Since moving back to Evansville a few months ago, I’m frequently asked, “So, how do you like it here?” or “Do you miss Chicago (or Boston)?” or something else of the sort. I usually just say “It’s good! Definitely a change of pace, but I’m happy”. And while that is all true, there’s a lot more to it.
After living in Boston and Chicago for a combined almost five years, I really became accustomed to the city life. I took public transportation nearly everywhere I could, I walked down the street to get my groceries or grab a coffee, and I learned that pedestrians really do have the right of way (in Boston, at least). While we lived in the city, though, there were always things that I either didn’t like about it or missed about home. The traffic was horrendous. Always horrendous. It takes a solid 30 minutes to travel five miles by car in the city most days. Waiting for the bus outside when it’s 20 degrees and snowing sideways also wasn’t my idea of a good time. Sharing walls with and ceilings/floors with strangers was a bit of a nuisance (especially when your landlady plays the piano and sings – among other things – right above you for two years). And the exorbitant amount of money we had to pay in rent in order to share those ceilings and walls was a constant drain and headache.
And so sometimes I missed the simplicity and ease of suburban living. I never missed it enough to give up the city life, though. That was until Beckett was born. Then things really changed. Suddenly, that crazy amount of money we were basically throwing in the garbage on rent seemed ridiculous. Buying a home and saving for Beckett’s college education became more important. Public transportation was no longer a realistic option, and lugging the car seat two blocks to the car became a serious workout as Beckett grew. While we did have wonderful friends in the city, we had no family, and this becomes kind of huge once a baby enters the picture. I still had to work my 9-5 job in addition to running my photography business, because #RENT. Well rent and we were never able to locate one of those money tree things.
So we moved. It was the right choice for us at that stage of our lives and for our specific situation. This doesn’t mean that I don’t miss living in the city, though. I do. I miss the energy. I miss being able to walk less than five minutes down the street to grab a coffee. I miss the food. OH, HOW I MISS THE FOOD. I miss being around so many active and ambitious people. I miss being around so many people who are always striving to make things better instead of settling for mediocrity. But I don’t miss any of it enough to move back.
No matter where you live, you’re making a choice and you’re sacrificing something. You just have to figure out what it is that matters most to you. And for us right now, being close to family, having a more reasonable cost of living and being able to drive places in a convenient amount of time trumps the things that we miss about the city. This doesn’t mean that Evansville > Chicago or Evansville > Boston. No way. Evansville, Chicago and Boston all hold very special places in my heart and all for different reasons. But Evansville is where we’ve decided to make our mark and our memories for now. Maybe you’ll catch us soaking up that city living again at some point down the road, and maybe you won’t. Only time will tell.