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“I hate this city. I want to go home.

My husband and I were walking back to our car after a very stressful evening. I had spent most of it in traffic, trying to get to a party my work was throwing for its amazing volunteers. The party had been fine, but I had spent most of it wrestling with time and distance and rush hour traffic, and the fact that this city, despite swelling to two million people, still has road systems more appropriate for Nova Scotia than for a bustling metropolis. I didn’t know shortcuts, and none of my coworkers had thought to tell me that you couldn’t go from my house, to the party site, help set up, and get back to get my husband off of the train (since we needed him to be Santa)  in the amount of time allotted. It didn’t occur to them that I wouldn’t know that, and it wasn’t their job to think of it. I missed dinner. Santa was horribly late. I was angry and miserable and full of self loathing.

“Okay,” Perfect Husband said calmly, looking at his wife who was stressed beyond belief and near tears. “If that’s how you feel. We can go home.

I looked at him sideways. Was he calling my bluff?

“I know we can’t go home,” I muttered.

“Yes… love… we can,” he said seriously.

“How. How can we go home?” I accused.

“It’s easy.” He spoke as if to a little child. “You quit your job. I quit mine. I could request a transfer but I might not get one. We sell the townhouse. It would bring more than enough to buy a real house back home.”

The possibilities flew past my mind in an instant. Back home, with a house. Where I know every nook, cranny, and short cut. Where a 12 inch pizza isn’t called a “large” and doesn’t cost 22 dollars. Near my family. Near his family. Near our friends. White Christmases. A real house. Home.

…Quitting my job, which is my dream job. Dragging my husband from the city which he still loves. Bringing our future children into the Nova Scotia public school system. High taxes. No jobs.

“No,” I said decisively. “I’m not ready to do that. I’m not giving up yet.

But the freedom of knowing I could took a little weight off of my shoulders. I’m not stuck here. I choose to be here.

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