That Time I Almost Moved to Indiana

The summer has been a bit of whirlwind, so far. My kids have been at various camps at various times (note to self, you really need to synchronize those times), we’ve made it down to the shore, twice (and the fact that I’m saying down the shore means I’ve officially become a shoobie), we’ve hardly gone to the pool, because my kids seem to hate it, and, oh, we almost moved to Indiana.

You know my husband’s job (well, not specifically, because I’m not looking to get him fired), but I’ve talked about it before, the fact that we may have to move, again. He works in a culture of move up or move out, where moving up actually means moving out, and not moving up, well, means you are an unambitious loser taking up space.

We’ve been in this area eight years, now. He’s past his expiration date, so when a job in Indiana opened we made the long drawn out decision to go for it, albeit half heartedly. It’s really hard to do something whole heartedly when your kids are so adamantly against it.

When a job opportunity arises within my husband’s company, he usually has two weeks to make a decision as to whether he wants to throw his hat in the ring. For me, this meant almost two weeks of long redundant Internet searches like “what’s it like to live in Indiana,” “are you happy living in Indiana,” “the best schools in Indianapolis,” “is it better to a be a new kid in a big school or a small school,” and of course, many visits to

As the deadline inched closer, we came to the decision that he would not go out for the job. The kids are happy here, we’re happy here, we are close to family, and honestly, without pressure from my husband’s company, we would never choose to live in Indiana.

Then, on the morning he had to tell his boss, the day before his resume was due, we simultaneously had a change of heart. Things like being jobless and not having health insurance can do this to you.

I spent the next five days living on the Internet, searching the same things I had the week prior.

Within a few days of the decision, my husband was flown to Indiana and interviewed while we waited at home with feelings of dread and excitement, my oldest, every night asking me to sit in his room while he recounted the reasons he didn’t want daddy to get the job, but didn’t want daddy not to get the job. It was heartbreaking.

I’m sure the suburbs of Indianapolis are a great place to live, Money Magazine agreed, voting Carmel, Indiana one of the best places to live in America, but I didn’t know if this east coast girl was ready to commit to becoming an indefinite Midwesterner, which was a possibility.

With a job transfer comes a minimum three year commitment, that puts my oldest in eighth grade (scary), and my middle in sixth, not exactly the best time to pick up and leave, again. Three years and we would just starting feeling like part of the community and that hypothetical three years is a guess, it could be four or five, or until all my kids were out of high school, and then what?  Would we be Hoosiers for life?  

I was stressed out. Having recently made a small move, just one town over, has taught me that moving with school aged children is complicated. Watching your kid walk into a new school where they know no one is hard and heartbreaking, watching them struggle to find their place, even harder. And then, there are the cautionary tales from my neighbors. One couple spent a large part of their lives in Canada because of a job transfer. Years later, they finally came back to the states, their kids didn’t, they met and married Canadians. Their lives are in Canada, their parents are not. My own next door neighbor, who is 90, moved here when two of her children were in high school, she once warned me if we were going to move again, to do it now. She told me her older children never considered where she lives to be their home. They live out of state. Of course, her youngest does, too, so I guess there are no guarantees. Which is the problem when you’re trying to make decisions about the future. The repercussions could be good, they could be bad, most likely, they’d be a combination of both, but there are repercussions. Living in Indiana for the rest of my life could have been one of them.

In the end, my husband did not get the job and we all breathed a sigh of relief. At least, a temporary one, because not getting the job has forced us to rethink his career path, where we want to live, and the financial repercussions of change, all weighty issues. For now, though, we’re very happy living in our small town in NJ.

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