11 July 2017


I just googled "why do people choose to live in the desert". I'm trying to find out. I think I'm trying to justify my choice to remain where I am.

Recently, Lindsey and I visited her hometown, Portland, OR. I loved it. Linsey misses it. We were there only for a couple of days, but, it was enough to make us want to be there permanently. The Pacific Northwest seemed to be what we wanted, and everything we thought Albuquerque is not. Courteous drivers, cool weather, towering pines, a crime rate that's not out of control, and a community that cares about public education.

We decided to move. We were set, ready to go. Then we were smacked in the face with a healthy dose of reality. Housing costs. I like to say housing costs is why we didn't move, but it might be a little bit of my fear overtaking me. I don't know. There were a lot of reasons we decided to stay. Point being...we're still here.

Now, I'm googling things like "why do people choose to live in the desert". I'm trying to find the beauty of where I'm at. I've been exposed to a lot of ugly here, and my eyes are focused on that. People think we're crazy for staying. Some do, at least. Some people see the contrast of Albuquerque and some other city, and they move. They get tired and they move. We were almost those people. Almost.

I'm trying to be accepting. I'm trying to make the most of my location. My life. I'm trying to convince myself that Albuquerque is a great place... I've been a New Mexican in denial for a long time. People talk about the crime here a lot. I always stick up for us. My response is always a reminder that there's crime in every city, and Albuquerque isn't that bad. Then, my front door got kicked in in broad daylight and things were stolen. Another time, we got in our car to go to church finding a two liter bottle with a used needle in it. We forgot to lock our door one night and someone found an opportunity to shoot up in privacy.

There are drugs in our neighborhood. There is crime. Every night I feel a little uneasy that my house can be broken into. I think about what I would do if someone climbed into my house via my kids bedroom window. I imagine myself tackling an intruder and hitting them with any object I can find.

I don't like this feeling. I don't feel safe in my city. I felt safe in Portland.

I told Lindsey I feel like I have excitement hangover. Reality is setting in. I'm realizing that I'm here. I'm trying to make the best of it. I truly feel like I must be here for a reason. I have faith. Faith doesn't come naturally for me. I have to work at it.

I'm looking for beauty in our state. I know we have it. I've lived here all my life. There's beauty. I think the path I need to take is balance. I can't just look at the beauty and ignore the ugly. That's probably why we're in the place we are now. I'm a New Mexican in denial, and I'm sure there are more people like me. I think we need to confront the ugly head on. Do something about it. Still, stop and stare at the setting sunlight reflect off the Sandias every once in a while.

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