Tuesday, 6 January 2015

"Should I stay or should I go? If I go there could be trouble...

...If I stay it could be double." Thank you, Strummer et al for that elucidating argument.

So, S and I are contemplating a move, and we are having a hard time getting our heads around things.

A really hard time.

We currently live in the one of the most economically depressed provinces, and the only one that has a language barrier to overcome. We  will always be outsiders. Taxes are insanely high, infrastructure is post-apocalyptically bad, and S cannot find a decent, steady job in his field. Or really any steady job. Housing prices keep rising, and since we are working with my salary alone, we might eventually manage a mortgage on a little three bedroom home in a sketchy area. But we can’t quite get to the four bedroom we’d need to move forward with foster/adoption, and I don’t want to live in gangland, even by Canada’s milder standards.  I suppose we could find something on the edge of nowhere, but the commute already eats up a good two hours of my day, and we only live ten kilometers from my work.

We could move back west.  Right now we are far from our families, not that we’d necessarily be close, even if we lived next door – notably excepting our fathers.  And possibly our siblings, since the break between is less lack of love than lack of commonality. Okay fine, we miss our families. We’d like to be closer, in all the layers of meaning that phrase holds. S should have a much easier time finding work- his field is still very specialized, but at least there would be no language barrier. Taxes would be lower, and with two reliable incomes we could possibly buy a house, have a yard, make the commute  more manageable. We could foster.  Life could be rosy…. But yet….We’d need to start over. Housing could be even more expensive, and daycare would be forty to fifty dollars per day, per child. The kids would lose their bilingualism, even in immersion school. Life would be grayer, more culturally homogenous. I’d miss my friends, and making new ones does come easily to me. Not to mention all the hassle of moving a family of four across this ridiculously large country – finding housing, jobs, pediatricians, dentists, family doctors.... And then there are the moving expenses.

On the (infamous) other hand, we could stay here.  I have a decent, secure job. Maybe S could learn the language, find a way to retrain in a more secure field. We adore this city, with its plenitude of parks, festivals,  and free outdoor pools. The culture is diverse and vibrant,  the food is fantastic, and the public transit system is extensive and generally reliable.  It’s politically left-leaning, which suits us well. Daycare is seven dollars a day per child. Seven dollars. The school system is decent, and my children will grow up fully bilingual. When they eventually get to higher education, tuition costs for residents are about half what they are in the rest of the country, and we have some of the finest universities.  We've built a life here, surrounded by amazing, supportive friends.

I think …I think…I think... I need help with this one. On one hand, this:

“And the danger is that in this move toward new horizons and far directions, that I may lose what I have now, and not find anything except loneliness.”
― Sylvia Plath, The Unabridged Journals of Sylvia Plath

And on the other, this:

“I give you this to take with you:
Nothing remains as it was. If you know this, you can
begin again, with pure joy in the uprooting.”
― Judith Minty, Letters to My Daughters

 What would you do? Throw up your hands and head for possibly greener pastures, knowing that they could be full of gopher holes? Stay put and pour your energies into a better life here, and if sometimes you feel your pouring it into a pit, the rest of the time you are happy?

Tell me what you think in the comments!

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