I realized this week that Monday was exactly a year since we moved away from Cape May. That is crazy. It feels like we were just getting excited about our move to Texas and now here we are in New York City. If someone would have told me that this is where we’d be just a year later, I would have laughed. I probably would have said no way in hell.
It’s funny how things change when you look back on them. My perspective of Houston is much different now that we don’t live there anymore. If I’m brave enough, I might even say that I miss some things about it (Josh feel free to curse me) – but I don’t regret moving. This past year has taught me a lot about myself and what makes me happy. It has taught me a lot about what our kids need to be happy. Basically everything I thought a year ago, about this Coast Guard lifestyle, has changed.
So are we happier in New York? Yes. But not because New York is better than Houston. Actually, I like the city of Houston more. It’s more affordable, easily accessible and friendlier. That is the city of Houston I’m talking about. Not the suburbs. We’re not happier because we like the schools more in New York either. I really wasn’t a fan of our giant, suburban elementary school in Texas but I do miss the friendliness and the softer treatment of children and I know Parker misses it too. We’re not happier because our New York neighborhood is any better. The Houston suburbs and Staten Island are polar opposites but we still deal with the same kind of issues. We’re not happier because Josh’s job in New York is better. Minus a couple things, he enjoyed his work in Texas and made a few good friends that he misses now. We’re happier because we feel like we’re home. This side of the country is where we belong.
When we thought about moving to Texas (it was our #2 and #3 pick on our list), we thought about the adventure of going somewhere we’d never been. Seeing a new part of the country and experiencing a new culture. We thought about how we had lived all the way on the west coast in California and loved it and had been fine living that far from friends and family (we lived there for 8 months and had family visit 5 times – of course we were fine). We didn’t think about the fact that we wouldn’t be able to pick up and head home when we were home sick. We didn’t think about the fact that 95% of our friends live within a 6 hour proximity that was 30 hours from where we would be. We didn’t think about all of the holidays spent alone or school and sports functions missed out on or our new baby niece who wouldn’t know us. So when we got to Texas, and it wasn’t what we had hoped it would be, all of those things that we didn’t think about hit us even harder.
When the option for us to move to New York opened up, I was terrified to take it. What if New York was worse? What if Parker hated his new school? What if Josh hated his new job? What if I wasn’t any happier but was the main cause for our family being uprooted again? The bottom line is that if I would have liked Houston, we’d still be there right now. No one in our family loved Texas but I was the only one who was miserable. I cried and told Josh my fears but like always he was my voice of reason. Ultimately, we decided this – If nothing about New York was better, but we were back with our friends and family, then the move was worth it. And that’s exactly where we are now. Nothing about New York is particularly better (well, no that’s not true. the summer temperature is better. the lack of rodent size bugs is better. the pizza is better.) but we’ve accomplished exactly what we wanted. We’re with the people we need.
Josh and I laugh and joke about whether “Texas really happened”. It was 9 months in a flash but we had some awesome experiences that we won’t forget. The riverwalk in San Antonio, hiking in Austin, walks around an alligator laden swamp, the absolute best Mexican food you’ll have anywhere, the Houston rodeo, Old Town Spring, Texas baked potatoes and a lot more. But from now on, we’re going to try and keep our residence on the east coast and save those awesome out of culture experiences for vacations.
Good luck to all of our friends PCSing this summer!