I've mulled it over for several weeks now, discussed it with various friends and family, and now it is all but a done deal.
At this point I don't see myself staying in Seattle long term, and, that being the case, now seemed as good a time as any to make the move. I'm looking forward to being geographically closer to family, particularly my grandfather/fishing coach whose health continues to diminish, and whose location in Pineville, Louisiana has proven logistically difficult to visit from Seattle. I'm also looking forward to finally making a trip out to New Orleans to hang out with Matt, and having a less complicated trip to see sister Allison graduate with her Bachelors in Social Work from my alma mater, the University of Texas, next May. But there are plenty of other people who constitute compelling reasons to move, and there are plenty of Chuychangas that also constitute compelling reasons to move.
This was not an easy decision. I will miss the phenomenal beauty of the mountains up here, the cool, sunny summers, the unbelievable espresso at Caffe Vita and my ability to walk almost anywhere from my apartment in Lower Queen Anne/Uptown. (Where can I live in Texas where I'll be able to walk three blocks to the grocery store?) But more than all that I'll miss the many good friends I've made up here in Seattle, particularly (but not exclusively) my friends from Olympic View Community Church of the Brethren.
I won't miss the dreary winters. I can't remember where I read it, but someone once said that living in Seattle is like being married to a super-model who has a really bad cold eight or nine months out of the year. I'm really looking forward to being able to see the sun more often between October and April. I'm not looking forward to the heat of the summers, but having dealt with Seattle winters for three years I think I'd prefer Texas summers. It might be more for the familiarity than anything else. Weather is, I think, a good analogy for my cultural preference of Texas over Seattle. It isn't that one is objectively better or worse than the other - both have their own great positives and negatives - instead it has more to do with the fact that the positives and negatives of Texas are my positives and negatives, and they have shaped and formed me into who I am.
I hate the Texas heat as much as the next guy, but few things sound more appealing to me than an ice cold beer on a scorching hot day. So even in light of a clear negative, strategies of coping with it (air conditioning, beverages, floating the river, etc.) in a way make up for the problem, but actually also almost make me miss the problem. The problem and the ways of dealing with the problem are a part of me. I think this has analogical implications far beyond the weather.
So I'm returning to my roots, but my roots won't pay the bills. So I'll be looking for a job. So if you know anyone looking to hire a passionate, intelligent, sociable person with strong opinions about coffee and ecclesiology, and who recently earned a Master of Divinity, send them my way. Especially if they are in the Houston, Austin or Dallas metropolitan areas. And go ahead and throw New Orleans in there too, just for good measure.
In the meantime I'll be hanging out in Seattle for about another six or so weeks. My approximate moving date will be August 15. I imagine some sort of more formal farewell will be in order, details forthcoming.