I haven’t been very good to you. I’ve been downright ugly, actually.
Basically, I didn’t want to move here at all. In fact, when my wife got the call from the radio station, we came to visit…as soon as we rolled into town I said
“I’M NOT MOVING HERE AT ALL…”
We had long talks about it before the move. The options were pretty much move to Evansville so my wife could get back into radio OR stay in Columbus where I was following my dreams, but she was trudging along day to day, miserable.
So to translate, pretty much move to Evansville or get a divorce. She didn’t say that, but that’s where it would’ve went. And so we moved. I walked away from a budding DIY music career for lord knew what.
Man, I hated you so hard for that.
I told my wife I was ok with walking away, but I wasn’t. Secretly, I harbored the deepest anger toward you and it persisted for 4 solid years, planning my escape every step of the way.
The Moment it Started to Change
The anger internalized began to make its way out. Shawnda and I would fight over everything. Mostly, because I was being a dick. I mean, I DID tell her I was ok with moving here when I really wasn’t ok with it. At all.
So, we made the decision to get a divorce. In one of those “Whattya wanna do about this?” scenarios, I said “I don’t want to do this anymore…” she agreed…I started packing.
I’d move back to Ohio where I wanted to be…she’d continue on in a career in radio, where she wanted to be.
That decision lasted the rest of that day into the evening hours.
Then, in one of those “I really didn’t mean it” scenarios, we ran into each other’s arms and apologized. I went on to set a personal vow to stop being a dick and make the best of it here. I went on to realize where my family was – that was my home. Regardless of city.
Now the Blinders Were Off
Now the blinders were off and I didn’t turn every corner in disgust of living in this city. And hey, you know what? It actually reminded me a lot of our hometown of Chillicothe, OH.
Minus the smell of the papermill. And the smell of manure. In some spots a mixture of both papermill and manure. So, it was like a better smelling hometown. Even though I oddly miss that smell, I liked the better smelling, bigger, more-to-do version here.
Then, I started to meet some of the folks here in Evansville.
Game over. I was sold.
You guys are awesome.
I’ll admit – it takes awhile to crack your shells, but once you’re in, you’re in. Once you crack through that shell, you guys are like “Ok, you made it…we gotch’er back now. Forever.”
Shawnda and I lived in Minnesota for awhile. There was this thing folks referred to there as Minnesota Nice. It was true too. Folks in Minnesota are incredible.
Folks in Evansville are incredible too. Except they don’t talk about it and they make you work for it a little.
Evansville…I’m sorry, man. Sorry for judging ya. Sorry for not giving you a chance.
When my wife got sick, we had a few folks drive in from Ohio, but it was you guys in Evansville that lifted us up and jumped to help. Every night for the past week you’ve made the drive up to the northside to drop dinners off to us. You’ve rallied around Shawnda as she’s had a rough go. You stepped forward to catch me and give me a lil’ supportive push as I’d start to slip. You helped us see that everything was going to be ok.
There is a fire back in her eyes I haven’t seen for years and you helped re-ignite it. I’m forever grateful.
I thought about trying to list all of you that have been extra amazing to us here. But, I honestly think you know who you are. I thank you with my entire heart. Not just from the bottom. But, like, with the WHOLE DAMN THING.
One of these days, I hope I can repay you guys.
I gotch’er back now. Forever.