It seems like I’ve spent the last 41 years if my life trying to get out of this town. My high school boyfriend and I would dream about graduating high school and heading towards New York or Califonia to become STARS. As Senior Thespians we would take the world by storm. That plan was abrubted by his revelation that he was gay. He headed of to Cali after graduation and I stayed behind to nurse my first broken heart.
Like any rational 18 year old I recovered by marrying the first guy that asked with the condition that we would not stay in Kansas City. Months later that plan changed as we ushered in my first born. Months after that another baby and months after that one more. Babies don’t allow you much extra finances to plan a move not to mention the guilt of moving them away from their grandparents. Not that I didn’t dream.
As is the case with most marriages that start in your teens, my marriage dissolved 13 years later leaving me a single mother with three boys. I was blessed to get a great job after never being in the workforce, that gave me a career. This position took me to Tampa FL a couple times a month and taunted me further with my need to leave KC. I was offered a permanent position in Tampa and brought the news to my boys. “We’ll be right next to Disney World” was not enough to persuade them to leave their friends and their extended family so we stayed in KC.
A few years later I met my soul mate. He proposed early on and I was very adamant about telling him that I loved him and wanted to spend the rest of my life with him but would not under any circumstances stay in Kansas city even if it meant not spending my life with him. (I know that is harsh but I was seriously obsessed with getting out of this town) He agreed and we were married. We decided to wait until the last child graduated until we set of for our adventure. Which is two short years away!
Something about this last weekend as seriously put a damper in my plans. I guess you could say my eyes were opened to how lucky I am to live in this city. The amazing variety of restaurants, the beautiful downtown library, the City Market, the local music scene, Loose Park, the Rep theater, the restoration of historic downtown buildings, mixed with controversial but fascinating shiny new Power and Light District.
I picked up a few local rags this weekend. It’s pretty amazing to be in a big metropolitan city and yet recognize the names of folks in various articles, not only the subjects but the authors and photographers. It really is a big city with a small town feel.
These aren’t new revelations though, so what changed this weekend that would make me very seriously consider staying in city that offers no beach and long cold winters? The love…ok don’t roll your eyes at me, but when I walked into Davey’s Uptown on Saturday night, greeted warmly by so many familiar faces and noticed how many of those familiar faces were now sporting bald heads, my heart was overwhelmed with how blessed I am to be friends with such amazing people. If it was me who was battling cancer, I know in my heart that I would get the same outpouring of support. Not because of who I am, but because of who my friends are. They an eclectic group of musicians, business owners, corporate career types, parents, artists,teachers, librarians, burlesque dancers, college students and retirees but they all have one thing in common. They give unconditionally, their love, their time, their support, their talents. How do you leave that? Are warm winters and easy access to the beach a substitute for genuine people who add something to your life every time you see them?
I’m not saying that I have completely given up the idea of moving, but if it turns out that it’s not in the cards, I’m not complaining. I have a wonderful life in a wonderful city with wonderful friends. You can’t complain about that!
(Please remind me to read this blog again when I am freezing my butt off in February after one of our LONG Missouri winters)