Sunday, May 20, 2012

The grass is always grass on the other side.

My family moved to Florida from Pennsylvania when I was two. As I understand it the move was a job based decision. My Dad worked for Westinghouse almost up to the company's dissolve in 1999, and starting in 1981, more then 800 employees which included my Dad, moved when the company expanded to Florida. In researching this event, I was pretty amazed by the process. At the time the decision was made, Orlando was not the epicenter of culture and entertainment that I left almost 8 years ago. Of the employees who were asked to consider the move, roughly 20% of the people said no. The issues were valid, and some even apply today. There was a general feeling that Florida was a bug-infested swamp that was too hot and was filled with bad schools, not nearly as many things to do as the Pittsburgh area, and no sports. Aww. In one article I read, a woman recalled crying every day for 6 months after the move. Funny how things change. A woman cried for 6 months because she lived in a place that, she had no idea, was hitting the largest population and business boom of the time. Soon after, Orlando was in a frenzy of construction and a family hot spot. Why was she crying? She was hot and bored for a little while.

In middle school I developed quite a crush on a very pretty, very popular girl. As a self proclaimed overweight band-nerd, I was as far from anyone's romantic radar. I thought so anyway, I would later find out that I was the secret crush of many different ladies over the years. Which, getting off topic as normal, needs to stop ladies. Most men can't process subtle hints, so just buy a t-shirt that says, "I want to date with you." So much easier. Anyhow, in high school I would come to find that the pretty, popular girl was also a bit of a band nerd. We became friends and eventually that turned into a small series of smaller kisses, but she was a pretty girl which meant I was going to follow her around like the faithful lost puppy dog. I got game people.

She, being a year ahead of me, moved away for college. It's a pretty heartbreaking story, and if you feel the need to sob a little or give me a hug, I understand this need. She came back the following year and we hung out a little bit. She said something that, at the time, really bothered me. I don't know the quote verbatim, but the point was that she felt so sorry for some of the people from Florida who she knew would never leave. She knew they'd be stuck there forever. I was really taken back by that, mostly because I had never considered leaving Florida. Back then when I'd think about the future, it always included Florida. I was offended in a way. How dare she talk like that about my home!

Fast forward to 2005. About 7 years later, and I still have no thoughts of ever leaving Florida. Melissa and I had been married for about a year, and the conversation about having kids had become a lot more serious. We had been living in a 2 bedroom townhouse for a while, and decided that we needed to upgrade so we could get our family started with all the space we needed*. We jumped very quickly on a great opportunity for a house in an area we really liked...which fell through...after our house was sold. We basically cornered ourselves in the idea that we had a little over a week to figure out what to do. The alternative was hotels, cramming ourselves into family homes, or just riding the rails like a pair of awesome hobos. Melissa wouldn't agree to the hobo idea. We looked at several homes, but nothing fit our needs/budget. So the topic quickly hit on out of state options. We landed on Idaho, and it was the most difficult decision we have ever made as a couple. It was a decision we made in less then a week. We didn't get a lot of sleep around that time. Now, I'll spare the boring details of the bad moving company or the trip up where I won a rodeo contest**, because the point is that I was wrong to get upset about the "stuck in Florida" comment. Hell, she was right, but not so good at the wording of it. We moved here to get away from the constant pace of life that Orlando throws at it's citizens, like suck at a Justin Bieber concert. While life here has a tendency to move a little too slow at times, it really has opened my eyes to how amazing life can be if you get out and live it.

Some people can't wait to leave the town they grew up in, and other's are loyal to a fault. It's not to say, leave your good job and established life to live in a town where Burger King can't even survive. However, you can't make judgement on how much you love the place you live till you actually live somewhere else. I know for sure that I never want to move back to Orlando, though I miss the people tremendously sometimes. Still, just as much I've decided that I'm not married to Idaho either. It's impossible to say, and I may die here. I just know that if the right circumstances were there that I could leave.

We really enjoy the life we've set up here, and I'm sure there are a lot of people around who wouldn't understand going from a place like Orlando to this tiny place in Idaho. I just find it really interesting that so many people I've known over the years have this sort of love/hate relationship with where they live or where they grew up. So many people want to be somewhere else, and for so many reasons. When people talk to me about how much they hate it here and wish they lived in some mega-city, I just laugh in the knowledge that after a while of living in a mega-city they'd be doing just as much complaining about living there. So the wheel turns....

I am beyond curious about what William and Carter will think about growing up around here when they look back on their lives. I get the feeling I can help with the memories by putting a stop to my constant Mickey Mouse Clubhouse quotes and rants.


*This is funny cause when you have kids it doesn't matter how big your house is, you'll never have enough space.

**Untrue, but we did win the lottery the first week we lived here. Pretty much the same level of cool, slightly less hat.

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