October 22nd, 2010

there!, Hello

Florida, The Ocean, and a Trip to Me

After being called down to Texas by a lovely job, hntrpyanfar's boss has decided to move to Florida. Tuesday, we went down to take a look at the area, and what we discovered was a retirement community that is "exploding" (this descriptor applied by a Realtor looking to get us into a rental house). As I did not behold any combustion, I suppose she meant to say "expanding in directions other than retirement oriented ones".

The place (Port Saint Lucie) struck me as rather bland. An example of the mall culture that I no longer feel a part of (I don't go shopping for shopping's sake these days), and lots of sad looking palm trees. It's the kind of place that would drive me to television.

Of course, the working facility (a nice prison building from the outside) turned out to be pretty swell, says hntrpyanfar, and the folks who work there are nifty. So, then it came time to decide: is this right for us? My gut says no. My gut says, this place is a hole that I would rather die than be stuck in for two years. My gut is a tad dramatic, no?

So, we traveled half an hour south to Jupiter, Florida. Which is a bit more welcoming. Here we visited the beach. Best part of the trip, so far as I'm concerned. Seeing the Atlantic once more really speaks to my heart. Especially watching the little white birds (puffy white and gray feather balls about the size of my fist balanced atop black legs no wider than pretzel sticks) run out on the beach when the tide retreated, so they could peck at air holes in the sand a couple of times before the water came rushing back in. Then, they ran ahead of the waterline to keep dry, their legs a whirring flurry of motion. Sanderlings, they're called. Made me smile, made me laugh.

The rest of the place. Not my cuppa.

And yet, an unstoppable voice in my head yatters that "We should just move to Florida anyway" because it would be better in the long run. Of course, hntrpyanfar remains pretty closed lipped about what she's looking for in terms of career (ask here: "going sounds just as good as staying"; body language tells me otherwise), and she's concerned that I was not seeing the place clearly (I was seeing it through gray lenses, perhaps). Yes, I suppose I am. It's difficult to go from the seventh largest city in the US, in a section of the country that really speaks to my heart, to a place that boasts a population of 88,000 and little culture (other than bacterial ones). I don't play golf. I don't play tennis. In all likelihood, T will have a thirty minute commute for a job with a $400 greater salary than she's earning here and a moving allotment that won't cover our move.

In the end, it all comes down to a question of what do I want. Am I content with my current role as a writing, contract-working "kept" husband or do I want to get into the world and earn my own sizable wage? Of course, I feel enormous pressure to do the latter. Not from T, but from the culturally imposed mores pounded into my head. We are comfortable, really. Yet I feel like I should be making more, doing more, trying to pull in more bread. Comfortable has never been enough for Real Americans, we should be striving for wealthy dammit! Not an easy thing for me in that location (honestly: not an easy thing to do in any location).

And the worst of it is: on the plane ride back home we decided that the move was not right, that neither of us would be happy there (this decision made me elated!), and today it looks like that decision was not at all final. T was trying it on, and finds it lacking. Arg.

So, back to the question: What do I want?

Right now, my answer is: fucked if I know.
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