I’ve been telling anyone who asks about our move, “We’re on a trajectory towards transformation.” So what does that phrase mean anyway?
Well, trajectory implies a launching of some sort, an arc to overcome obstacles, be they walls, mountains, rivers, or great distances. Also implied in the word is that while you intend to arrive somewhere else, that “somewhere” is not so much clearly defined as a wished for landing place, a hoped for new life, a desired end state. Still, by the very act of launching into a trajectory, you throw it all into one grand curving arc outward into the distance, overcoming the nearby obstacles — but not quite knowing where you’ll end up.
Hence the word toward rather than “to.” Using the more definitive term, “to”, would imply that there we had a specific destination in mind. No, we did not — not at first, at least. What we had in mind was a general direction of movement — away! — so toward more accurately describes our intentions.
Finally, transformation means change — fundamental, basic change. For several years now, we have known we would need a change sometime in the vague “future.”. Like a frog in boiling water, our situation in our beloved Austin was getting worse as time went on. As lovely as our house on Dexter Street was, it was in dire need of much repair that we were not able to afford to do. Our credit debt had mounted to a ridiculous level, making our minimum payments on those accounts far and away our largest monthly expense, with over half of that being the debt service itself. We were still paying off our second home improvement loan, the one to add more room just before Lucas left home. It didn’t help that some of the needed repairs were on portions of that second addition.
My work opportunities in Austin had become increasingly sporadic and limited. Most of the possibilities available to me were in fields or clients I did not wish to work for — state government, military contractors, or corporate giants. Sara’s work situation had been getting worse for awhile, but had improved a bit with an increased ability to work from home. For several months, in fact, she worked primarily, almost exclusively, from home, thus avoiding the dreaded Austin traffic. But the company was snatching the work-from-home option away from more and more people just as they were finalizing plans to move the Austin office north to Round Rock, so things were about to go from bad to worse when Sara got laid off after 14½ years. That actually made things better once we got over the initial shock. She received a good severance package (salary through the end of the year) and the feeling was of an immense burden being lifted.
See, we’d been talking about selling our house there as part of a vague “plan.” At first, it was a 5-10 year plan, but became a 2-5 year plan that became a 1-2 year plan that became: time to go now! In addition to all the other pressures, Texas hides its tax burden in property taxes, and the desirability of our neighborhood and our property meant our property taxes had risen steadily and outrageously during the time we lived there. As we sold the house, we had to pay nearly $10,000 in property taxes.
This camel had more than enough straws to make several of them the last one. So we knew we needed to sell. And we knew that meant transformation.
To be continued…