I have lived in a lot of places.
Saratoga Springs, New York
On the Road, USA
And, of course, Northport, New York
And for the past seven months, I haven’t slept in the same bed for more than five days in a row. From moving out of DC, to touring across the country, to bouncing up and down the east coast, and commuting in and out of NYC for work, I’ve realized that I’m tired of living out of a backpack. And maybe, just maybe, some stability will do me good.
I’ve contemplated where I wanted to go: Seattle or Colorado? Both far away, but places I know I would fall in love with. But I don’t really know anyone out there, and finding a job before leaving is nearly impossible. It is too risky and too hard to plan. Even for me, for now. Liberia? I canceled the final step of my application to a paid year-long position I applied to. I’d be working with the UNHCR (The UN Refugee Agency), assisting with and overseeing projects implemented for Ivorian refugees in Monrovia. But I backed out last-minute. Who knows if I actually would have gotten it, but with many exciting things happening this coming year at home, I couldn’t justify going away. Vermont? I thought about subletting a room in Vermont, so I could enjoy the fall in all its splendor and totally indulge in me-time. Work at some cute coffee shop, study for the GRE’s, watch the leaves change, and figure out my life. But again, I’d be alone, and probably lonely. And maybe I’d still stay confused. And then there was Boston. I really think I’d like living in Boston; a diverse handful of my friends are there, and it definitely has that New England vibe I yearn for. But…well, I applied to a bunch of jobs there, and interviewed, and didn’t get any of them. So that’s that.
But, I just signed an 11-month lease. Where you might ask?
So why am I moving there? I’ll tell you.
Well, I have a job. That helps. But I was confident I could financially support myself anywhere, even if I had to wait tables until I landed something else. But I was against New York because I felt like my money could take me farther in other places; NYC is literally the most expensive city to live in, and handing over thousands of dollars for a room the size of a closet just seemed wrong.
But, what I pay for my closet-sized bedroom covers more than just my rent. It pays for living with one of my best friends. It pays for being a five-minute walk from my brother and fiancee and a dozen of my friends. It pays for a short-but-far-enough drive to my parents. It pays for having my whole support system a walk, bike, or train ride away. It pays for finally having my own space, where I can develop a new routine and have my own place to go home to every night.
No more toothbrush and deodorant stuffed into a bag with some clothes, my cell phone charger, and book. So-long hour train commutes to the city, plus borrough-hopping to different apartments to mooch off of different friends. Goodbye eating out all the time, and hello to finally being able to cook for myself again!
While I did cry after I signed the lease (yes, money stresses me out, and committing to one space for 11-months really conflicts with my Life ADD), I am excited and hopeful. In New York’s defense, I have never actually experienced living there, which might change my opinion of it. Like DC, hopefully I can learn new city rhythms, and appreciate small, daily nuances in my neighborhood. Maybe I’ll love it, and maybe I wont.
But either way, so what? It’s not forever. If I like it, I’ll stay, and if I don’t, I’ll go to Liberia.