There’s no denying it. I am a wishy-washy fuck. Not two days ago, I write a post about how I’m leaning toward moving my home to Dallas. I was committed. My heels dug in. I was even a little bit excited. And truth be told, I felt that way all the way up through this morning. As I lay in bed, scratching the hundreds of mosquito bites now covering my body from both Monday’s and yesterday’s frivolities, I reveled in my near certainty that Dallas – and almost any other place on this planet – would be a vast improvement over Green Bay as far as mosquitoes were concerned.
Then, at some point around mid-day today, I began having second thoughts…
History Repeating Itself
I knew this might happen. This happened last year, right before I signed the 12 month lease that committed me to yet another god-awful Wisconsin winter. I knew that objectively-speaking, moving out of Wisconsin is in my best interests. And I knew that the emotional part of me would yearn – once again – to remain close to my friends. I anticipated this. I knew this was going to be a rough few months for me. All I could do was hope that I was prepared for it and that I could remind myself of the hell I endure every January and February.
But alas, it would seem I wasn’t prepared. Because as of this moment, I’ve all but abandoned the notion of moving to Dallas in favor of remaining here in Green Bay.
I won’t pretend that I’ve thought this through. I’m very much making an impulsive and emotionally-driven decision. And if this ends up being the path I take, there’s a good chance I’ll be cursing myself again come December.
The thing is… there’s nothing drawing me to Dallas, Atlanta, Portland, or anywhere else in this country. Sure, I could identify benefits and advantages to moving to these locations. But my motivation has never been to go to any particular place, but rather to flee this place. I have no job lined up, no family, and no friends in any of these places. Nothing but a desire to get out of Wisconsin, and so my levels of investment and interest and commitment are tenuous at best.
My reasons for wanting out of Wisconsin are the weather and to put physical distance between myself and my [biological] family and former career. Now… I’m not suggesting that these considerations weren’t (or still aren’t) important. The problem is that the cost of moving out of Wisconsin is severing the good connections and relationships that I do have here. Before today, I never felt like those connections (important as they are) were ever a justifiable reason to avoid leaving this frozen shit hole.
I don’t feel that way today.
Green Bay, Wisconsin might never have been my first choice of venue. But whether I like it or not, fate brought me here, and this is where I built up my life. Maybe if I hadn’t started haunting back in 2015, it would have been easier to make a clean break upon my retirement. But that’s not what happened. I began building a new life as a haunter at the same time I was winding down my law practice.
My relationship with my haunt family isn’t perfect. I’ve had personal disputes with a number of them. Many more disputes between haunters (not involving me) have left me feeling disappointed. The takeover of Terror on the Fox by 13th Floor was just the beginning, really. I’ve witnessed numerous fallings out between old friends. I’ve grown disillusioned about the cohesiveness of the haunt crew I knew back in the good ol’ days.
But for the most part, I’m still close to the people I want to be close to (even if they’re not close to each other). It’s not a question of whether I’m able to make new friends in another city. I mean – yes, that was always a concern for an introvert such as myself. But the real issue is that these relationships are important to me, and it’s important that I maintain them. They’re not disposable or replaceable.
I’m not saying that I’d never leave Wisconsin. I just don’t feel like now is the right time to do it. I need a good reason to move to a city, not a good reason to flee one. And the weather – no matter how shitty it gets here in the winter – isn’t a good enough reason to turn my back on my family. I’m sure there will be days when I’ll regret this decision. I may even harbor some resentment toward my friends out of some sense that they’re holding me back.
At the end of the day, I’m not so sure that the decision I made last summer was a mistake. I may have regretted certain aspects of my decision, but truth be told, I’m glad I stayed.
Bones & Morgan, and Other Logistical Benefits
I really hate to single out friends in this context, but I also can’t deny that my relationship with these two is notably different than any other. I didn’t even meet them until after I came back from the North American Road Trip. But now I’m closer to them than I am to anyone else (sorry everyone else). And to boot, I floated my “secret project” to them yesterday, and to my surprise – they seemed to be on board. We certainly could work on this project together even if I moved to Dallas. But it would be so much easier to coordinate if I remain here. And… at least as far as my haunt ambitions are concerned, this new project is my priority. I don’t give a shit about working commercial haunts anymore. This project is going to be my thing, and this project I can do just as easily in Wisconsin as anywhere else.
Looking for a job or home is going to be difficult as it is. I’m still freaking out. I’ve barely made a scratch on the search for either one. I keep finding ways to procrastinate because I am very overwhelmed by these tasks. All of this would be more difficult if done remotely. It’s hard to look for work in Dallas when I’m not there to interview. It’s hard to find a place to rent when I don’t have a job lined up. It is a vicious little circle. At least here, I can be more proactive in the job hunt. And I know places where I can crash if I don’t find a new home in time.
I’ve still got my work cut out for me over these next six weeks. I just think it would be foolish for me to cut ties with Wisconsin. Yes, I hate the winters here, and I’ll be bitching up a storm in a few months. But my family is here. And maybe my biggest crime has been not fully appreciating their value to me.