Thursday, May 15, 2008

temporary one

New York was always meant to be a transitory experience. I moved here with the intention of only staying a couple years.

The city, while interesting, never captured my heart and/or soul the way it has others. I've been to many places more beautiful, cultural, fascinating; I know from experience this is not the end-all be-all that some people insist it is.

This place is loud. It is EXPENSIVE. It is materialistic and extremely ethnocentric.

Sure, there are well-known buildings, sights, museums, parks. And the hours are late. Yeah, there are lots of plays and shows. Yep, the public transportation is decent.

Meh, I say. This was never meant to be a place of permanence, it was never meant to be a place for me to set down roots.

Yet I've been here for four years (minus one month; my NYCversary is June 15). I've had the same job for four years! I never even attended a school for that long, ever. I've lived in this same apartment for two full years! This is a minor miracle, maybe a major miracle, if it heralds my ever-burgeoning adulthood. I love this apartment.

I have a wonderful relationship of over two years already, with someone who loves New York in all the ways I don't. Even more miraculously, I have developed friendships here in New York (all through and because of the internet; I hope the nerdiness of that reality is waning as it becomes more prevalent). I don't see any of them very often, but they're all wonderful and interesting people.

My apartment lease is up this month. It's one of many decisions I have to make this spring, but I've been pretending not to notice it. Every single aspect of my life, my future, is up for grabs in the next month or so. These decisions, the possibilities, the consequences are gnawing away at me, even as I try to ignore them all.

Here I must make a choice about homeostasis. Everything could stay the same--same cute apartment, same silly frustrating job, same long commute to see my lovely boyfriend. What does it mean to choose to continue to stay doing the exact same thing? Does it mean I'm scared to do something different? Does that show weakness?

Or do I take that leap into the unknown yet again? I've already quit a job with no safety net once before, I don't need to do that again. I've gotten far too comfortable with a regular paycheck. Do I abandon this job track and do something to pay the bills while waiting for career inspiration to strike? Do I keep looking for teaching jobs in other cities? Am I ready to abandon all the relationships I've built here? Am I ready to start over with apartment hunting, learning streets, finding interesting bars and parks, making friends, creating a completely new life for me, planting roots? Because I do want that, whether it's this year or the next one. I'm done with this temporary life.


17 (really 15) more years said...

It doesn't show weakness at all- I think it shows that you're maturing and growing as a person. You're ready to settle into the comfortable and stable life that you've built for yourself.

There can still be adventures and different and interesting places to see. But maybe that little voice in your head is telling you to do all that from the safety and security of your cozy little apartment- and that's not a bad thing.

Anonymous said...

Either choice is hard... because you never really know what's the best one until you make it. Adulthood sucks. =)

Ms. M said...

I keep thinking that you are going to eventually realize how awesome NYC is and that you love it. Apparently that is not happening.

Maybe you don't choose for everything to stay the same, just some things. Maybe you decide to stay in NYC, which means staying with BF, and the friends/places in NYC that you like. Knowing that you made the decision to stay for a year (or two?) you will have at least one of the variables decided and then you can focus on finding a different job in the city for next year. Maybe a charter school, a different public school, or something not in teaching at all. You could have the whole summer to figure that out. Worst case scenario you have your current job to fall back on. Maybe you even want to move closer to the BF. Next year in NYC could really be a lot different than you think.

I think part of the trickiness of what you are going through right now is that there are so many factors (apt, job, to stay or go) that it is too difficult for them all to be resolved at the same time. Maybe if you decide on at least one thing you will be able to work out the others more easily.

CaliforniaTeacherGuy said...

Ultimately, of course, you are the only one who can answer your questions...

Best wishes as you sort through the pros and cons!

East Coast Teacher said...

You've summed up all the things I've been pondering in the past few weeks...because my job hunt? It sucks. Tremendously.

I've begun looking at charter schools, which I hadn't considered before...and am unsure if I want to teach out of state. Mainly because the state of MA thinks I'm qualified to teach here, I should be able to find a job here?

What if I don't want to move thousands of miles away from home for the sure-thing job? What does that say about me? Or that I don't want to take a pay cut because I know what I'm worth here?

Sometimes, I hate being an adult, LOL.

ms. v. said...

I think the first decision you have to make is where you & BF see yourselves in a few years. Are you together? If so, where? Could you handle long distance? For how long? To me, without losing a sense of self, the most important things are relationships... with significant others and with friends. I would hesitate to move away permanently and alone if I thought I'd found the love of my life or if I was part of a strong community that I wouldn't have (right away) in the new place. On the other hand, if everything is calling you to leave, you don't want to stay because of a person/people unless you think that relationship has enough promise to make it worth a short-term sacrifice of what you most want. That said, there are, as others pointed out, many possible partial-changes... moving 'hoods and changing jobs w/in NYC come to mind. Or just changing jobs. But I really think the important question before you can resolve the others is where is this relationship going?

Kenneth said...

The initiative taken for the concern is very serious and needs an attention of everyone. This is the concern which exists in the society and needs to be eliminated from the society as soon as possible.


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