One year ago this weekend, my husband and I packed up our belongings and drove from Chicago to Columbus for our second move in just over a year of marriage.
Oftentimes, bloggers or writers or anyone, really, chooses to mark one year of living in a new city with a letter to the city or a post about why they’ve come to love this city so much, how many great things there are to do there, and why it may have been hard at first but now it’s home and there’s nowhere else they’d rather be. But that just isn’t me and this isn’t a love letter to the city I’ve spent the past year living in. I’m not going to stretch the truth and say that Columbus feels like home, that there’s nowhere I’d rather be, that it’s the best city in the world. I’m not going to say any of those things because honestly, I don’t love Columbus.
But I like Columbus. And for now, that’s great. That’s enough. I might come to love Columbus, and I might not. And either way I think I will be just fine. Columbus, you see, is a typical city in the Midwest, and it’s very similar to Indianapolis, where I grew up. Columbus isn’t exciting, but it’s comfortable. It’s easy to get around.
It’s big but not too big. It has an easy-to-navigate interstate system. It has all the big retailers and restaurants with a generous sprinkling of local businesses as well. It has four fairly distinct seasons. It’s not terribly difficult to drive to the rest of the country from here. The downtown isn’t really that much to talk about. But the traffic isn’t much to talk about either (okay, people here complain about the traffic – as I inwardly roll my eyes and know it could be so much worse). We’re not near a lake or an ocean, so the cost of living is lower than it would be if there were water nearby. We aren’t far enough west for deep dish pizza and Portillo’s, but we are far enough east for Tim Horton’s and Yuengling. We don’t get in the national news that much or get recognized by the rest of the nation very often, but we do have lower crime rates than bigger cities. We don’t have a NFL, NBA or MLB team but we do have professional hockey and soccer teams (and no, the Buckeyes are not professional). Okay, that last one was a joke. Not having professional teams for sports that people actually watch is a bit of a downer, but go Colts!
After an up and down year of living in Chicago, we moved here and I admit that initially my expectations were sky high. Everything is going to be dirt cheap, the traffic is going to be completely nonexistent, the winters are going to be so much milder, and I’ll have job offers pouring in from all the fashion companies here! I thought. Well, I’ve had to adjust those expectations just a little bit since then. Yes, Columbus is definitely less expensive to live in than Chicago, but we actually live in one of the most expensive (and nicest) suburbs in Columbus. The traffic, as mentioned previously, isn’t much of an issue but it’s definitely not nonexistent. The winters are not quite as cold but they’re still pretty harsh. And the job offers, well, even though Columbus is the third largest fashion city in the US, I ended up with a job very similar to the one I left in Chicago.
At this point, it almost seems like I could conclude with saying something like “The grass isn’t always greener.” And that is a true statement for a lot of things. But, like I said earlier, I do like Columbus. I like our living situation, I like the cute suburb that we live in, I like our church and I like the people. And really, it’s the people here and the community we’ve found that make me like Columbus. I’m content here. I don’t want to spend my time in this city wishing I lived somewhere else because really, everywhere we live on this earth is eventually going to be temporary. The older I get, the more I realize just how precious and short life is. God placed me in this city for a reason and I’m thankful He did. And is all that enough to stay here in Columbus at least for the near future? Oh yes, that’s quite enough.