April 03, 2003

A little over a month ago, when news came down that my division was being purchased by a company based out of Irvine, California, I was a little concerned. The new company might decide to shut down the Atlanta operations and consolidate us somewhere else. I broke the news to Melissa that a move to California might be in our future. To my surprise, neither of us seemed to be opposed to the idea of moving.

We love our little house in Flowery Branch, GA, but we both think that we took ourselves out of town a little prematurely. The only thing holding us here is our wonderful church and a mortgage. We're on the blunt edge of civilization up here, and almost 45 minutes from anything cultural in the metro Atlanta area. We fell into the misconception that temporarily clouds most parents minds: Now that we have a child, we have to be responsible, give the child 100% of our attention, forsaking all social events and most contact with other people. Yes, a child needs attention, and it nearly IS 100% of your time early on, but once you can take the kid to a restaurant or leave him/her with a friend or family member, you have a green light to re-enter society as a whole. You may never again attain the swinging hipster lifestyle that you once knew, (probably a good thing for most of us), but you can take in a movie or see a show once in a while.

Many married couples and new parents end up locking themselves into the lifestyle that they're in for the rest of their adult life: This is going to be the hairstyle that I keep (or attempt to keep) for the rest of my life. I'll bowl in the Sunday Night Mixed League. Wednesday is Pizza and Blockbuster Rental night. This is my clothing style. This is the music I listen to. These are not usually conscious decisions, they just become habit. And with little change to your relationship to the outside world, there is little to influence changes in these habits. This is not always a bad thing, because these things might really make people happy, and there's nothing wrong with that.

Melissa and I realized that we were slowly locking ourselves into our current habits, but we were not content to have this be our new routine. So we are consciously making a decision to change our lives, to evolve. We're not going to shave our heads and join a commune or anything, we just want to expose ourselves to a different place. It's beyond the simple wanderlust of a new locale, it's the curiosity of how your person will change in a new set of circumstances. Like boiling the salt out of seawater and adding it to another liquid will create an entirely new substance. It's an intriguing concept, to be sure.

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