After a scrumptious dinner, a group of us were reclining at table, talking about various life things, and the topic of marriage and the future came into play.
I mentioned that, at some point, WG wants to go back to Oklahoma, wants to build his life there.
In the conversation, one friend started to get almost angry that I would consider leaving the wonderfully diverse Bay Area. She said, "Do they even have anyone of any ethnicity other than white in Oklahoma?!" (you see, though we are diverse, Californians are certainly not without their prejudices). "How could you live somewhere, how could YOU raise your kids somewhere, without diversity?"
And this is the point where the real question, the crux of it all, came, "How much are you willing to give up for him?"
WG and I haven't talked in exact words about what "long-term" means for us, and we've only danced around the topic of weddings and marriage. Only in the past two months or so has he more seriously talked about raising kids with me.
My willingness/desire to leave the area has really only come out in my more spastic moments, like the time I practically broke down after he mentioned a job opportunity out of the area, saying, "You're going to go off to Texas and leave me here with these ghetto teenagers!" But that was months ago.
So, the prospect of my moving to Oklahoma (or anywhere else) with him is more of a private matter for me, myself and I to reckon with at this point.
It's true. My family is here. My friends are here. My job is here. Diversity is here.
But. The California family, in all reality, is down to my parents, and they're looking to move after my dad retires. Friends are getting married or getting new jobs and considering moves to Seattle, to New York, to D.C. I can't bet on these friends I adore staying here forever. As for my own job, well, there are, amazingly enough, jobs in other states. I can't set my whole life aside, refuse to move out of the area, on the off-chance the my friends won't move either. And diversity is something I would have a difficult time sacrificing, but I also don't believe that the Southwest is as pale as we Bay Area folks have a tendency to think.
But this isn't really about Oklahoma; this is about one person seemingly giving up more than another in a relationship.
Yes, I would move to Oklahoma or Kansas or Oregon or Australia or England, or basically anywhere. Yes, it would be hard. I would want to hang out with my friends on a random Tuesday. I would want to pop into my parents' house anytime I choose. I would crave San Francisco. I would ache for the ocean.
Growing up is painful. Growing up involves major life decisions that won't make everyone else in life happy.
But, even with all of that missing going on, I would have something that I won't give up for anyone. I would have a marriage.