When we moved out of Manhattan about 15 months ago, I tried to convince myself it was for the best.
"Manhattan is so expensive! I can't stand the crowds anymore!"
I have tried really hard to like the suburbs. I really have. We joined a playgroup, we go to programs at the library at least twice a week, we go to the Y, we talk to our neighbors, and yet, this still doesn't feel like home.
I don't feel like I fit in here.
I am a vegetarian, organic,liberal, hippie who wears ironic T-shirts without a bra.
This is the land of steak, and republicans, and "what label are you wearing".
At first I was really mad at myself for not liking the suburbs. I routinely suffer from the grass is always greener syndrome. Then, I had an epiphany-
No place is perfect.
I am never going to live in a magical place where all of my friends and family live within a few blocks, and that has all of my favorite restaurants and stores, and has perfect weather, and exciting night life. It doesn't exist.
This realization was a huge step for me. It was a "grownup" moment.
So, I had to figure out where I (and my husband and kid) would be happiest.
In the little over a year since we have lived in the suburbs I have gained ten pounds and aged several years. I never realized how much I thrived off the excitement of Manhattan. How much those little chats you have with random people you meet when you are walking your dog in the city mean to me. I am a social person. I don't really need alone time. I thrive off of interacting with people.
Here in the suburbs NOTHING HAPPENS. I often take Willa and Dexter on an hour long walk, and we don't pass one person walking down the street.
There are things that the lazy part of me like about the suburbs- Being able to hop in the car and drive places when it's really hot or really cold, opening the back door and letting Dexter out to pee.
I constantly have to fight the lazy. In Manhattan you can't be that lazy. Hence the ten pound weight gain.
I feel old here. I feel like I am becoming boring. I feel like I am not myself.
The suburbs are killing my soul.
I know that sounds dramatic, but it's true.
And I miss my friends. My friends who are so awesome. My friends who I always say "I love you" to when I'm ending a conversation. My friends whom Willa calls her Aunts and Uncles.
They are my family.
When we moved here we thought we would still see our friends all the time. "It's just a short train ride away" we would say to try to convince ourselves that it wouldn't be that bad. But, it's bad. The reality is that depending on where you are going to or coming from in the city, it takes about an hour and a half. Which means about a 3 hour round trip. My friends are busy people. They can't always devote an entire day to dragging their asses out to the suburbs. When we lived in the city, I would meet my friends by their offices to have a quick lunch, or sometimes they would get off work early and we'd meet at the cafe. I miss that.
My husband works a lot. 60 hours a week on average. He commutes at least two hours a day. Two precious hours that he would rather be playing with his kid.
So, we are moving back to Manhattan.
Sure, there are things about Manhattan that I won't/don't like, but if it means seeing my friends and husband more often, and feeling at home, then I'll just have to deal.
We are also going to take a lot more day trips out of the city.
We're not going to move tomorrow. We are probably going to stay here until the late Spring so we can save up our money.
I'm sure those of you who have been reading my blog have a lot of questions right now. I'll write more about this in the future, but right now I want to tackle the most commonly asked question when we tell people we want to live in the city "But it's so expensive!" (Not really a question, more of a statement.)
Well, here's what I have to say about that. Living in Manhattan is certainly expensive, but there's a reason it's expensive- it's awesome. I use the example of fine china. A lot of people have fine china, but they never use it. It just sits in the cabinet collecting dust.
I liked the idea of the suburbs. I'd love to have a big, beautiful house, but what good is having a big, beautiful house if it's always empty?
I want to take more risks (I'll write more about that later too), and live each day to the fullest.
I would rather die poor, having lived a happy and exciting life, then die a miserable, boring millionaire.*
I want to use the fine china EVERY DAY.
*(Disclaimer: I am in no way insinuating that everyone who lives in the suburbs are miserable and boring. I'm just talking about how I feel.)