Friday, July 30, 2010

Updates From The Heartland: The Move, Pt. 2

Yeah, so I was stressed out and nervous about the entire concept of moving away from The City, and my much-loved Brooklyn to go to a new area, a new life, a new everything. And, I hoped, a new me. Which is a horrifically cliche thing to say, I realize, but definitely has been on my mind. I realize that journalism is a tough career choice, and one that has lead to a certain amount of burnout. Year after year of writing about markets and investing advice left me no wealthier personally, or, for that matter, more marketable.

Despite that I wasn't necessarily ready to move 800 miles away to make this change manifest. But these were the discussions/arguments that Randi and I had, many many time, over the course of a year. If we didn't move how would we know what else is out there? Aren't we concerned about where Stella will go to school? (The New York public schools are a notoriously mixed bunch, and saying they are "mixed" is being generous.) Another issue is that we hadn't had much of a life since Stella was born, as babysitting rates in the city can be upwards of $20 an hour, and we had few options for family members to come and watch out daughter. As a result we were more or less shut-ins for the first year of Stella's life, and while that got gradually better over time, it never got all that much better. The demands of raising a high-spirited child in the city proved exhausting, even overwhelming at times. It was all us, all the time.

If we moved we felt confident that some of this burden could be lifted from our shoulders because Randi has a large extended family in the greater Louisville area, and her mother had already volunteered to babysit.

Plus, and this is huge, the cost of living in New York had gotten outrageous. I recently saw a graph that said that over the past decade the average price to purchase a home had risen by roughly 70% in the city, which was already expensive, while salaries have stagnated. Our apartment was and is a steal at $1700 a month. Meanwhile, in Louisville, we would find a fairly deluxe two bedroom for $900, almost. And this is the expensive place!

But there's a reason it's less, and that reason is because it's in Louisville. A place that is far away from the bright lights, although for me personally the much larger issue is that it is also far from the publishing capital of the world, and the entertainment scene. This was a tough pill for me to swallow because I am a writer, for starters, and I have long loved to see and perform music and comedy. (Although it's been several years since I've performed on a regular basis.)

Plus, and this is most key, I was really scared by the prospect of having no close friends nearby, or family. The reasons for this may be obvious, but they still loomed extremely large as I fretted, back and forth, over how a move could play out. It was impossible to come to a conclusive answer, because there were just too many variables. Meanwhile, while we dawdled over our decision the clock ticked away. I will explain why in the next entry.

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