New Mexico robbed me of 5 years of my life
Somehow ended up in New Mexico. This was the worst decision I've ever made.
After the allure of Santa Fe wore off (the facade doesn't last long--your realize it's full of rich white people, passive aggressive natives, and the poorest of the poor--and the art? That's terrible, too.), I moved to Albuquerque to try to start a new career as a nurse. I've never been more depressed, more anxious, more frightened that I would succumb to the pit of hell that is New Mexico. New Mexico is full of thieves, swindlers, and people perfectly content to sit in their mediocrity. If you need to get anything done, from renewing your car registration to paying tuition to getting your toilet fixed by a landlord or plumber---the infrastructure does not exist...at least not in the way it should. You will be cheated. You will be taken advantage of. You will not get want you need. Nothing makes sense there, as nobody follows the law, or even just common sense and decency; it's the wild west, and it's full of outlaws and corrupt people (including the state's leaders). You'll be threatened. And when you question why things are so awful, everyone will be aghast at your suggestion. Because everyone in NM thinks it is the most wonderful place on earth! There is nowhere else. And of course the balloons and green chile make up for the depravity. Even though the schools are bankrupt, the drug use is rampant, the teen pregnancy rate sky high...no, i's the best place ever.
In New Mexico, I worked in schools, taught at community college, worked EMS, and in the hospitals as a nurse. I wouldn't return to NM if it were the last place on earth. There is something deeply unnerving about a place so far isolated, but one that is so in love with itself, so content to stay the same, with no movement towards improving itself or the status of its residents. The lack of greenery, the poverty, the bitterness--it's awful. People in New Mexico will not show you kindness, they will show you prejudice and disgust. And there is nothing heroic in sticking around to offer help, assistance, or insight to those who reside there. They don't want your help. They're happy just where they're at.
Stay away from New Mexico. It will take pieces of you that will take a long time to get back. I am still working on that. It took a concerted, multi-year plan to finally get out of that place. Finally leaving was like fleeing from an abusive captor. I will never, ever return.