I am often asked the question: “What made you decide to move to Sequim?”
I visited Sequim many years ago on a family vacation and loved it. Whenever I think about living someplace else other than Southern California, I would think of Sequim and it’s beautiful mountain views and valleys of lavender and farmlands.
Many things happened in my life at the same time: retirement, the end of a 30-year marriage, my children beginning their own lives with a wedding and both moving out of the house to follow their dreams. I became an empty nester and I ended up living in a quiet, five-bedroom house by myself. It became clear that I needed to make a change. I didn’t have a direction and to be honest, it was a lonely time. The family home became a burden and felt very heavy.
I was talking with my boyfriend and he said, “What do you want to do?” I responded, “I don’t know…I always wanted to be a lavender farmer.” He said, “So do it. Look at flights and let’s go to Sequim and check it out.” What? People don’t just book flights and go check out towns, do they? He prompted me again and I booked a flight to Seattle and made a reservation at a hotel in Sequim. I thought it would just be a fun vacation. We spent the week exploring and talking over every detail. Could I really do this? Could I really move so far away from my family? Could I really follow a dream? After all, it was just a dream.
The more I looked at it, the more it made sense. The affordability alone should convince one to make such a huge change. Even if I didn’t make a profit on the farm, I would still come out ahead. I kept running the numbers over and over. I researched every detail. At the same time, the 30-year-old house was making demands that 30-year-old houses do. It was by far the hardest and scariest decision I’ve ever had to make. I was on an emotional rollercoaster and I think I cried for weeks.
The next question I get is, “How can you leave your children?” Yes, this one stings a little. It reminds me when I was a working mother and my job demanded that I be present and I couldn’t chaperone a field trip and if I took a vacation day or was able to make an activity, the teachers would say to me, “So glad you can finally join us.” Ouch. There it is – that feeling of guilt that I should do more or give more.
My kids are grown adults now. They are busy with their own careers and their own lives and that is as it should be. I am so overwhelmingly proud of each of them. They are successful and happy and that is all any parent can want for their child. It is time for me to focus on my next chapter and that includes something I’ve always dreamed of doing and building a memorable destination for my kids and grandkids to visit. The key here is FaceTime and quality visits, not quantity visits.
So, now that I am in Sequim it feels right. This is where I am supposed to be. I wake up every morning and look at the mountains and I pinch myself because I cannot believe I live here. I cannot believe that I am actually doing something I only dreamed of doing. I feel so fortunate that I put aside all of the reasons why I couldn’t (believe me, I made up a lot of reasons why I couldn’t/shouldn’t) and I tore down the wall.
We really can do whatever we put our minds to do. My soul is happy that I made a change and I’m chasing a dream.