Things are super crazy at work right now with a huge go-live – and I’ve completely flip flopped my schedule. I’m basically on Switzerland time – going to bed at 2pm-3pm CT and waking up at 11pm CT to get to work by midnight. (Too bad I had to work normal hours for the three days after my trip to Paris, or I could have just stayed on the same schedule since then and I would have been all set.)
So perhaps it’s just the exhaustion that comes with sleeping when it’s bright out and heading to work when everyone else is drunk and partying (or at least that’s what the rest of the guests at my hotel seem to be doing), but I’ve been really stressed out lately – and freaking out about my upcoming move to Colorado.
It started on Thursday night, when I was frantically trying to finish up some last minute work preparations before a one day apartment-hunting trip to Denver. I considered postponing the trip for a few weeks, when I’d have more time, but I just feel so unsettled right now! I’ve moved completely out of New York, but I haven’t yet nailed down my plans for moving into Colorado – I don’t have a place to live or even a target move date. (March? April? Later than that?) To further exacerbate the situation, most of my friends have been really distant lately (both literally and metaphorically), so I feel like I don’t really fit in or belong anywhere. It’s not a fun feeling, and I think having concrete plans of where/when I’ll be in Colorado might help me feel less transient.
But when I mentioned to a few friends that I was stressed about the scouting trip, they took that as cold feet about the entire move – and started trying to talk me out of moving to Denver. Um, that ship has sailed! I’ve already spent several thousand dollars moving all my stuff across the country; there is no way I’m going to either send it all back to NYC or suddenly choose a new home somewhere else. Besides, I still think Denver is the right place for me. (I think? Ugh, since when am I one to second-guess a decision I’ve thought long and hard about…)
So when I headed out to go apartment hunting on Friday morning with my friend Kelly (who made the move out there a few years ago), perhaps I already wasn’t in the best frame of mind. (And, I was tired.) We saw several awesome apartments but nothing that was a complete home run – each place had a few things I liked and a few things I didn’t. So I decided to go back in a few weeks to make a final decision. On the one hand, it’s awesome that I get to return, since I’m eager to spend as much time as possible there. (I can’t wait to start living in Denver rather than just relying on these sporadic trips!) But on the other hand, I’m disappointed that I haven’t yet managed to square away my living situation.
While driving back to the airport, I finally had a chance to catch up on the phone with my coworker Mike – who was also in Denver. We started at our firm together and got to be friends during our onboarding/training. Unfortunately, since we haven’t ever been staffed on a project together, we only see each other once every year or two (if we happen to attend the same company events). Luckily, that’s soon to change! Mike is moving to Denver too, and he seems to be on the same time frame as me: move there early this year, rent for a year or so, then find a place to buy once he’s more familiar with the area.
Where we’re not on the same page, though, is in where we’re planning to rent. By pure chance, Mike was apartment hunting on the same day as me – except he was looking in uptown Denver, whereas I’m looking in the suburbs. He told me that he sees it as his last chance to live in the city before he ultimately buys in the suburbs… and that set me off on second guessing my own gameplan.
I have never loved living in New York City (at least not the same way my lifer-NYC friends do), and any friend who’s been to my apartment there could tell you that I picked pretty much the least city-like, most suburban block of Manhattan on which to live. Yes, I lived in a typical high-rise, but under me was a gym and a grocery store, and around me were just dog parks, more grocery stores, and other apartment buildings, with the nearest sit-down restaurant or bar at least a ten minute walk away. But I loved it! I loved the peace and quiet of running along the river or in Central Park, and I didn’t mind having a bit of commute to get to the real hustle and bustle of NYC. My neighborhood definitely wasn’t for everyone, but I said that I wouldn’t leave that neighborhood until it was to move out of NYC entirely – and it was so easy to keep to that because it was so perfect for me.
So now that I’m heading to a place with actual livable suburbs, I thought it made sense for me to move to them. I am so excited about having more space, and being able to entertain at home instead of being stuck going to a bar/restaurant all the time. I can’t wait to walk out my door and not hear traffic or be faced with a concrete jungle, but instead see the mountains in the distance. And, as stupid as it sounds, I’m really excited about driving to the grocery store and to do errands, rather than having to schlep everything around on foot. (Though I’m sure I’ll be using B-Cycle, Denver and Boulder’s bike share program, pretty often too.) I really love the driving I get to do when I’m in Dallas (yes, even when traffic gets horrible on 635 or the Tollway), and I’m excited to get to drive in my new hometown as well.
But every single person, from my friends to my coworkers to strangers I barely know, asks the same question: “why on earth are you moving to the suburbs?” And proceeds to tell me how much I’m going to hate it. Which is not really the kind of reinforcement I need when I’m already kind of scared about making such a big life change to move 1800 miles from my family and most of my friends for no reason other than the selfishness of “I like it here.” I like to think I know myself pretty well, but I also know that when everyone thinks one thing and you think the opposite, it’s worth at least reevaluating your position.
I just hope that reevaluation doesn’t lead me to running back to NYC with my tail between my legs.