Last Thursday was a strange day, right from the very beginning. I happened to wake up exactly on time, despite the fact that I had somehow forgotten to set my alarm the night before. I'm amazed I'm not still sleeping, to be honest. Waking up at 8:00 in the morning is not natural for me, so I don't know how or why it happened. From there I went to check on my iPod and discovered it was apparently still broken, which made me irritated although not surprised in the least.
Then I left for work. I work in Holland, which is about 25 miles or so north of Bowling Green, which equates to about half an hour of driving, give or take a few minutes, on a normal day. Of course, that was not a normal day. I wanted to get to work a few minutes early, so I left a few minutes early. In the course of my commute, there were at least two minor accidents which led to three major traffic backups. This turned a 30-minute drive into at least a 45-minute drive. Fifteen minutes isn't a huge deal in the grand scheme of things, but it did mean that I arrived a few minutes late for work, when I intended to get there even earlier than usual (and I'm usually there around five minutes early).
Coincidentally, Brandi and I have been talking about and looking into the possibility of moving to Toledo (which would ease the commute considerably) when our current lease expires in August. In fact, earlier last week we had gone to look at an apartment just a few blocks from where I work. As much sense as this move seems to make, though, I must admit that I have some mixed feelings about it.
I work in Toledo because I live in Bowling Green, and not the other way around. I went to college in Bowling Green and moved back home (near Dayton) after I graduated. After living there for nearly a year, I decided to leave my job and move back to Bowling Green (of course, the company I was working for ended up going out of business before I could quit, but I didn't know that was going to happen when I made my decision). I moved back simply because I decided I'd rather live here than there, and I figured a job would take care of itself. Now, more than four years later, the job has finally taken care of itself (more or less), but it's pushing me toward moving out of BG.
One awesome thing about the apartment we looked at--which will be where we move if we do decide to leave BG--is that each unit has a dishwasher and laundry facilities. So far as we've been able to determine, that's a perk that no apartments in Bowling Green offer, and the price of such a place would likely be too high even if we could find one. I don't really mind doing dishes by hand, but I don't do them often because it takes me forever, so Brandi usually ends up doing them. With a dishwasher, that wouldn't be as big of a deal. With laundry facilities, the endless scrounging for quarters would finally be over, and it would just be a lot more convenient in general. So these things are a definite point in favor of moving.
The whole idea of moving is about convenience, really. On top of the facilities, moving there would decrease my commute time from half an hour to about five to ten minutes each way. That's pretty significant, especially since I generally feel like I don't have enough time to do things I want or need to do. On the other hand, no matter how much time gets added to my schedule, it never seems to help as much as I think it will. Besides, other than the criminally high price of gasoline, I don't mind the drive at all. It's a rare pocket of alone time that lets me rock out with some tunes, zone into an audiobook, or just ponder the mysteries of life. I know Brandi hates the drive, though, so I know she's definitely in favor of the move for that reason alone.
Another reason I know Brandi is in favor of the move is that the potential new place allows pets, which are forbidden at our current apartment. She has wanted a cat for a long time. Even so, I don't know that we'll be able to get one. Sure, they're allowed, but with added cost to the security deposit and monthly rent. The extra cost is significant, probably significant enough to keep us from doing it.
It makes a lot of sense, but the thought of moving to Toledo just bothers me. As I said, I live in this corner of the world because I love being in BG. If I'm going to move, it makes just as much sense to move back to Troy or somewhere else entirely. I like it here because I like being close to campus and surrounded by college students, with all the events, intellectual stimulation, and chaos that come along with it. I love the fact that the town never really goes to sleep. You can go outside at any time of day or night and probably find that you're not the only one out and about. It's awesome. When I moved back to Troy after graduation, it was often boring and/or irritating to rediscover the limitations of a town that essentially shuts down at 9:00 p.m. (and I say that as someone who also loves Troy--I'm just not ready to live there again just yet).
The bottom line, I suppose, at least for me, is that Bowling Green is a young town, and I'm still a young man. Sure, I'm older than the general college population, but I still love being around them and don't feel out of place among them (indeed, I feel much more out of place among "adults"). I look and feel younger than I really am. I have the rest of my life to live somewhere that "makes sense" as opposed to somewhere I just love to be, and I'm not sure I'm ready to make that move just yet.