We moved from St. Paul to Evansville six years ago. At first, when someone asked me if I wanted to move back, I always answered with a resounding yes. But something funny has happened. The longer we are here, the more comfortable I get. Yes, I miss my friends. I would love to have weekly (or at least monthly?) lunches or happy hours with my girlfriends. I’d love to see my sister more than every other month. (Although who knows how long she’ll be there.) I’d love to take Clare to all of the wonderful places Minneapolis has to offer. (The zoo! The sculpture gardens!) Yes, Evansville is boring. But it is also peaceful. And my parents are just 10 miles away. I see kids outside, riding their bikes to the park and the library, and I think boring is what we need right now. A small town seems like the perfect place for Clare to grow up. (Although, if she is anything like her mother she will hightail it out of here the second she can.)
But. Ben is not happy at his job. He misses his friends. I want him to be happy, and to have opportunities to advance in his career. And those opportunities are not here. So then I think, well, maybe moving back would be a good thing. Then I think about my parents and feel guilty. I know they would be sad if we moved. And I know plenty of people don’t live near their families, but I see the people who do and think, “I want that.” I am jealous of my friends whose families all live in the same area. Ben and I will never be in that situation. Of course, even if we are in the Twin Cities, we are still in the same time zone as my parents, unlike my sister-in-law, who is not even on the same continent as her family. (Besides us, of course!) I am sure she would love it if her parents were only a 5 hour drive away.
So what do I want? I don’t know. Would I want to stay here if my parents weren’t here? Maybe not.
I know we need to make the decision based on what is right for our little family, and not what is right for anyone else. I have a hard time doing that, though. I always, always think about how at least five other people might react to this decision. And then I feel guilty. I need to learn how to make decisions based on what is right for me (and of course Ben and Clare), without influence from others.
How do I do that? And what do I want? I don’t know.