Thursday, January 3, 2013

To St. Louis or Not To St. Louis, That is the Question

I definitely didn't get up to St. Louis in 2012 as much as I have in years past.  With Bates it's a lot easier for my mom to visit us instead.  But regardless of how much time we've spent visiting, every time we leave, I get this nagging feeling.  Basically, it's a feeling of I don't want to leave!

And I think part of it is not wanting to leave my childhood house, which in effect, feels a little bit like my childhood.  That is, I had this completely lovely life when I lived in that house, before I got into the "real world," and so when I'm there, I get this carefree feeling like I don't have any worries in the world.

But the feeling is also about the city - a city I love - because I don't want to leave it.  That is, I want us to live in St. Louis and raise our family there.  And this hits me every time we're on the highway getting on I-55 to come back to Memphis.

It's a conversation that has come up between Jonathan and me.  Basically, the great question of where is the best place for us to raise our family?  We love Memphis.  I love Memphis - nearly as much (if not equally as much) as I love St. Louis.  It's a great city and we have so many great things going on in it: Jonathan's parents, good couple friends, good girlfriends (for me) and guy friends (for Jonathan), an awesome church we're really involved in, professional networks for both of us; and then the wonderful things about Memphis in general: great food, fun stuff to do, lots of cool neighborhoods to live in, a nice "small town" effect of basically knowing/knowing of everyone in the city somehow, warm climate, low cost of living, no income tax, many opportunities to get involved in the city, etc.

But then the city has negatives.  All cities have negatives, of course.  But some of the most noticeable related to us in Memphis are the schools (ie, public schools aren't awesome so we will most likely send our kids to private) and crime.

And so St. Louis comes up as an alternative to Memphis because it has many of the same positives, but on the flip side has awesome public schools and noticeably lower crime (in any area we would live).

But it's the schools that really get me.  If cost of living is about the same, we will live a lot more comfortably in a place where we aren't spending $30k/year for private school (assuming we have two kids and we won't even get into how I'd like to have 3).  And Bates & sibling(s) will get an awesome education.  And they'll have the great side effect of public schools, which is that all your friends live near you.

Leaving Memphis would be incredibly hard, though.  Maybe the hardest decision we've had to make as a couple thus far.  I actually wonder if it would be such a tough decision that we would never really go through with it.  And that might be the case.  But I hate the idea that fear of the unknown is keeping us from what could be a really great life opportunity.  So who knows.  I feel pretty confident that our life will go where it's supposed to go regardless of what we think we want.  So I guess we'll all (myself included) see where we end up.


jessicakamrath said...

I'm right there with you Jackie! We want to move back to Nashville. We talk about it all the time. Austin is great, but it doesn't feel like home to either Kyle or myself. We would love to move back soon but hopefully before Harper hits Kindergarten. Seems like such a big deal to move when you're so settled though. I'll be interested to see how it pans out for both of us! Happy New Year!

b|rad said...

I didn't realize STL was on the table! Gah, I do enjoy this city! If you do end up moving back down the road, even more of an excuse for me to visit.

Happy New Year friend!

LB said...

I hear you too! I'm sure your decision (or indecision) will become a little clearer as that $30K price tag starts becoming a reality! So crazy. Have you guys thought about moving out to Germantown or another burb? Not ideal for general life but aren't the schools better out there?

As a sidenote, I love the amount of blogging that's been happening in the past month or so!