Steve Walsh is my husband and the only other person in the world who shared many of the same experiences I had in New York City through Midwestern eyes. He bravely packed his bags and moved halfway across the country with me when we were engaged and I had the opportunity of a lifetime. I thought it would be cool to get his perspective on what it was like to live in New York and what that means to him now that we're back in Wisconsin.
Living in New York for three years and coming back to Wisconsin has taught me how valuable it is to adapt to the opportunities that you get. Life in Wisconsin is so different from New York; I don't think I'll ever forget how different each day can be.
I have moments where I desperately want to get an everything bagel and an iced coffee for $4 from our bodega or walk down a street in the shadow of a skyscraper. I love a blast of wind off the ocean or the Hudson as you turn a corner. While I was in New York though, I missed cheese curds, clean white snow, and the hum of a lawnmower. There are things that you miss that you never think you'd appreciate until they're 900 miles away.
When Sammy told me that she got her dream job offer in New York, I was nervous at the prospect of moving. Sammy had always loved the city and had been there a few times while I only went once and never pictured myself living there. I was the type of person that got very stuck in my everyday routines and didn't try new things that much. One of the first things I learned from living in New York is that the city likes to force new things onto you. Your subway station is shut down and all the sudden you have to walk down a block you've never been down, past shops and restaurants you didn't even know existed.
New experiences come at you slower in Wisconsin. You have to seek them out and find them due to the fact that you're no longer on a tiny island with so much stuff crammed onto every street. I've found that you have more time to enjoy things in Wisconsin, though. From the convenient base camp of your car, you can strike out across the state and take the time to enjoy the sight of the Wisconsin countryside. I didn't know how much I loved the site of a corn field until I didn't see them anymore.
Things in Wisconsin seem easier than New York. Having a car is a big part of that, along with having a house versus a studio apartment. Going to the grocery store no longer requires feats of strength as you see how many bags you can strap to your arms for the ten minute walk home. In Wisconsin, however, we have the responsibility that comes with having a house. I thought I missed winter in New York. I got over that quickly last year when I had to shovel every inch of snow that fell. Nothing does beat setting up your first full-sized Christmas tree, though.
New York taught me to adapt quickly and appreciate the things you love in each moment as you experience them. Little moments like bounding off the subway at the end of the day and telling tourists how to get on the Brooklyn Bridge (keep going that way) will never be reproduced in Wisconsin, but I have a lifetime to appreciate the little moments that happen here everyday.