Transference: blaming your apartment is easier than admitting moving to a new city is hard
As ya’ll might have guessed, I’ve been having a rougher time of it of late. And, yeah, I realize that much of it is in my head – and has little to do with the actual apartment but more with my general everyday living experience in a new city. But, it’s easier to blame an inanimate object (ie my apartment) than look inward and see what I’d need to do to really make myself happier.
The anonymous poster hit it more or less on the head. It’s a great apartment, good location, — what more do I want? Well. I want to feel like I belong after only 7 weeks. I’ve been thinking about this totally ludicrous demand and where it comes from. Part of it, gentle blog readers, is that I feel like I’ve been moving for three months straight – first I had to find a sublet, then a subletter, then sell my furniture, then a new permanent apartment, then a sublet for my sublet, then buy new furniture. I—am—exhausted.
But, more so than that, gentle blog reader, is that this ‘expert’(and I say expert veeery loosely) mover is tired of moving. I’ve lived in 12 places since I graduated high school; I am only 25. There were always good reasons; teaching/volunteering at a summer program in Virginia for gifted urban middle schoolers looking to beef up their education; studying abroad in Ireland/moving to Ireland to work; transferring colleges, moving to Spain to teach English, moving home after college, moving to Chicago to live/work with friends one college summer…the list goes on.
A friend in Spain asked me when I told him I was leaving, What Are You Looking For!? I’d only lived in my town for 6 months, after all. There were a lot of mitigating circumstances: the town was 2.5 hours by bus to any major city; it was so small there wasn’t even a movie theater; the town was very close-knit and working only 15 hours weekly, I felt incredibly lonely; the Spanish government didn’t pay any of its language assistants for three months…etc etc.
Something, I said. I’ll know it when I see it. It was a half-truth. I kinda knew what I was looking for — passion, excitement, interesting people, a boy I could fall in love with, people interested in the world around them, motivating work, adventure . . . And, really, isn’t that why anybody moves to New York? There are just prices you pay for such a quest – like loneliness, feeling unsettled, and having a fair bit of self doubt. I’d like to think though, for myself, for you, gentle blog reader, and for anyone who takes any risk by moving towards the unknown, that the ultimate rewards merit the temporary discomforts.