There are all kinds of stages in life. Stages one stands on to perform. Stages of grief. Stages of life. You get the idea. As I sit here tonight, the last night in my home for the past 15 years, I know that I am entering a new stage in my journey. I’m reflecting on all that has transpired in this home. Christmases with the family, a new love, a dying love, a past love, beloved cats passing away, and new ones coming into my life, temporary roommates, visiting family and friends, parties, girltalks on the deck over a glass of wine, or maybe a bottle! Many fond memories indeed. It’s been a great home.

The past 15 years have been good overall. I’ve earned my masters degree, started a new career, and grown by leaps and bounds. I remember when I made the opposite journey 15 years ago. I was newly divorced and feeling a need to be near family. I left a perfectly good job at Microsoft to move East to be near one of my beloved nieces and my sister and brother-in-law. Only a phone interview for a new job under my belt, but ready for a fresh start. And it was. I was. It’s funny that it didn’t feel scary then. It does a bit now. But just as everything quickly fell into place 15 years ago coming East, the same is occuring now on my journey back to the West. It has been just 5 weeks since I made the decision to move and look at all that has occurred. My home sold in two days, I was able to transport one cat to our new home, movers were arranged, a driving buddy was found, a wonderful vacation planned, and nothing has slowed me down. It’s quite amazing when I stop and think about the past 5 weeks. I’m physically exhausted, every inch of my body is sore, and my back is in dire need of a deep tissue massage. Yes, stages can take their toll. Sure things have moved “easily”, but a lot of blood, sweat and tears have gone into it and as I sit here, nearly ready to go, I’m able to be aware of what my body is telling me.

One more stage that comes to mind has to do with family and our roles in them. Today is Mother’s Day. I made a promise to myself to stay in town to celebrate with my Mom and family. My mother is 88, feisty even now, but still our roles reverse at times. She was caregiver for us growing up, and now occasionally , we play caregiver to her. Tomorrow night, after the movers have left, my belongings loaded onto a truck and my house is empty, I’ll spend the night with Mom. She’ll once again take me in, under her wing and care for me my last night in DC. It seems fitting.

So stages. Yes, I’m passing from one to another. I’m both eager and frightened of what lies ahead. It’s comforting to know that my family is here if I am a collosal failure in Seattle, but also an amazing collection of supportive and loving friends in Seattle to help ensure failure does not become a reality. So life, bring it on! I’m ready for the next stage!

I can’t wait for my next post which should come to you from somewhere along our journey West!


About Andrea Cole

Four years ago, I followed my dreams and my heart by quitting my job, selling my home, and moving myself back to Seattle from Washington, DC. I didn't know how things would turn out, but I knew whatever life held in store for me, it was going to be in Seattle. And what a ride it has been! I now help others live their lives through rewarding career and meaningful retirement coaching. My website is
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