“But cities aren’t like people; they live on and on, even though their reason for being where they are has gone downriver and out to sea.” ― John Updike
I can’t believe it’s almost here. Tomorrow, my family is closing on our first home. We have waited a long time. I’ve had a number of reasons, excuses, and rationalizations for why we didn’t buy a home sooner, but it all boils down to one thing – before now, we didn’t want one.
I know that sounds a little crazy, right? Everyone wants a house, right? I really didn’t. I couldn’t decide if I wanted to stay in Milwaukee. I couldn’t decide where I would want to buy a house. I didn’t want to commit to at least 6 more years, maybe longer. Living a sort of flexible life in an apartment has had appeal.
It’s not that I don’t like Milwaukee. I don’t see it as any better or worse than any other city. I think we can get caught up in the “grass is greener” approach to life. Are there more opportunities for art or culture in other cities? Of course there are, but I’m sure there are people in New York who have never experienced an opera at the Met or stepped foot inside the Guggenheim. In Milwaukee, we have the same opportunities to either experience art or ignore it as any other urban dweller. And we have lots of beer, so that’s cool too.
Right now the country doesn’t appeal to me. I find comfort in the anonymity of a city. I’ve found comfort for the last 12 years that I’ve lived six or eight stories in the air and surrounded by people. I have also loved the noise of the city – cars, ambulances, and people talking outside. The ambient noise is soothing.
With that said, I’m looking forward to what a new house will bring. Of course, we’re not leaving the city. Although, we’re on a quiet street so I’ll have to get used to that. I won’t have the constant hum of the traffic outside my window.
Fynn has been excited for the new house. He hasn’t really expressed why. We’ve been bringing up the yard and his new room. I just think he’s excited for the newness of it all. I’ll be waiting to see if he asks to go back to the city house. The strange thing about the apartment is that he’s identified himself as a “city kid.” When tall buildings become more visible when we return from venturing to the suburbs, he says, “It’s my city. I love my city.” I’m glad we’re not moving too far away.
So tomorrow we close and then we’ll move. I’m excited and stressed and nervous all at the same time. I’m looking forward to making this new house our own.
And of course, I’m looking forward to my very own washer and dryer.