Reflecting on 10 Years in OKC - MetroFamily Magazine
MetroFamily Magazine

Where OKC parents find fun & resources

Reflecting on 10 Years in OKC

by Christina Mushi-Brunt. Photos provided.

Reading Time: 3 minutes 

Ten years ago, a job relocation from Indianapolis, Ind. to Oklahoma City meant leaving the only place our kids had ever called “home.” They were born there. We were part of an incredible church and school community that had walked through so many significant joys and sorrows of life with us. My mom community celebrated with me in completing my doctorate, the births of our three children and career successes. This same community also held me together after a pregnancy loss, my husband’s job loss and my cancer diagnosis and treatment.

The author's family posing in front of a yellow moving truck.When we learned of our impending relocation to OKC, I was devastated. I did not want to leave that loving and supportive community. I didn’t want to leave the comfort of knowing no matter where we were — at school, at church or in the community — there were people who knew and loved us deeply. Our friends were our family.

I was certain we would not find the same sense of community in a city in which we knew no one and that was located over 700 miles away from my family and our dearest friends. It took a while — likely due to the hostility I felt toward the relocation.

Ten years later, I can attest I am grateful for the life we’ve built here in Oklahoma. Once I opened myself up to what the OKC metro has to offer, my perspective about the move changed. Below are my favorite reflections on our family’s 10 years in the OKC.

Moore Strong

We were still living in Indianapolis when we watched the news coverage of the devastating May 20, 2013 tornado. Knowing we would be moving to a state famously (or infamously?) known for its severe weather worried me. We ended up choosing to move to a neighborhood that fed into Briarwood Elementary. We chose it because the newly rebuilt school had safety measures that gave us some peace about our kids’ safety should bad weather arise during the school day.

What we quickly learned was this community is an incredibly connected and resilient one. We heard first-hand stories from new friends who feared for their children’s lives and from teachers who sheltered children in their classrooms on that fateful day. Throughout these 10 years, there have been many times in which the phrase “Moore Strong” has been exemplified. It has been a privilege to be a part of a community that rallies together in the face of adversity.

Welcome to the Big League

The author and her kids after running in the Oklahoma City Memorial marathon kid run.Moving from a very large metropolitan community to a smaller one was initially a challenge for someone who enjoys the amenities a large city has to offer. In Indianapolis, on any given weekend, I could pick from a wide variety of activities and attractions for our young kids. Our favorite was (and still is) the Children’s Museum of Indianapolis, the world’s largest children’s museum. We would spend hours there and it never got old.

Before moving here, my perception of OKC was that it was slow and boring. I am glad to report my perception has changed!

Just as our kids have grown up, so has the city. The addition of amenities such as Scissortail Park and the OKC Streetcar has made OKC feel like a vibrant big city. Activities like the Myriad Botanical Gardens’ Dancing in the Gardens summer event series gives our family opportunities to connect with one another and with our community. There is so much to see and do in the OKC metro, and we are truly a “big league city!”

Community and Civic Engagement

Being an engaged and active part of the community is one of our family’s core values. We believe there are always opportunities to engage with and serve others in small and big ways.

In our first couple of years in OKC, I witnessed people willing to engage with one another to address issues and improve their community. Some examples that come to mind include the 2018 Oklahoma teachers’ walkout, the Covid-19 pandemic and the 2020 social justice movement. Regardless of which end of the spectrum one’s personal viewpoints lie, OKC is a community that gets engaged. Whether it’s education, health, equity, inclusion or any other topic near and dear to your heart, there are opportunities to be involved in conversations and actions that lead to making OKC a welcoming city worth living in. 

Christina Brunt is a former professor turned freelance writer and public health research consultant. She and her family transplanted from Indiana to Oklahoma in 2015. They reside in the Moore community. Among the various hats Christina wears, her favorite is basketball/dance mom to her and her husband’s three middle- & high-school-aged kids.

more stories

Verified by MonsterInsights