Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Cold Feet, Warm Heart

I haven't experienced a roller coaster of emotions like this since I was going through puberty at the same time that my mom was entering menopause.

I just went through a mini-depression about leaving NYC. Yes, me. The one who's been belly-aching about how much she hates schlepping a stroller up and down subway stairs, the one who bitches about the sour disposition of shop-keeps, the one who would sell her kidney for a parking space so she can run to the grocery store without carrying bags of veggies three blocks to get home.

This is how I roll. I make decisions pretty quickly and easily. I'm the opposite of the Brooklyn Baby Daddy who can take a week to decide what flavor ice cream he'd like to eat. The guy who agonizes over decisions and makes pros and cons lists about the pros and cons lists he's made. The one who can drive me crazy because once he's suggested the possibility of Thai food for dinner, once I've convinced myself that I'm dying for Panang curry with tofu and vegetable spring rolls, he changes his mind and says he just wants a bowl of cereal.

But there is something to be said about Dave's method. He takes a while, he agonizes, but once he's committed to a decision - he's done. Me? I commit. Then I change my mind. Then I change it back. I cry, I moan, I worry.

I could really learn something from my husband.

So, for the past few weeks, I've tossed and turned at night, worried that I'm dragging my entire family away from something wonderful. I've sighed at the Statue of Liberty as we drive across the Brooklyn Bridge. I've looked at Time Out For Kids, marveling at the fact that we could visit any number of museums or zoos or beaches on any given day, just by hopping on the subway. I've watched Stella playing with kids of all imaginable races, religions, and ethnicities on the playground, worried that I'll be robbing her of the diversity I sought by moving here in the first place.

In short, I've been a hypocritical bummer.

But the other day it dawned on me that I've done this before, and that my gut instinct has always been right. I made the decision to move to NYC quickly and easily, then agonized over it after I'd already bought my plane ticket and arranged job interviews for myself. I decided to become a teacher, seemingly on a whim, then worried that I was going to hate it as well as screw up a whole generation of kids. I couldn't wait to get pregnant, and then once I was, I twisted myself up with worry, afraid that I would be a terrible, unstable mother.

Thank goodness I stuck with my initial instincts, because they led me to this wonderful place.

So, now I'm back where I need to be. My amazing brother and his wonderful wife are going to look at apartments and houses for us this weekend in Louisville, and sometimes I have to pinch myself because for about half of what we pay now (which is already a cheap rent for NYC), we'll be living in either house with a yard or a spacious apartment in a complex with a pool and gym. I think about how easy it will be to run errands (parking spots abound)! I think about how it's looking promising that I'll get hired at a struggling rural school on the outskirts of Louisville that has a new principal who wants to turn it around - totally my career dream.

And, most of all, I keep thinking about how we can pile in the car and go see my mom, my sister and her family, my brother and his wife, friends of mine from college and high school that I've rarely seen in twelve years. I think about how we are about to become part of a village, no longer a lone nuclear family in the middle of an enormous city.

We are about to embark on an entirely new journey as a family, and I'm just brimming with excitement. I'm fully, all-the-way committed, no more cold feet.


Holly said...

Congratulations on making your decision, Randi! I'm like you in that I make decisions and then change my mind. But I, too, go by the "trust your instincts" school of thought. Remember, it's not like you're embarking on a journey to Mars. If things don't work out after you've given them a fair shake, you can always come back. I wish you all the best of luck, and I hope you get that dream career!

Mom101 said...


Wow am I behind on your life. I wish you all the luck Randi - Brooklyn will sure miss you, but that yard (and cost of living) does sound pretty darn tempting.

Coleen said...

Hey Randi - We are also planning to head out of the city in the next year or so. I am already thinking about what I will be missing and have not even made a full commitment to leave yet. I am super excited that you have a potential job and it is true, you can come back. I think that when you get there and settle in you will realize that this new place has what you want for now. And when that now changes, you will find that new place. Lets hangout before you go!

dpflaster said...

Alex and I are in NC, and every time we get out of the city and feel the wide open spaces and the sweet smell of nature in the air and how nice people are, we know how badly we want to be somewhere else too.