It’s about as official as it’s going to get: Marty and I are moving to Austin.
We all know the basic problems with living in Youngstown. Number one on my list is the economy. All my good paying projects are out of town. Every one of us talks about getting out, as if it’s funny. Ha, ha. Stranded in Youngstown. Hysterical.
Sure, maybe it’s not so bad. Bits of it are okay. People are trying. But this city ain’t what it used to be, and many of us know how much better our options will be somewhere else. I did a plain ol’ search for information on the Youngstown economy and I came up with this super-numbery link. Marty was watching over my shoulder.
“Why is it bothering with all of those letters and numbers… when a picture of a pile of poop would suffice?”
The boy has a point.
And Youngstown has a lot of neat things, and the cost of living is low. And I shouldn’t complain, because I get to go to work every day in an office right next door to my bedroom, right upstairs from the kitchen, with big windows that look out on a beautiful front yard, in my pajamas. I have no right to complain, except for the part where I can’t keep good local business connections because they’re all running out of money. That’s a biggie.
Some of you are stuck waiting tables, wanting a good solid job that lets you do something you love. And maybe you’ll never find that in Youngstown, because the big healthy companies are elsewhere.
“...A steaming pile of poop.”
The national unemployment rate is something like 4.7%. Youngstown’s unemployment rate is 6.3%.
Austin’s is 3.9%.
More than that, compared to all the other big healthy cities out there, Austin has an incredibly low cost of living. We’re going to spend something like half of what my sister spends living in New York. All these goofy statistics, things like median household income, blah blah blah… they’re all improved in Austin. And may I mention, also, that Austin is Hippie Liberal Central? Because as far as I can tell, that’s what it is. If you’re worried the Republicans will eat me in Texas, please remember that I will have lots of Earth-conscious, happy organic hippie-buddies to protect me.
Right now I’m running on recommendations and information from sources who already live in Austin, which isn’t bad. I’m running on the fact that a lot of my best business connections are already in Austin, and some others are thinking of moving there. And I guess I’m running on the knowledge that if I stay here much longer, I won’t be able to pay my bills or support my family. And man, that’s motivating.
More than a few of you have already speculated about going to Austin too, which surprised the hell out of me. I was afraid of being the one to leave… but now all of a sudden I feel as if we may have just sparked the urge. Maybe if you know someone is gettin’ out, you know you can do it too. Hell, I have a whole office to move. One person? Way easier. And I won’t lie. Having people I love there with me will make an incredible difference in the level of scary I’m experiencing. We can all help each other out. Something like this has to be done on one’s own steam… but it doesn’t have to be done alone. Nuh uh.
Anyway, that’s all I know right now. The tentative Big Drive is scheduled for half March, give or take a few days. If all goes well, we’ll pack the bare essentials (office, clothes, sacrificial cheerleader) into Marty’s car and haul down 16 hours for his mom’s wedding on the 18th. Then we’ll make the 8 hour hop to Austin. If all goes well, we’ll stay.
None of this is solid yet. I don’t think any of it will be solid until we leave. All the pieces still need to fall into place, and don’t even get me started on the Signs From Above. But I have a really, really good feeling about all this. Terrified or not. ;}
Tell me what you think? Offer advice?
Wish us luck?