and I was kind of using her as a sounding board; venting out frustrations and confusions and general cluelessness when suddenly it became clear... we should move to the Berkshires. And that's when a plan quickly began to materialize and fall into place (as one generally does when you're on the right path). 

The Berkshires were the answer. It's a good fit for us; it's only an hour from where I grew up in New York and where loads of my friends still are, two hours from Boston (the city of Gregory's and my mini-moon), less than two and a half hours from NYC (the city of my birth) and sort of halfway in the middle between Ireland/ France and Texas. Plus it's beautiful and kind of quirky which should help us settle right in since Le Petit Village is also beautiful and quirky. We'll feel right at home. 

It's also a place that tugs at my heartstrings and wraps me up in warm, fuzzy memories. It's where we got married (in the very same church my great-grandparents were married in), where many wonderful childhood memories spending time with my Nana and Pop-Pop were made, and it's where my grandmother's family have lived for generations and since she was Native American, I'm talking GENERATIONS GENERATIONS. So in a sense, going back to the Berkshires is really going home for me. And after ten years in Europe, I'm finally ready.
(That doesn't mean I'm not still freaking out because trust me, I'm freaking out.)

Bisous!

38 comments:

  1. Nicely said - I get it and understand. When we moved to France from Saratoga Springs - for us it was just time for a change and one does need to feel settled. (We haven't chosen to stay in France - but it's just as you said - one needs to feel settled, comfortable and be a match for everyone!) Good luck to you. The Berkshires are a beautiful place - I went to college there and love going back to visit. ! Enjoy!

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  2. It'll be weird without you just down the road :-( even though it's nice to be on the receiving end of a whole heap of DVDs.
    But I can understand your reasons and it sounds like the Berkshires are perfect for you both.

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  3. What a big decision, but I completely understand. I'm not a hundred percent convinced about where we are. It's beautiful, there's nothing wrong with it, but it's not really our place. Who knows I might feel differently in a few months. I'm trying to keep an open mind. I'm so glad you have picked somewhere and it seems perfect being so close to all these other places that are of significance to you. Sending you lots of positive vibes :)

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  4. Thanks for sharing this post Sara. I can understand living somewhere, but it just isn't home, or where you want to stay. So nice to hear your reasons why and where you're moving to and I understand them.

    Louisa @ My Family & Abruzzo

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  5. Thanks for sharing this! I was pretty curious about why you chose the Berkshires, but didn't want to pry. :o) I hope it will be everything you want it to be...meaning, I hope you get there and everything just feels "right". I know how it feels to constantly be searching for that place. We've been doing that for 10 years and I don't think we've found it yet!

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  6. This is such a big deal! Must have been quite something to take this big decision. I am excited about the tales of your repatriation!

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  7. Good choice: the Berkshires are lovely, if a bit chilly at times.

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  8. Thanks so much for sharing this! I know what you mean about not feeling settled in. It was the same for us in Ohio so I hope we will find a better spot for us now. And I am sure you will have a fantastic time in the States. I can't wait to read about it. Good luck with everything, Sara! <3

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  9. Sounds like a great plan. Hope you find your settled place

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  10. I'm so glad you found a place that feels right! I totally understand the fear of "going home" because really leaving Europe feels so scary. I'm sure you'll be back though! :)

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  11. One of my best friends is from the Berkshires (or the Shire, as she calls it) and raves about it so much that it makes me want to live there. It sounds so amazing! I hope you and Gregory (and Fifty) love it, too.

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  12. Sounds like you have very good reasons.

    I have no idea where we would go if (when?) we decide to leave Karlsruhe. I know Jan doesn't want to stay here forever, but I don't know whether there will still be an "us" once he gets round to deciding what he wants to do with the rest of his life.

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  13. It sounds like this will be a really great move for you guys, and I'm excited for you! Try not to stress too much about everything to be done, and enjoy the rest of your time in Europe! :)

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  14. It sounds as though you're on the right path. One thing that I believe you will find in the US, is a greater number of "travelers" who will better understand who you have become. When I moved here, after five (good) years in France, I felt as though I had been slowly deprived of oxygen and never noticed, until I could once again take deep breaths.

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  15. Wow! I would be freaked out about moving across the ocean like that. But it sounds like you definitely know the path you should be on :) Good luck to you!!!

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  16. Very excited and happy for you both!

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  17. This was just...well, I am a little teary eyed, I'll say it! I give you a lot of respect for just putting it out there and oui, does it all make sense. I know that really wonderful things are ahead for you, Gregory and Fifty. I know it.
    So be strong in this hard time of transition and we will be waiting for you on the other side...

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  18. Thanks for sharing that! I have to admit I was curious too ;) It's important to both feel at home and feel like you're in the 'right place'. I like how you thought it through too, sometimes I just jump into things ( it has always turned out to be a good decision so far, but I should stop and think about it more). Hope you find what you're looking for! :)

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  19. I didn't want to ask, but I was curious, too. Especially because we've both lived in Ireland, then France, and because I'm from Boston ( never knew your mini-moon was there!) If I ever go back,mI'd choose the Cape (Cod, of course) first and the Berkshires second. Especially if I coukd be James Taylor's neighbor, or housecleaner, or something. I wish you guys all the luck in the world and hope you find joy there.

