Returning to an Old Flame?

Well, we have now been in Seattle for just over a week. It's been sort of strange being here this trip because we aren't just here for a normal visit. Normally our visits in the Seattle area are relatively short and we try and cram as much family time and friend time in as we can. This time is different. This time we are here for two months, and we know we'll be back for another month or two in the fall. There isn't as much need to rush or cram.

This trip is also different because we are considering whether or not we want to move back to the Seattle area. In many ways we are taking the next two months as a sort of exploratory trip, to re-evaluate our future and see if we can imagine living here again. At least that's the intention (we haven't really done much exploration, re-evaluation, or even talked much at all about it so far, but there's time).

As I've thought about this trip a little bit this week I've had the weird feeling that it's sort of like I'm trying to decide wether or not to get back together with an old flame. Deciding wether or not to move back to a city you've lived in before is sort of like that. You still remember all the things you loved about them, you notice new things to love about them, but you also still remember all the reasons why it didn't work out before. I've thought about that off and on this week. There's a lot I remember loving about Seattle. There's a lot that I could see myself loving about Seattle now. But, there's also things that I remember not loving, things that helped inspire our move. Some of those things aren't issues as much now at this stage in life, but some of them are still very real and still very present. Do I want to go back to those things? Would it be the same if I went back, or would it be different? Am I different enough to make it different this time around?

As I wrote before, I have been feeling burned out on Prague, but I don't want to just rush into a move just because of burn out. I want Bryan and I together to be intentional about evaluating where the best place for us is at this time. So, of course I made a list ;) Yes, I'm one of those list makers. I made a list of questions for us to ask ourselves as we consider wether or not we should move to Seattle. Really these are questions to ask yourself whenever you are considering any sort of move. Here they are:

1. Can we picture ourselves living there? 2. What is the overall culture there and do we feel like adding those cultural characteristics to our lives would be a good thing? 3. What kinds of opportunities would exist there for us and our children? 4. What areas of our lives would benefit most through our living there? 5. What areas of our lives might suffer from living there? 6. How well could our social needs be met there? 7. What sort of a support system would we have there? 8. What is the realistic cost of living? 9. What would be potentially difficult about living there? 10. What future goals could we meet by living there? 11. Are there any future goals that would be harder to meet because of living there? 12. How might moving there effect our health and the health of our children? 13. How might moving there effect us spiritually and emotionally? 14. What do we like about the area? 15. What don't we like about the area? 16. What expectations do we have about living there and how realistic are they? 17. What do people who know us well think and say about us moving there?

These are the things we want to be talking through this next two months as we evaluate a posible move back to Seattle. These are the questions I want to keep in mind as we consider getting back together again with our own "old flame".

Rejoicing in the journey - Bethany Stedman