(This entry was originally written 8/26/2003)
You know, if I had my druthers (and I don't... but if I did), I'd get the heck out of NYC and move somewhere else.
I've probably mentioned this before, but I figured this time, I'd hit it head on. I mean, NYC has definite advantages... I can pretty much go whereever I want to within the Metro area. The Parks are wonderful on the weekends, I can get Indian food for $4 off the streetcart (and it's great too!), and you can see famous people on the street whenever... I've never had to deal with the hassle of a car - either in NYC or San Francisco.
Despite this, I sometimes feel like I'm in the wrong place. Am I missing something? I've got day to day friends and enough to keep me preoccupied.
Maybe it's the terrorist attack, or the fact that I have to keep radiation (iodine) pills in my medicine cabinet. Several months after 9/11, when strangers would still talk to one another, there was plenty of discussion about what it would take to get someone out of NYC. Another attack? If so, what kind of attack? I remember someone telling me it would be the third... Three attacks and, assuming they were still alive, they were outta here.
Some days I miss the quieter life where people are more grounded, less power-centered, more spiritual, ethical etc.
At my desk, I keep an Amtrak map of the US. Sometimes I look at it and wonder what it would be like to live down South... Like, in North Carolina or even Texas. I received a flyer for Asheville in the mail - I know there are lots of healers there. It seems like a safe place, away from any threat of terrorism. People are more aware of God there, and family is important. I could be wrong, but that's what I gleam from it.
My parents retired down South. I've got friends down there. I was surprised how much I liked it, once I got past my own stereotypes on what I thought it was.
Other times I think of going to Colorado or New Mexico... Many writers end up out there and it is has lots of progressive, artsy communities. There, too, is a spirituality that NYC doesn't seem to have. My first year or two in San Francisco was spent wishing I lived in Boulder, CO. I heard such good things about that place.
The last time I crossed the country, it was on a Greyhound Bus and I stopped off at New Orleans. Though the crime is quite high, I really thought I could get into living out there. It reminded me of San Francisco, except less politically correct. What an atmosphere! But again, getting murdered isn't on my list of things to do.
The one place I don't think I could live in is Nebraska or Oklahoma. Nothing against those places... I love tornadoes but I don't want to get caught in one. How people can live with that prospect is beyond me... I think the area is beautiful though. (Most of my pics from my cross country travels are from there.) Having been through hurricanes, blizzards, earthquakes and other natural disasters, I'd say tornadoes are the worst. I've never experienced one and wouldn't want to.
I've also thought of San Francisco again (though I can't say I've really got a calling to go back), or even Boston. But Massachusetts strikes me as a good place to visit, at least for now.
Anyway, I'm just thinking out loud. You know, I questioned everything in my 20's... Religion, relationships, family, sexuality, political beliefs, values, gender roles... Everything. I really thought that once I kinda settled that stuff, I'd have the answers and then I could go on. But it seems like, as soon as I settled on what the answers were it was time to question them again.
That's why I like reading your journals. I love hearing how other people's lives are like. Life here in New York City is often so "New York-centric". There is a definite belief here that if you come from anywhere else then you are so "out of it" and that NYC is so important. It really isn't. My experience is that trends start elsewhere (usually in San Francisco - grin) and once they make it here then they are officially a "trend". As soon as they are reporting about it here in NYC, the trend has already gone.
There was a good article in the New York Times a couple of years ago when Dale Earnhardt died. The NYT was asking why the rest of the country knew who Earnhardt was and no one from NYC could identify him. "Could New Yorkers be so out of touch?" it asked. "Why do New Yorkers look down on the rest of the country? When did we become so out of touch?"
I'm not sure they were ever in touch... And I'm not sure if, at some point, I will look at this place and think of it as home. But I'm here for a reason right now and so here is where I'll be... Today.