I am completely exhausted after my trip to Miami to visit my daughter who moved there three months ago.  I wasn’t exactly thrilled with her decision to move there for a lot of reasons.  We went round and round for weeks about it but in the end you have to let your kids make their own decisions.  We all have to take our own chances and make our own mistakes before we learn.

Well, without sharing too much, I was surprised to learn that she was ready to move back to Illinois.  She was already in the planning process.  Miami is just too expensive of a city to live in.  That was obvious as we drove around.  There are those with much and those with almost nothing.  There’s really nobody in between.  That’s why so many people in large cities are lobbying for a much higher minimum wage.  $15/hour for a fast food worker might seem absurd in Decatur, Illinois but not in places with a high cost of living.  That’s why I think the federal minimum wage should be based upon local economic conditions, not a single wage for the entire nation.

Anyway, her experience and my past experiences have definitely made me realize that we’re all suited for specific places.  Some places seem to have it all but once you’re there, eh, not so much.  They just don’t feel like home.  There’s only one other state I’ve visited that felt like home to me and that was Virginia.  I never wanted to leave, which I wouldn’t have guessed before visiting it.  It’s a good idea to visit a state or a city for a few weeks before picking up and moving there.  It’ll save you a lot of time, trouble, money, and heartache if you discover it’s not for you beforehand.

On the other hand, places that have been our home for years can stop feeling that way.  I’ll be graduating from college in less than a year and I don’t know where I’ll find a job just yet.  However, it’s safe to say that I’ll be leaving the city I’m living in now.  I’m just done with it, as much as it is done with me.  I’ve noticed that when I leave the city for a while, my head clears, I’m not tired, anxious or depressed, and I can breathe.  The air quality is quite miserable some days here.  So, yeah, regardless of where I find a job, I’m not staying in Decatur.  I love the people and my history is here but staying is out of the question, unless I want to feel miserable for the rest of my life.  This summer I’m going to be getting the house ready to go on the market.  I just hope I can find a place that feels like home, whether it’s 10 miles away or 2,000, though more than likely it’ll be a lot closer to 10 miles.  I have a feeling I’m home whether I like it or not. Ha!