Saturday, May 30, 2009

Moving

As a kid, I moved all the time 'cause my dad was in the Air Force. I kind of missed Iowa Park when we moved to Azle when I was in 6th grade, but other than that, I didn't particularly care where I was or what school I was in.

Since I graduated high school and had control over my own moves, I've made only 4 big ones:

(1) At 18, leaving Azle to go to the University of Texas in Austin.
(2) At 23, leaving Austin to go back to the Fort Worth area (where Azle is) to be with friends I'd met at UT whose mom was dying in FW. (That lasted about 6 months.)
(3) At 28, leaving Austin to go to grad school in San Francisco. (That lasted about 2 years. I left SF and went back to Austin the SECOND my thesis was turned in.)
(4) At 42, leaving Austin to go to New York City... to SEE THINGS.

(1) I knew I never wanted to live in Azle again.
(2) I loved my friends and wanted to be with them, but I hated that whole area. Couldn't wait to get back to Austin.
(3) I was never particularly in love with Austin, but San Francisco was so awful and phony it made Austin seem like a safe haven to run back to.
(4) With my joblessness right now and living in the extremely expensive NYC area, of course the idea of hightailin' it back to Austin has crossed my mind. I have every excuse to. But... The very idea seems dead to me. There's nothing there for me. As I said in #3, I was never in love with Austin. Though it's green and hilly and pretty and a nice liberal/semi-funky college town, I disliked its overt "laid-back-ness." (God, how I hate "laid back.") I think I only lived there for over 20 years because no other options came up. (Other than the ultra-generically-PC San Francisco. Ugh.)

Now that I've had a taste of New York and this whole area...I'm reminded of some lines from Plath's "Mystic":

Once one has seen God, what is the remedy?...
The pill of the Communion tablet,
the walking beside still water? Memory?

I feel like that about NYC. It really is a special place for me.

Not that I'm doing anything exciting here other than walking around! It's just a stunning, vibrant town that one can enjoy and be inspired by even if poor and jobless! The sluggishness of Austin (and the dumber PC-ness of San Fran) depressed the hell out of me. It's hard to explain, but, while my actual jobless situation here in this area is indeed depressing, I'm very much NOT depressed whenever I walk around. Whereas, back in Austin when I was gainfully employed and had a nice/cheap house, car, et al, I didn't feel good or alive at all.

So my internal question is: If NYC kicks me to the curb, where the hell am I going to go??

(A side-note: Years ago, when I had an "online thang" going on with someone from Norway, I did indeed fantasize about moving there! I've always wanted to live in Europe: either Germany, England, or the Scandinavian countries, which seem particularly sane. And, just recently, when I had yet another "online thang" going, this time with someone from Houston... As much as I was fascinated by the woman, there was actually NO WAY that I would have EVER moved to Houston, even in my fantasies! As I learned after my brief move back to Fort Worth at 23: Not even personal love and/or obsession can conquer a bad town.)

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