If you asked me a while ago whether I would sell most of the things I owned to move halfway across the country with an infant, I would have told you to kick rocks. Yet, that is exactly what my husband and I did.
We were blessed with our son January 2014. He was healthy and one serious cutie. Prior to his arrival, I turned the second bedroom of our condo into a home office/nursery and spent countless hours making sure everything was in its place. Sure, my husband and I talked about purchasing a bigger home for future children, but we were cozy in our Jersey pad, nestled in a quiet but convenient location to New York City.
Our lives quickly changed when we got a phone call from my in-laws about a big move. Not only was my father-in-law taking a special project in the Middle East and leaving in a couple months, but now my mother-in-law was packing up for a job opportunity across the pond. “What’s going to happen to their house in Oklahoma City?” I asked my husband. “Well they can’t exactly take it with them,” he answered.
I honestly don’t know what came over me, but I started thinking about a larger home in a more laid back environment. I’m a city girl through and through. I grew up in Baltimore City and have only really known an urban environment. Aren’t there only cowboys and Republicans carrying guns everywhere in Oklahoma? It would be silly to move there, right? Then it dawned on me, Oklahoma City has been making waves as one of the best places for business, a place where a lot of African Americans are moving to and a top 10 city for employment.
After weighing the pros (lower cost of living) and cons (tornadoes), we ultimately decided it would be a great move for our family–especially since we both work from home and don’t have to go into a physical office. Once our son was four months and the weather warmer, we packed up, loaded our suitcases into our car and said goodbye to the East coast.
Let me tell you how real God is because our son slept the majority of the time in the car! We drove many hours to Columbus, OH where we stayed the night with an aunt of mine. The second day felt like an eternity as we went through the same landscape for hours on end. Finally we found ourselves somewhere near Joplin, MO which was oddly nice. We reached our new home on the third day–and I was too thankful to not be confined to a vehicle.
Side note: Lucky for us we moved during Memorial Day weekend and found a nice furniture retailer with a damn good sale. We might have come to Oklahoma with next to no furniture, but sure did make up for it when we got here. (Mama knows how to get a deal.)
I thought the culture shock of going from flashing lights to a more rural area would be tough, but it hasn’t been that bad. We now have a home with four bedrooms, two bathrooms and an acre-plus of land. The folks near us are oddly nice and have a southern hospitality about them. People take their time to get from point A to point B — and there’s a wonderful focus on family life and values.
I never thought I would say this, but Oklahoma City feels like home. It’s easy to shrug off such a place and not think twice about it, but it’s honestly not that bad. Food is cheaper here and really good! We have so many family-oriented festivals and activities to choose from on a weekly basis that our calendar is full. You might not believe this, but there are more things to do here than we could ever dream in New Jersey or New York City.
Who knows if we will stay in Oklahoma. We’re currently saving up for a home of our own. Maybe we’ll move back to the East coast, or maybe we’ll stay in the Sooner state.
Have you been considering a move cross country? Rather than shrug it off because it sounds foreign, give it some thought. It could be a blessing in disguise.