Why We are Staying in ABQ

We didn't come to ABQ to stay. Actually, we almost didn't come at all. 

Toward the end of our senior year at CCU, Sadie and I were trying to decide what to do after graduating. We (...Sadie) wanted to get married in ABQ to be "traditional," but other than that (and family, of course) we both wanted to stay in Denver. Denver had connections, friends, opportunities, more hipsters...

One day, while driving west on the 6, I asked Sadie, "Suppose I pointed a gun to your head and said, 'Albuquerque or Denver! In 3, 2, 1...'"

And that's how we ended up here.

Coming up on 3 years later, we are still in ABQ. We have no plans to leave, rather, quite the opposite... we bought a house. 

So why are we staying?

  1. We want to know and be known.
  2. Albuquerque has been treated as a stepping stone, and we were at risk of doing the same.
  3. The list of considerations when wondering where to live have been drastically reframed.

 

We want to know and be known

While growing up, we are constantly asked, "What do you want to do? What do you want to be? Where do you want to go? Where do you want to live?" And, in search of our "destiny," we never land. We are constantly in search of a better job, better house, better friends, cooler city. Unfortunately, the product of moving so quickly and so often is that it becomes so difficult to have relationship, true community.

If we stay, in one place, one neighborhood, and are open... we just might know people. Really know them. And... even more frightening... they might know us. 

It's a vulnerable place. A place we are yet to arrive. It will take time. But we believe it will become a beautiful place for transformation... together.

Checkout the documentary Godspeed for more on this idea.

 

Albuquerque has been treated as a stepping stone, and we were at risk of doing the same.

Many people come to Albuquerque to pursue education or entry-level employment. There are better jobs, taller ladders, cooler places elsewhere... that's obvious. Local startups relocate as soon as they can handle it financially. Local young people dream of the day they can break out of the Land of Entrapment. 

This was our same point of view. We planned to get married, and then leave to really start our lives.

 

The list of considerations when wondering where to live have been drastically reframed.

What ought to determine where you should live or settle down? Career opportunity? Good education? Safe neighborhoods? Trendy small businesses? Good food and drink?

I mean, yeah... we think so too. 

Now, we refuse to say that these are bad things to achieve or seek after. On the contrary, this is exactly what we want! The question is, however, for who? [or for whom? or whatever.]

I guess now we would say that we want these things for our community, not just for us. And maybe we are crazy, but I suppose we are willing to pursue this flourishing for our community, even at our own expense.

 

So, Albuquerque. New Mexico. Terrible education system. High child poverty rate. Poor economy. High drug trafficking. Widespread crime. 

Our city. Our home.

David Tanner1 Comment