I am getting older and I am longing for a change of pace. Although I live in the “suburbs” of DC, I still feel the pressure of the rat race every single day and it is exhausting. I am longing for a simpler life that we can afford. I want to expose my son to everything the world has to offer, including being apart of a tight knit community where people know your name.
We have been discussing moving to Houston even before we had our son and now it comes up in conversation more and more. Houston is a great place if you have never been but what I love most is how every neighborhood has everything you need. You drive outside of your suburban community and you arrive at the shopping center that houses your needs in a 4 block radius; Target, Krogers, Marshalls, Nail salon, Chuckie Cheese and great food! Although these seems like nothing, it helps to center the activities of that community into one central location. You go to the same grocery store every week and you begin to connect with those who work and shop there.
I love DC and all it has given me over the past 11 years but something here is missing. I know that every where we go there will be traffic, weather to complain about or disconnected aspects of a community but DC does not give me a feeling of being home. The growth of the city is focused more on the young, hip and rich and less on working class families. At one time I felt like I did not belong any place else, suddenly I feel completely out of place.
Some of it has to do with having a kid. Strollers don’t fit into these cute shops and restaurants and people aren’t interested in hearing your baby have a temporary melt down in their cool, chic eatery. Some of it has to do with having student loans. I owe a mortgage in student loans and the pay off date doesn’t exist in this decade or the next or anyone close to that. Some of it has to do with coming full circle. Although I was born in Connecticut, my formative years were in Houston and I still have so many friends there. I felt home when I was there and when I go, it always brings a breath of fresh air.
At this point in my life I am no longer focused just on the cost of living but on our quality of life. Even if Houston is not our next stop on our journey, I know that our current location is coming to an end sooner than later. I have accomplished more in these 11 years than I could have ever dreamed but there is so much more in the world and I think I could get a better view from a different place.
The book of life is full of chapters and subchapters. This chapter of my life in DC has been long and filled with so many amazing memories. I sense that it will be closing soon with all of its many subchapters finally coming to a complete end.
A new beginning is on the horizon and I am ready. I don’t know when. Maybe not today or tomorrow but soon. Be you. Do you. Tell your own story. On your own terms.