Written by: Amanda Albers
As the cliché goes ‘the grass is always greener on the other side’… or so we like to tell ourselves when we are faced in a situation where a positive ending is hard to envision. I can speak from experience that being born and raised in Toledo and starting my own family while living in Toledo was sometimes unsettling. Where will our kids go to school? What is the best school district? How will we make ends meet with a growing family when finding a higher paying job is hard to do? Then two years later, we had two beautiful children and another on the way when my husband received the job offer of a lifetime. Higher pay, a title he had earned for years of hard work and a company with integrity. The only downfall was it was in New Jersey.
Facing the hardest decision of our lives we took a leap and moved our 6 year-old, 3 year-old and 1-week-old eight hours away from anyone and everything we had ever known. It was scary, exciting and overwhelming all at the same time. I’ll be the first to admit, I can’t imagine what our life would be like if we still lived in Toledo. Does that mean I have forgotten it? Not a chance. Does that mean we have a better life than we could have ever had in Toledo. Not a chance, it’s just different. My kids still remind us daily of their favorite parts of home. And yes, they still call Toledo home, and that’s ok with us.
Our hardest lesson learned from our move is that every worry, doubt, fear, obstacle, victory, loss and accomplishment follows you no matter your zip code. You still wonder if the school you chose was the best or if the network of people you build will be enough for your kids to rely on. You still face life lessons of bullies, drugs, violence and financial struggles.
We live in a pretty affluent area, and while financially we don’t fit in, we had a sense that our kids would be safe here. But like I said, life follows you wherever you go. We live in a town with the same population as Maumee. There is no ghetto in our town, no bad areas that you can’t drive or walk in after dark however just the other day a high school student attacked one of his teachers during school hours and was charge with assault and battery. Definitely not something we thought we would read about in our local newspaper.
The point is; it’s not where you live that makes the life you want. It’s how you live where you are to make your life become your dream. Had this job opportunity never come to fruition would we still be living in Toledo? Yes. Would we have a good life? You betcha! And not because my husband and I would have landed high paying dream jobs there, but because we would have chosen to appreciate and make living there our dream
Amanda Albers is a former Toledoan raising her family on the East Coast in New Jersey.