This isn’t the first time (and it certainly won’t be the last) that I write about indecision. After all, I’m pretty much my own worst enemy. Current internal debate (well, one of them): Where will we live?
This is something I’ve struggled with my entire adulthood. As a teen, I knew all I wanted to do was get. out. That is of course very common for kids who grow up in a small town. I went an hour away to college and that one hour made me feel like I was in an entirely different country. I lived in my college town of Hattiesburg, Mississippi for about 6 years. When I was pregnant with my oldest son, my boyfriend and I moved to Maryland, in a town just outside of D.C. I lived there for a short time before I realized I wanted to go back to the south and be near my family. I moved back in with my dad and my boyfriend went his own way. When Nick was just nearly a year old, I met Dustin and was faced with choices. Once we knew we wanted to go the distance, Nick and I moved in with Dustin in Clermont, Florida. I loved it there, but it was physically painful to be so far away from my parents as I raised children. After much thought and discussion, we relocated our family of four to Lucedale again. We never meant to stay in Lucedale. It was just meant to be a transition, a place to stay rent-free while we tried to find jobs and our own home. The job market proved to be really tough and it took awhile to get jobs. We ended up staying at my dad’s for about a year while Dustin commuted a total of 3+ hours per day. It was rough to say the least. During our stay, we were faced with a huge decision and went back and forth on it several times. My dad offered to let us take over the mortgage on his house so that we could be homeowners. He even offered to move out into a trailer on his property so that we could have all the space. The house is very small and needs tons of work, but we had lots of ideas to take on the task a little at a time. The problem was that there is nowhere to work in that tiny town. Other than the city and county employees, teachers, and farmers, most people drive out of town for work. As much as I had grown to love the idea of raising my children out in the country on the very land where I was raised, and sending them to the schools I attended, going to the church I love… I had to let go and look for homes elsewhere. We turned down my dad’s offer and the week after I accepted a job near Dustin’s work, we moved into our new rental house.
We loved our house immediately and for the most part, still do. We have a fabulous landlord and he wants to owner finance the home for us. Oh look, another decision. While it’s a great opportunity given our poor credit… we don’t know that we love the house enough to buy it. To make it the right home for us would take a lot of work and adding on (hello?! I have a 2×2 closet in my bedroom!). I also am not crazy about our neighborhood. It’s a little run down, which turns me off from buying. We signed our second year-long lease in February, so we have at least nine months before we have to decide where we’re headed next. But I’m already dwelling on it and stressing over it. We want to buy the next place we live in, so we’ve started trying to prepare for that, paying down debts and saving. The big issue is where will we buy the place we want to settle down indefinitely? I’ve been weighing school districts, shopping amenities, highway access, insurance rates, property taxes, proximity to jobs, distance from my parents… and I’m more confused than when I started. We have pretty much decided to stay on the Gulf Coast and probably stay in our county. I go back and forth between living a little outside of town with some acreage and living in a nice little neighborhood where our kids can play with neighbor friends.
If it were completely up to me, we’d just move back to my hometown of Lucedale. I have visions of low cost of living and less expensive homes and insurance (not in flood zones!), as well as less hurricane threat… of going to the church I love and getting together with my family on a regular basis. I would love to be able to just have my dad over for dinner without him having to sleep over (sharing a twin bed with a 6 year old!). I’d love to get our boys together with their cousins and my friends’ kids. I want to open a business on Main Street like I’ve dreamed of my whole life. I’m nothing if not sentimental and the idea of a country life surrounded by people I know and love sounds damn amazing to me. However, this is not my reality. I’m married to a city boy who loves convenience and has zero interest in making a daily commute (not that I’m crazy about that myself).
Have you ever been faced with the same decision over and over? Are you like me and waver on 80% of things in your life?