Continually, here in Tucson, Arizona, I hear, "John and his wife went back to Ohio," "Jean sold her house for a loss, just to be able to return to England" and "The Jacksons are going to live with their daughter in Manhattan until they find a condo back in Westchester."
Like me, they arrived on a pick cloud, eager for the adventure. Then, one day, usually within a year, they are packing up to go.
I have a hunch shut-down happens early and they can't escape the disappointment loop. Around and around they go looping, finding continual reinforcement for their growing conviction that they must return home.
The 50-something woman who lives in the apartment below is exiting this weekend. From the get-go she was convinced she couldn't a job that paid a living wage. Of course, she didn't. I offered several times to reconfigure her resume and cover letters. But she had already entered the loop.
How do the rest of us weather the adjustment trauma? Today, my car finally passed emissions, after failing twice. Not sweet. But I was able to divide the frustration into parts. And position the ordeal (it cost me a king's ransom in repairs) as a string of bad days. I made myself retrieve from my memory bank worst kinds of ordeals back in Connecticut. I didn't have to dig deep.
Next April 10th, I will have been in my new home a year. The parts which didn't fit and maybe never will fit were worse than I anticipated. But the payoffs in less stress, lower cost of living, a few soulmates who seem to care about me and more business exceed my wildest dreams.
Was I ever tempted to return to New Haven, Connecticut? No. Years ago, my much younger sister Anne Murga-Ring hammered me with the adage, "Always forward, never backward." If I packed up or do someday pack up it will be for another adventure. Perhaps Spain or Panama.