Too long, don’t want to read: I’m leaving Oregon and heading east.
I’ve been thinking a lot about what ReWilding Me means to me (this is a group on Facebook that I started a while ago) and some of it is letting go of the societal expectations. Especially the ones that don’t make sense to me. Simple things from no longer shaving to wearing whatever clothes I want. And, more complex things from not being quiet about things that matter to walking away from the situations that will lead to damage.
Right now, I’m choosing to walk away from a situation (that I placed myself into) before it leads to a damage that I cannot heal from. For those who don’t know me, my son and I started saving money (around 2018) for a new place far from the town we’d been living in since 2002. We planned and researched and scrapped plans and researched some more. Finally, we settled on a small town called Klamath Falls. The numbers all looked good on paper (yes, literal paper; I do better with handwritten things) so we packed up and moved, using the leverage of his VA loan and a large portion of what we’d saved over the couple of years. We both held high hopes for this location. I had the interior of the house painted within a couple weeks, we had a new fridge, then a new washer & dryer, then more things got smoothed out.
When our first water bill hit, we were shocked at how high it was, but figured it was because we were both showering daily, I was washing paint rollers & brushes, we were scrubbing the house from top to bottom, and so on. When I changed the address on my car insurance, it went from$51 per month to $120 per month (this was a 2002 Jeep Cherokee, nothing fancy). When we went to the grocery store, we were careful with the purchases we’d made, but the total always seemed to be so much higher than we were used to. We chalked that up to the fact that we were probably adding too many unnecessary items to the cart. We realized the Jeep was going through more gas than usual so we decided to trade it in on a Kia Soul.
After we’d been here a couple months, though, and things had settled down from the hustle of painting and cleaning and extra foods that are quick to prepare, the expenses were still high. So I called the water company and discovered that instead of paying the minimum of $31.89, we were now paying the minimum of $56.58 (and for summer it’s never what the meter says, only the “average cost for a household”). At the grocery store, too – soy milk that I’d been paying $2.89 was now $3.59, sodas that Anthony had been paying $4.99 were now $7.99 (12packs of name brands). We were managing, but only barely. He’s on a fixed income, but we thought it would be enough along with my own. But it isn’t. Dipping into our individual savings just to take care of the basic needs was happening more and more.
And so, we are moving back to Ohio. NOT Sandusky, which holds far too many negative memories and emotions for each of us, but to somewhere a little farther east. Currently our search is more in Summit county than anywhere else and an offer was accepted on a house that we both agreed will suit us (2 levels that, with a minimum amount of effort, can be turned into a duplex). Now we scramble to sell this place as quickly as we can and get across the country before the worst of winter sets in.
What does all of this have to do with ReWilding? Under my previous thought-processes, I’d be holding out while struggling to pay the bills and struggling to balance a grocery budget that allowed me to eat the foods necessary to maintain my bit of good health. I’d cut back further on the things that I love in order to continue paying the bare minimum in living expenses. I’d go get another job (that would likely damage my health even further) so that I could buy fresh fruits. In other words, I’d continue dying by degrees. With my ReWilding thought-process, I’m leaving this situation and going to a place where, though I might not like everything about it, I will be able to afford the foods I need, I’ll be able to have a garden without paying an arm & a leg to keep watered enough to harvest, I’ll be able to save my extra money to buy my camper van and travel around. I’m letting go of the societal expectation of “toughing it out” and moving forward with what is best for me.
Not everyone will understand, but that’s also part of getting back to my genuine Self. I understand and that’s the part that matters.
The picture? That’s of the incredibly brilliant double, full rainbow that I was met with on the morning we found out that the offer was accepted. I take that as a very good sign that the choices currently being made are good ones.
1 thought on “Decisions…”
Having lived on the West Coast, I fully understand your decision. I know how expensive groceries and living are in CA, and I can see that it isn’t better one state higher north. Just know that you are in my thoughts and my heart.