Now, if you have been following along for any length of time, you’re quite aware that I don’t want to live in California. I don’t want to raise my children there, I want a better life and better education for them. I want weather that is more even and less extreme. And, I want landscape that is beautiful with seasons that are clearly defined.
I also want my kids to know what it’s like to see the country. To have visited different states and explore new and different areas. I want them to be able to say things “oh yeah, I’ve been there!” when it comes to traveling discussions.
Most importantly, I want them to have memories of Auntie’s tea parties and movie nights. I want them my kids and my nieces to know what it’s like to take late night trips in the summer to get ice cream after dark. To experience a night time picnic in the park, like I did.
I want my my nieces and nephews to know what it’s like to know me. To constantly have their Aunt Katy around. I want them to know I’ve got their back.
I mistakenly believed that those traditions, the fun, the relationship did not require any shortage of distance. That goes back “home” would be easy. That waiting a year for a family trip to California would be easy.
I was wrong.
We have lived in Indiana for 6 months, as of today. And, I can only tell you that I hate it.
Reasons I’m Not Happy in Indiana
We’re too far from family. There is no way you can pay me to move 3,200 miles away from my family again. This is, unless you’re going to pay me millions so I can be with them anytime I want. This is too far. Distance is nice, not this much though.
We don’t fit in here. As a lesbian lead family, we’re really really outcasts here. I haven’t had people do a double take on me holding hands with a woman in years. Now it’s so constant that it’s not worth holding hands.
We’re in the middle of nowhere. And really, this could be fixed. I like cities like Bloomington which have a younger feel thanks to the presence of IU. But I still don’t feel like I fit in here.
Snow. I had no idea, but no. Just no.
Schools use the Common Core curriculum. Initially, when Zadey was held back in the 1st grade here I thought it would be good for her. To some degree it has been. However, I’m not a fan of Common Core and ultimately believe it would hold her back even more.
The Good Side to Indiana
Things are not all bad here. There are so things about living in Indiana that I like. For example, it’s just a quick drive from Indiana to a lot of major cities that I have always wanted to see. Chicago, for example. As I’ve now been there twice.
The cost of living here is significantly cheaper than California, though the wages are also lower so good luck supporting your family of 5 on that… if you can even find a job!
Real seasons. Those in the Midwest know what it’s actually like to have a fall and spring. In California we quickly blow past those and really narrow down our seasons to two: hot and not-so-hot.
Living In Indiana Has Been Humbling
In the last 6 months, while living in Indiana, I have had quite a few things happen and I have begun to think. Living here has not been easy for us, for so many reasons, I feel like I’m constantly searching for answers to get the right outcome to do what is best for my family.
In October, when we were looking for our own place to live, Joanne and I talked about the possibility of going back to California instead. We almost did it. We had the plan. We decided to give Indiana a fair chance and I couldn’t be more sorry about that. We should have gone home.
We don’t know anyone here. The friends we lived with are no longer friends. And that ended in one of those nasty, feel like you’re in high school, cat fight kind of ways. No, that wasn’t me either… of that much I’m sure. So when you’re 3,200 miles away from your family and Christmas comes and you know no one, well, depressing is hardly the word.
Same goes for Thanksgiving.
When I had a major dental crisis, I called my mom and sister back in California crying in pain. My sister was on the phone doing everything she could for me. Talking to my insurance, calling oral surgeon’s offices, whatever she could. And it made me realize… this would be easier for both of us, if I was living in California.
For the first time, in my entire life, I’m homesick. And not just for my family either. I miss the familiarity of my city. I miss leaving my house in the winter. My poor kids have serious cabin fever and there’s not a thing I can do about it.
So What’s Our Plan?
Home. Home is our plan. We’re going home. And pretty darn quick.
Originally we had anticipated that we’d wait until the end of the school and go back to California in June. I thought that would be a good solid plan for us. However, as it stands right now, I’m not sure that will work out for us financially.
Instead it looks like we’ll be moving back in a month, at the start of February.
Truthfully, I couldn’t be more anxious. I feel like I’m in a cave and I’m trying to claw my way out.
I feel so humbled and so traumatized by the experience of living here and all that we have gone through, that frankly, I can’t think of anything better than going back to California and settling down. For good.
It’s home. I understand that now. And unless my sister and nieces are going to pick up and move with me, well, I just don’t see any reason to move. Instead, let’s travel.