Monday, March 25, 2013

Consquentail consquences of living in Truth or Consequences

These pictures are some of the last from our Truth or Consequences period of life. The view from our backyard, our now useless slingshot, Theo's bum. This last picture is from the street where we now live in Las Cruces (not our backyard view, but close) with the Organ Mountains behind. Adobe style everything.

Well, we don't live there anymore. Turns out small towns are that way for a reason. If they were easy to live in, everyone would be, thereby negating their small town status. Jon had an opportunity for a transfer that would enable him to commute from Las Cruces, and we took it. I always knew coming into this that living in a tiny town would test me and make me grow in a variety of ways. One thing I realized was that material things and convenience--your Targets, Trader Joe's dark chocolate peanut butter cups, organic produce, a place to change your oil within 20 miles--don't really matter that much. With Amazon Prime, I could pretty much order anything I wanted at anytime. And maybe it would come on a Wednesday night at 9:30 pm, but it would get there--even if it was just a doughnut cutter. But for me, a slightly strange type of person who is very extroverted yet loves to stay at home and ignore people at times, I really missed people. Sometimes I didn't. I like things to be quiet and routine, and living in the middle of nowhere gave me that. But when I lived in a big city, I could channel my inner rural heart whenever I needed a break and then see people when I chose. I really missed the support system I didn't even realize I had once it was gone. So some days were a real challenge for me. It made me appreciate the great friends that I have in my life. It made me branch out into the internet and try to make new ones. Even if it was just me making comments on some popular instagrammer's post, pretending we were friends (ok, that sounds a little pathetic). But thank you internet friends! Thanks for calling me, real people friends! I really appreciated it. And if you were one of the special few to actually haul yourself to the edge of nowhere, you probably saved me from losing my marbles (Jon may argue that point, remembering times when I went a bit crazy). I changed my philosophy a bit on friend finding. It was difficult for me to hear friends in very populous places talking about how hard it was to find friends. I was so jealous of them at times--I thought they had it so good and they didn't even know it. I've said those things myself in the past--it is hard to find friends. But I've realized it's a lot like dating--it takes effort and trial and error. And it's often not too fun. I got set up on a blind date once that seemed perfect on paper and Facebook pictures, but then we met and we had nothing in common and then he wouldn't stop talking about Blink 182 side projects. I mean, you crash and burn sometimes. But eventually if in all that trying you find one person that really gets you--it's all worth it! So don't stop trying, great friends will emerge eventually. You may have a lot of friend-dates before you find that magic friend. And maybe I'll put that phrase on a poster with a kitten riding a unicorn over a rainbow. [end of subject]

There were of course some things we will never forget and loved about living in T or C. The beautiful desert vistas of Jon's dreams and fulfilling that life long ache of his heart that I hope has been completely satisfied. The interesting people we met, the fact that Jon loves his job and it fits him so well. I really loved experiencing a culture and climate that was completely foreign and different to me, as someone who grew up and has lived most of her life in the Northwest. It's very different, and I'm still getting used to it. But liking it. Except, it's hot already! The people we met in the branch at church were amazing. Everyone had such an interesting story, as to how they ended up there and why. I'll never forget hearing stories from an older woman who had sailed around the world with her family, visiting remote islands and talking about her church experience there (talk about perspective). We came away from the branch experience stronger church members. Branches require so much more effort and participation. If you're there, you really want to be there, doing your three callings and speaking multiple times in church. This past week in our new ward, I got lost in the huge building. It seemed so grand. I hope I don't take having one calling for granted again, or complain about things I have to do. However, things like teaching, bearing your testimony and speaking are much easier when you are doing it in front of 30 people instead of 300.

We like Las Cruces so far. It's a fairly big college town, home to NMSU, and has so many new Mexican restaurants to experience. There is a frozen custard place close by, at least two parks (covered!) within walking distance, things for Theo to do, 15 Mbps internet speeds instead of .5,  and most importantly, NO RATTLESNAKES. If you talked to me for any amount of time in the past 7 months I probably mentioned them. They are a cause of great fear and anxiety for me. At one point a bit ago I broke down in tears, telling Jon I just couldn't handle the upcoming snake season. Prayers are answered, folks.

I know I sound a bit dramatic, as we only lived there for seven months. But you can learn a lot in seven months, I've found. Two things are certain. The most important thing I have is my family, and they are with me always. And in small towns, nothing will be open when you want it to be.


Google image totally exceeded my expectations.


Danielle said...

I've loved hearing your experiences in t&c! Small towns are hard though. That's partly why we're moving too, and your town was even smaller! Good luck in your new place and I'm glad you're safe from the rattlesnakes!

Lesley said...

I hope you never stop blogging because I love reading what you write. And you are hilarious. My only experience living in a small town was when Kyle clerked for the 10th circuit in Santa Fe, and we lived in El Dorado in the middle of nowhere and 20 minutes from town. I didn't have a car, I had dial up Internet and crappy phone service, and no friends. It was the longest five weeks of my life, and I thought I could live happily anywhere. I was happy to have that learning experience, and I learned a lot about myself when I was removed from what I was used to having. There's give and take in any place you live, and although I do have a readily accessible TJ's, I don't have a target. I feel ya on that one.

And that picture is awesome.

lindsey said...

I'm glad you guys have made the move to a bigger place. You are a champ for putting up with rattle snakes! Your kids are darling:) Margot looks so sweet and Theo is so big! I love the updates.

PS awesome rainbow, unicorn, cat piture. that took some talent haha!

Malorie said...

Lesley, can't imagine dial up Internet and no car--the worst! And the best part about the last picture was the fact that I wrote the sentence, googled it, and that picture resulted. With many other pictures that were equally amazing.

Angela said...

So I found your blog through a friend-- Leslie Allred-- since I too have to search the internet for friends! I live in the Needles in Canyonlands Nat'l park. I hear you. I don't even live in a small town, I live in park housing 1.5hrs from the closest grocery store that sells Izzie soda and Bryers ice cream. I have two kids and they are the only kids down here. I'm the only mom. I'm the only person who stays at home all day and doesn't work. I take my kids to the Visitor Center for our daily outing. I get crazy. I've gone through the stages of mourning and loss and now I'm at acceptance. I hope your move to the big city won't mean less blogging! Because you're hilarious. But I kind of hope it does because that means you're busy. This is probably kinda creepy. But I think we met once at BYU through a mutual friend Mary. Does that make it less creepy or more? Regardless-- thanks for making another lonely soul laugh every once in a while.

Malorie said...

Oh man Angela! You are a warrior mother for sure. I am amazed at what you do! I met people who lived off the grid who drove two hours each week to church and it really put my life in perspective. I hear you on the mourning though. But I am not as tough as you for sure. Small town moms should have an online support/chat group. I love Mary! I totally climb mountains and do crazy things vicariously through her. I experienced one insane tandem bike ride with her that was all the excitement I could handle. Thanks for reading my blog! I'm glad you stopped by.

Joe and Katie said...

Mal! I had not read your blog in a while. I somehow feel some sort of weird New Mexican bond to you after hearing all of your experiences. My sister once tried to live in Clovis, NM for about a year as a young mother and although she felt grateful for a lot of the same things you do, I know it was hard. I am happy your sweet little family has made it to Cruces. I have many friends who went to school there and loved it. And, of course if you ever have reason to be in Albuquerque, let me know. (katherinedahl at gmail dot com) I would love to see you.
P.S. That picture is pretty much the most amazing thing I have ever seen.