It hasn't been all bad

Despite the bad press it gets, there are many things that are good about this place I've called home for the past year. There are people with similar thinking, with vision to make things better, despite living in one of the finest examples of what can go wrong in a city built on hard work and patriotism, but failing to keep up with the competition from other countries and their technology. Buying "US made" is promoted on more bumper stickers than I can count in a day, despite the local government being a continual letdown, and politicians facing criminal charges and jail sentences on a regular basis. Still, people continue to find the silver lining, to see the beauty despite the destruction, and who truly love this place. People turning abandoned lots into community gardens, seeing neglected houses and hospitals as a sort of anthropological art to be captured in stunning imagery, and grass roots movements to make changes in a landscape of almost overwhelming depression.

As a couple, my man and I are an anomaly, because we are over 30 and neither married nor parents. In the New York area, this is completely average, if not expected. Here, it is eyed with some measure of suspicion. What, they wonder, could we possible be waiting for? Don't I know that my biological clock is just hammering away in there? At the same time, it is a testament to the family values one reads about but sees so rarely where I'm from. I used to wonder why someone from a small town in middle America would leave, live somewhere like New York or LA, and then come back to settle down and raise their own families. While it may not be my ideal, I can certainly see why they do. Don't get me wrong. I'm not romanticizing things too much. There are plenty of crappy people here, like everywhere else. It's just nice to see a shift in priorities, and luckily, I've been exposed to the best examples of why people plant their roots here and don't leave.

They are what I will truly miss and my only regret about moving my man away from. Besides his family, there are people here he has known for decades. Not just passing acquaintances or Facebook friends, but people he sees all the time who have had a major role in forming who he is. They are the main characters in his stories and I hope they don't resent me too much for taking him away because I want them to stay in our lives. Besides, we are really good hosts and we enjoy visitors!

Our apartment in our soon-to-be hometown is finally locked in. I guess that's solidified things in my mind, and I'm ready to move on. I will actually look forward to coming back to visit though, and for anyone who knows me, that is a sentiment they never would have imagined from me a year ago.

Posted by Elizabeth
  1. sitboaf

    July 14, 2010 at 12:17 AM

    Good luck, Bitty!
    I get the sense that you're about to start a really cool chapter of your life.

  1. elizabeth

    July 15, 2010 at 11:45 AM

    aww thanks! I'm excited. But also, I hate packing. yuck