Got out and voted Tuesday after dinner. Since I went later in the day, I missed the crowds. I was able to get in and get out pretty quick. As I’ve been having lower back problems recently, I was able to get a chair to sit in while I worked the ballot. All I had to do was ask. Sometimes I think people in general don’t get the assistance that could make things easier just because they don’t ask for help. For years I had problems asking for help as I instead preferred to give help instead. Only within the last year or so have I gotten comfortable asking for help whenever I have a problem I can’t easily solve on my own. I guess that I, like many men, am a problem solver. And sometimes it was tough for me to admit I could use an extra set of hands or extra mind working on a problem.
In other news, my parents are in the process of moving out of state. They bought a small house in the same town my brother and his family live in. As all their grandkids are in school now they want to see them grow up and participate in activities and school functions. I think that once they get settled in permanently in their new house, I’ll look to relocate nearby. As where they are moving to is in a suburb of a metroplex, I imagine I’ll need to be careful about what kind of low income housing I move to. My brother has already told me a few neighborhoods that are rougher than others that I should avoid. As they hope to be relocated by the end of November, I will be hosting them for a Thanksgiving dinner this weekend. I’ve been spending much of my day after the midterm elections straightening and decluttering my home. I had been kind of lazy about clutter for the last few weeks. But I want the place to be presentable as it will probably be our family’s last gathering in Nebraska.
I guess I have mixed emotions about leaving the small farm towns I have known as home my entire life. I am excited about the possibility of moving to a larger area where I could meet more writers and people with my interests in person. I am excited about going somewhere that is growing and not so out of the way. But I am concerned about starting over in my late 30s, especially with mental illness issues. I am also concerned about fitting in at a different social environment. I’ve had problems fitting in even among people I grew up with my entire life. So I am kind of scared of the social aspects as I have problems socializing even in my hometown.
Other than getting to see my nephews and niece more often, I hope my life doesn’t really alter that much. I do hope I can have a closer friendship with my brother and his wife. My brother and I weren’t close growing up. Part of that was traditional sibling rivalries, and another part was that we were such opposites personality and interests wise. I don’t have any animosity toward him, I just don’t have common interests. I consider not having a close relationship with my only sibling one of the few regrets I have about my life up to this point. Sure I regret becoming mentally ill but there isn’t anything I could have personally done to prevent it. As it is, I have worked around it for twenty years. I’ve been hospitalized only twice and have avoided trouble with the law. So I’m doing something alright.
Overall, the last several months of quiet monotony have come to an end. My parents are relocating and I probably will be too within the next several months. I am both excited and apprehensive at the same time. The only true constant if life is change. But with change comes the possibility of new opportunity.
I’m going to go off subject for this post. But some major changes may be happing in my life soon. I might be moving to a larger city. Which excites me as most of my friends and family have already moved to larger areas. I’m pretty much the last person of my group of friends left in a rural area. My father has been saying since the 1980s that rural America’s greatest export isn’t crops but it’s most intelligent young people. I didn’t believe him when I was in school because even though I was around some troublemakers who didn’t want to be there, I could find smart people to hang out with whenever I wanted. It wasn’t until I got out of college and into the workforce did I realize just how right my father was. Finding intelligent people to have in depth and far flung intelligent conversations with is brutally tough. And it got tougher the older I became.
I should have known something was amiss when most of my friends left the rural area I lived in and went to major cities to find jobs requiring lots of brain power. Even most of my cousins moved to larger areas. One cousin of mine lived in a suburb of our state capital but still telecommuted from his home for several years. Even I telecommute with this blog. I wouldn’t have anywhere near the reach without the internet. Yet I think I could do even better if I was in a larger city with more in person contacts. I stayed in a rural area mainly because of my family and wanting to be close to family while I worked though life with a mental illness. Now my parents are talking about moving to Oklahoma City to be near my brother and his family. If they go, I’m going with them. It was always my plan that I would move to be near my brother after my parents died. But I might not have to wait that long. Besides, I like having my parents around.
It’s not that I am anti social or don’t like communicating with people. I love having intelligent conversations. A half hour intelligent conversation with family members or old friends is enough to recharge my batteries for a few days. Intelligent conversation and learning new things actually makes me feel physically good. It gives me a high that no drug, money, or woman can duplicate. Yet I don’t get that much in the low income housing complex or rural town I live in. I didn’t used to believe it, but I now really believe that there is a “brain drain” that is taking really smart people out of rural areas and sending those brains to urban and suburban areas where there are high paying jobs that require lots of brain power to accomplish. I have met some really sharp farm workers and factory workers over the years of living in rural areas. But I still think they could be doing much better had they gotten some high tech education and moved to a larger city.
Most of my friends in high school and college were really sharp people. As a result, all of them moved out of the rural area I grew up in. And most of them are making pretty decent money. My brother is an engineer for a large firm and so is his wife. He wouldn’t be doing nearly as well had he stayed in the rural areas. A friend of mine living in a Midwest city and her husband are considering moving to the coast because of better job opportunities. My parents are considering moving to Oklahoma City to be closer to the grandkids. If they move, then I won’t be far behind. Part of me has always wanted to see what life in a city was like. I do find it annoying that public transit doesn’t really exist in my town. If I had access to public transit, I’m not sure I’d even own a car. I don’t like driving. I never have. And I know many younger people don’t even want to own cars.
I have never lived in a city. Yet pretty much every one I know who lives in rural areas are trying to tell me how bad city living is and how unfriendly city people are. I have met plenty of unfriendly people in rural areas too. If you look hard enough, you can find whatever you want in people pretty much anywhere. I’m not scared of moving to a city. I am ready for a new chapter in my life. And I feel I have gone as far as I can go living in a rural area.
Since the weather has turned to true spring, I’ve been getting out of my apartment at least a few times per day. Sometimes I’ll sit outside and listen to the birds and watch the squirrels. A few times this spring I had Jimmy John’s delivery and had makeshift picnics. I still don’t drive much simply because I don’t have to, especially since I can do most of my shopping and socializing online or over the phone. But I’ll drive my car at least once a day just to make sure everything is running all right.
I renewed the lease on my apartment for another year just in case the move out of state doesn’t come through. The big hang up is whether my parents can get their acreage sold. Right now they are baby sitting their grandkids for the next several days and looking over a few places in person. I wouldn’t mind moving to a larger city as I have always wanted to live in a city at least once. I’ve lived in villages and small towns my entire life. I’m not as in love with rural living as most of my family and classmates from high school. I would love to see what the world has to offer. Being in spring has me hopeful and thinking about the future.
There have been some developments coming about over the last several weeks, so some updates are in order. My parents are seriously thinking about moving out of state to be closer to their grandkids. And I have decided that, barring any static from Social Security, I’m going to be moving with them should they decide to go through with this.
Naturally I don’t have much of an idea of where to start with the whole deal. I imagine I’m going to need to contact my local Social Security office and let them know I might be moving out of state. I don’t know how long this kind of change over is going to take. And there is the prospect of my having to find a place near my parents. So far as far as we can tell, all of the low income places have waiting lists. It is possible I might be couch surfing with my parents or my brother for several months until something comes open.
I have no idea how I’m going to transfer my medicaid out of state. I might even be able to qualify for more programs because I’ll be in an urban area. My home state of Nebraska doesn’t usually give much of extra benefits and we do have one of the lowest costs of living in the country.
In short, it is quite possible that there are going to be some major changes in the coming weeks and months. I’ll keep everyone posted.