In DC, I earned a master’s degree in political management, interned for a major network’s news operation, worked on a historic presidential campaign, and ran the communications operations for two national nonprofits. I performed in children’s theatre, and even got to compose songs for a new kids’ musical. I discovered my political calling in the atheist movement, and made friends I plan on keeping for a lifetime.

Also in DC, our car was broken into twice in the space of a couple of weeks. In an earlier residence, our downstairs neighbors’ apartment was broken into twice, and gunplay was sometimes heard across the street. In our current place, a rock was thrown that shattered the glass in our door in order to “case” our house, and later that same night, I was assaulted, severely beaten by two thugs for no apparent reason, inflicting injuries to my body and my psyche that I’ll be dealing with for years to come.

In a state called Maine, I married the love of my life. I met a new family of in-laws who welcomed me and loved me like I was their own before I even learned all their names.

In DC, my wife and I had our baby boy Toby, who I love more than I can possibly describe in words.

That boy needs to grow up in a place where he’s surrounded by love, has the space to play, and can go to good, safe school. My wife needs to live in a place filled with family and support. I need to get away from the hostility that flows through the very veins of the nation’s capital, I need peace.

Next month, we’re moving to the Portland area of Maine. We’ll be with family, we’ll get away from the madness of the beltway and the violence of the city streets. I don’t know exactly what we’ll do once we’re there, but we’ll start a new life. It’s overdue.

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