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  20. I'll admit I was curious just like the rest. I mean Massachussetts instead of France?? Wha?? haha! Don't get me wrong, the US is great and the Berkshires sound absolutely lovely. I was just wondering too. I'm really really excited for you actually! I can't wait to hear more about your trip and how things take off once you get here. Is Gregory stoked? It sounds like it!! So awesome :)

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  21. Thanks for sharing, I was a little curious. Exciting times ahead! Good luck x

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  22. Isn't it amazing how everyting falls into place when we let our intuition, our guts decide? :)
    I can imagine you must be freaking out, but this sounds like the absolute right thing to do for you and I so can't wait to read about your amazing journey together. I love Massachusetts so much!
    Good luck with the move, I hope it won't be too stressful and that you can simply enjoy it :)

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  23. Eeek, chills reading this - when it's right, it's right!

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  24. Thanks for sharing your decision with us! I can understand your apprehension about moving back after so many years in Europe. It seems that you have really thought long and hard about this and that the time is right. Go for it!

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  25. Like everyone else I was curious too, but too English to ask! We've moved a lot, and spent three years just travelling the US & Caribbean. Back in the UK now but still don't feel like we've found home (and we've been married for 27 years). Good luck with the move and please, don't stop blogging!

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  26. Completely makes sense Sara. I believe you know a place is good for you because you feel it. Sounds like the Berkshires are a good match for you and Gregory. I'm not familiar with the area but have heard it's beautiful - and so close to NYC and Boston (and the airports!)

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  27. Cannot wait to hear how plans progress, how the move goes, etc... Maybe now that you will be back Stateside, we can finally meet. What a special place to relocate to - and I am so glad you both were able to find a location! That area is so wonderful - the food movement up there is incredible, the farms and landscapes are so beautiful. Perfection!

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  28. Feeling right in a place is the most important thing, I hope the Berkshires (I knew there was one Berkshire in England, didn't know America had more, Always have to go one better, you Americans! ;P) bring you everything you're looking for. Can't wait to hear about all of your adventures.

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  29. I must admit I was curious about your move as you seemed to already live in an idyllic part of the world. Having read this post, I can totally understand your decision and I'm sure you will both be very happy in the Berkshires. Beautiful, quirky and friends nearby too. I hadn't realised that you would be so close to New York and Boston. This sounds like a wonderful place to live. Good luck with the move!

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  30. Congratulations! It sounds like some exciting changes are on the horizon! It's so important to truly feel settled no matter where you live. And at least you'll be moving to the East Coast, where Europe is a hop, skip and a jump away compared to Texas or the West Coast! Going back and forth from Seattle to Madrid kills me every time, so I envy you! Best of luck with the move :)

    www.courtneylikkel.blogspot.com

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  31. Wow, this is a big step! To be honest, I felt the same when I lived in France. I loved it but it didn't sit right with me as being somewhere I could live long term.

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  32. I am SO excited + nervous for you! I do some work with the Berkshires Visitors Bureau and pictures of the Berkshires look amazing!

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  33. I think you two will fit in just perfectly in the Berkshires. It's a perfect transition from the LPV! I really can't wait for the stories. I keep saying this but really, Gregory should do a spin-off blog about his culture observations and such! That would be fantastic.

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  34. I'm so excited for y'all :) And Fifty is going to love it!!

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  35. I'm caught up! Sounds like this is where you are supposed to be. Good luck and looking forward to following your blog to the Berkshires.
    Cortne

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  36. so well said. I think the need to feel AT HOME is often shadowed by the excitement of BUT YOU GET TO TRAVEL for people who have lived (and/or plan to live again) abroad, but it's crucial - for me and you at least!

    P.S. I like how you see it as halfway between Texas and France :P

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  37. EXCITING!! It sounds like the Berkshires are exactly where you need to be. How comforting that must be during your whirlwind move! I can totally sympathize with the need to feel settled and at home in wherever you live, abroad or otherwise. It's a need that engrained in most of us (me included) and is hard to ignore when you live somewhere that just doesn't feel "right" most days. Thankfully, Germany has been so wonderful and welcoming to us…but even if it hadn't been…we'd have no choice but to stick it out! Oh, the joys of military expat life. My life is never my own! Anywho, I'm so happy for you, Sara! Can't wait to read more about your journey home!

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  38. Was thinking about you today as I sit here over coffee gawking at our frosty Colorado wonderland knowing you're on your way back to the US of A. Many people ask why I didn't pursue the "dream job" I was offered in Italy and stay, and it's hard to explain. That last time in Tuscany, not feeling "settled" and the "why" for being there wasn't sticking. Honey - I get it. I applaud you, the move, the exploration of your spaces wherever they may be. I look forward to reading "Sara in the Berkshires" or whatever you name it. I also look forward to a glass of wine with you in the future. Sante' and safe travels! xo

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