The Landscape Breakdown

So what happens when something you’re fiercely loyal to and vow to honor for all time…. completely changes from what it once was? Are you still going to be loyal? Should you pretend nothing has changed?

I’ve lived in the same city since I was born. I’ve moved here and there but I’ve always ended up back home. I love my home.

Side note that I’m a very one track person with a loyalty complex. Meaning…. I shop at one grocery store because that’s where my dad shopped, I keep the same cable company even though it’s more expensive because they have always treated me well, I eat the same brands of foods as I remember from my childhood… I don’t usually change these things…..

So my home. I love what I remember and what I’ve experienced. Beautiful nature pairing with a exuberant city life. Easy to drive highways. Gorgeous get-aways. A great respect for history all over the city. Activities all your friends and families have done at some point in their lives. Friendly people everywhere. People move away as they inevitably do, and I scoff at them as disloyal fools. Why move from your home? The greatest place on earth!

There have been changes, sure. The 711 changed into a rug store, the Save-On Foods got renovated and all the video stores closed. I don’t like it but I expect it.

But in the last five years, the city that I love has had an extreme makeover and I don’t know what I’m looking at anymore. We hosted the Olympics a few years back so there was a major increase in construction. But now construction is ten times worse then that even. Every bridge, every highway, every major road. It’s not like we are a small town experiencing a population boom, we’re the third largest city in the country and still we expand like this with no more room and too many people.

Tolls added to everything. Traffic is hideous in every direction, even going ten minutes away in my “quiet” area. Neighborhood institutions are disappearing at an alarming rate. You can hardly say. “I remember when…” anymore. And the people! They are becoming jaded and rude and… hardened. Everyone is a snob about something. The rich, the artsy, the working man, the media….

I don’t see my home anymore. The streets I used to walk are no longer lined with little store brimming with personality but these impersonal condos. We have too many people and nowhere to put them. We’ve closed all of our mental health institutions and the downtown core is teeming with ill people causing more crime, sexual disease, drug use….

I’m racked with guilt that after 27 years of swearing my allegiance to this city, I want to leave. And I’m completely sad that my kids will never know the beautiful home I wanted to give them. Not that I could afford it here, did I mention we have the most expensive real estate in the entire country?

Does it make me disloyal? Or is perhaps this city the one that broke the bond between a girl and her home?

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