This is the post that has been in my head. And I need to publish and stop thinking and rewriting. There isn’t a right answer. This is just where we are now.
Much of the last two years has been trying to find the “new normal” for our family. I got a job, earned a PhD, Rob changed projects at work and was unemployed for awhile, the boys have had to adjust to public school (instead of daycare) and after school programs. After years of grad school life where work was always hanging over me and I had a long commute a couple days a week, largely I was home or at least had the flexibility to be with the kids when I needed to be.
We spend a lot of time talking and thinking about if this city is where we should be. City life is hard, and we have made a choice to live somewhere where some things just seems harder than they would be elsewhere. I wrote about this once in two posts I dashed off, (ONE, TWO) and much of those sentiments remain the same. Though I think we now take even less advantage of what the city has to offer. In so many ways we could be anywhere. I dream of a house (not a big one, but one more bedroom and a dedicated eating space would be nice) with a yard and a tree. After more than a decade and never dreaming of leaving, we are contemplating.
I have a long commute, but moving would make Rob’s longer. I could find a job anywhere, but where do we want to go? And with Rob’s work fairly geographically bound to a few places, do we realistically want to go somewhere he can keep doing what he loves. Because he loves his job, where I am much more often doing something I like enough. I still don’t know what I want to be when I grow up.
Our home is too small, but we love our neighborhood. Sending the boys out to play and not having to pack up and go with them – that is a dream. But, we’d lose what we know. And our community. Despite feeling isolated at times, we really do have a community here and it’s nice to bump into friends wherever we go. We moved here in 2007 – that will be 12 years in this apartment and this neighborhood this summer. We know the people and they know us.
The thought of starting over somewhere is overwhelming. So we stay. And the school isn’t perfect, but it’s good. The boys have friends and it’s nice that anytime we go to the playground there are friends. When we do go out and do things instead of going to a movie or a play space, more often it’s a museum or a new restaurant.
There is a city culture that we love. At the same time life has been hard. And sometimes living here – I wonder if we are making it harder. But also, there is something that holds us and makes us want to keep finding ways to make this work. So we keep choosing to stay, and to remake our apartment so it’s a little more livable. And always wondering if we are choosing the right thing.