Tonight, I lay here wide awake. I have to be up at a quarter to six in the morning, but here it is over an hour past my *bedtime* and thoughts are spinning through my head, knocking around, keeping me up.

Upstairs, my beautiful daughter lies sleeping. Upstairs, my husband keeps the bed warm waiting for me.

But I knew I had to come down and write tonight. This is the first time in a long time that I’ve had that feeling, that urgent nagging that if I don’t get this down, it will fester and grow and possibly engulf me, claiming my whole nights’ rest. This is the first time in a while I’ve felt like I really had something to say. At least for me, it has to be said.

I feel like here we are again, striving to take a step back. Are we nuts?

I have a great job. A job that, literally, saved my husband’s life. I have an incredible boss that I get along with and who gives me freedom at work in a position I enjoy. We have a wonderful daycare provider who was a teacher for years and loves our daughter immensely. She has friends there that she likes. A few short years ago, the three of us huddled together in a tiny bedroom with a crappy space heater, watching TV on our computer because it was too cold in our house to venture into the living room when we couldn’t afford heat. We huddled there together while the glasses of water on our counter sat frozen, wondering what the hell we were going to do. Yet here I am, plenty warm and laying on the couch in a spacious two bedroom with hardwood floors, a more beautiful apartment than any other we’ve lived in in New Hampshire, our home state, before. I have a great family. I am beyond grateful for these things. It brings me to tears to think of how far we’ve come in two and a half years. I am so proud of us, and I’m not ashamed to say so. Yet we are ready to do what feels like starting over again… Something I’ve told myself before I would never do again. Move back into Mom’s basement.

Why? So many reasons I could list. It feels so complex to me, but when you boil it down, this just isn’t our home.

We live too far from the people we care about to make them a part of our daily lives. Our parents and siblings, our nephew… We’ve both always been very close to our immediate families, yet can count on one hand the number of times we’ve visited with his Mom (who lives about three hours from us now) since we moved up here. And him. This should really go first, but my husband… Well, he needs to be happy, and this isn’t the place for that. He wants to move in a direction with his career that he’s been teaching himself for years. He is incredibly talented at what he does and lately, he’s been succeeding at it somewhat, but it’s incredibly hard out in the boonies where we live. There aren’t many jobs, certainly not many for web design and SEO… And he’s been working in a thankless position, a terrible working environment for a year and a half now just to keep us comfortable. He needs a chance to shine and do what he loves for a living.

And my Mom. She recently separated from her husband, who she’d been with for almost ten years (about as long as my husband and I, actually) and was thinking of getting a roommate anyway to help cover her expenses. We are the best of friends, and I’d love for her to have a chance to be closer with my daughter for a while. I know we could make living together work and be happy.

Years back, when I was in school, I wanted to be a midwife or nurse in a maternity ward. I didn’t know how to get there and was too scared to pursue it since I was already on track for my BA in Sociology, so I just continued on with my studies and sort of forgot about it. But now, I’ve been working in a hospital setting for over two years and could possibly get a position at a satellite for the hospital that is closer to my Mom. It would most likely be a cut in pay now, but we’d save that money moving in with my Mom, and definitely a good chunk of change more each month that would go right into the bank to save for our OWN house. Something we’ve talked about, planned, for, dreamed of forever. I could take this other job, and go back to school to study to become a nurse. To work in maternity ward or pediatrics like I wanted to… And even though I would feel like I’m stepping backwards going back to school, I’d have TWO degrees when I graduated, which I am hoping could land me that one perfect position for me. I just want to have a nice home, and a happy family. I know this could be the right path to get us there, and that ultimately, it’s a smart thing to do.

But the pit of my stomach hurts when I think about leaving here. I keep thinking, how will I hear her at night if she calls for me? Her bedroom at my Mom’s would be upstairs, and we’d be down. It’s a piddly thing, something a monitor would remedy, or maybe she could sleep downstairs with us. I know it’s tiny but I am stuck on it because I am scared.

That’s it, I’m just scared. This is the first real job I ever had. It pulled us out of financial turmoil, ensured we could keep our daughter healthy and happy, and again… SAVED my husband’s life. And no, that is not an exaggeration at all. I am happy and comfortable where I am, and as the old adage goes, why mess with a good thing?

But I’m stagnant in this position. I make decent pay, but I know that there won’t be any raises soon, and I never aspired to be an administrative assistant forever. I graduated honors, and I’ve always wanted to help people. I love working with them and I know I am capable of more. Where I’m at in my life now is good, but it isn’t good enough for me. I know my husband isn’t the least bit happy with his job. He’s been dying to get out of there for months… and been told in no uncertain terms that the business he’s working for is losing money every day. This area is too rural, too far away from the people and places we love, and we never planned on staying here forever.

I’m still scared shitless. That basement sort of taunts me from my memory, and when I think of leaving here, it feels wrong to me. It feels like “here you are, you couldn’t make it work again, ha. HA.” But I know there is a difference. I have to keep reminding myself… This time, our decision to move there is based entirely on whether I can get this job, and whether our plans pan out how we hope. We are in control this time, which is a feeling I’ve never felt moving back in before (yes, we’ve lived there before. Twice. It hurts my pride to admit that.) And that money, that we could put in the bank- we estimate around $400 a month- would really add up quickly and stack up towards that dream- our longtime dream that has felt so out of reach recently- of owning our own home. Because, let’s face it. These hardwood floors are gorgeous, and our big porch is nice… My daughter’s room I’ll miss the most, because it’s cute and wonderful and she deserves the best, biggest, prettiest we have to offer. But none of this is OURS. And when it is ours, I know it will feel so. much. better. More incredible than living in this other person’s house ever could, even if it means BACK to the basement for another year.

Why mess with a good thing? I am scared to say this because I don’t want to jinx it in any way, or get ahead of myself… and you know nobody ever expects life to come along and shit on them, nobody ever intends things to go badly, and who knows what might happen in the long run… But I truly believe we deserve better than stagnant. We deserve happy…. and I think I want to see what our *better* turns out to be.