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Will NYC Be Our Home?

June 25, 2013 - Carrie Olson
Each weekend, we spend at least a day crossing off items on our NYC bucket list. Two weeks ago it was Coney Island. The past weekend was a trip to the Bronx Zoo. And each week, we add to the list – whether it be a new restaurant or pub that we heard rave reviews about or another park to visit. Lately, we have started compiling an East Coast list. We just need a few more dollars, a rental car, and some vacation time.

We still live here like we are tourists. And for as long as that may be, we will probably do the same. Through my work as a writer at a magazine, I have heard a few actors talk about their professional time spent in NYC. It’s usually the same: I was too busy, I should have spent more time exploring. And that statement doesn’t make me smug, it just urges me to continue on with the pattern we started since we moved here last August.

Sure, we technically live here. And when I say “I’m going home for the night”, it’s to our apartment in Jersey City across the water (which I will remind people is exactly a 6-minute ride across the Hudson – best commute time ever, or at least I say so.) But is this home? The apartment is decorated to my liking - cozy, inviting and a great place to relax and watch a movie. But is this home?

For now. And at least into the near future. Nate is a year in to his two-year creative writing program and was recently employed by Rutgers as a poetry teacher. I recently started my position at a national magazine, editing and writing features. For now, it’s great. On paper, it’s great. We’re at a place ripe with professional contacts, where our careers can take off. And being with the person I want to spend my life with, that makes it home.

But is this it? No, I don’t think so. While I’m no longer homesick as I once was, it’s not the place I want to plunk down my money to buy a house and start a family. Even if we moved out to the suburbs, it’s just not where I want to land.

My “home” bucket list includes: Green, room to grow, community, and family and friends. I’ve got to see some wild trees and flowers soon or I will go crazy! Buildings are only cute for so long ;) Room to grow: After spending a few years in a writing field as a career, I’m ready to start another one: Teacher. And that requires a couple more years of schooling. Community: We’ve met some really lovely people here so far, but we feel far from involved in the place that we live. I’d love to share with my future children some of the childhood that I was allowed to experience. And family and friends. I guess that needs no explanation.

So this stint here may last for one, two, perhaps three more years. This move is a bit more dependent on where Nate gets a job after finishing his program. But hopefully someplace in the Midwest will be a great place to finally permanently reside.

We will continue to live like tourists, checking off and adding to our NYC bucket list for the time being. And while eventually this city will become just another place to travel to in the future, for right now, it is our home.


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