I’m not the most dynamic person in the world. I mean, I’m not bad. I have moderate dynamism. Perhaps even above-average dynamism. But certainly not the kind of dynamism where you land in a new city and suddenly you’re having madcap adventures. Well, actually, I used to be able to do that (but it required drinking vast quantities of alcohol…and, also, many of the adventures were terrifying ordeals that I will never talk about until the day that I die).
And, since my two jobs (novel-writing and freelance-writing) are both fairly homebound, I spend a lot of time around the house, working, and then venturing out once a day to wander around or go to a Meetup group or an event I found out about in the newspaper or something like that. It’s not the most incredibly exciting existence that a person can imagine.
Somehow, it seems a bit taboo to mention this? Like I’m whining or something? When you go to a new place, you’re supposed to be really happy with it, or else why did you go? In my case, it’s especially perplexing because I left behind strong communities both in the DC area and in the SF Bay, and I also have no really strong occupational reason for being here. And yes, I do get lonely and I do wish that I had more to do and I do wish that I knew more people. And no, I can’t say that I’ve landed here with some firm plan or strong sense of purpose. I just kind of got here and was like, “Welp…now what?”
But, really, that was the plan. I came here to learn how to be alone and to learn how to be in a new place and, also, to just take a look around and learn what else the world had to offer. Which is to say, if I didn’t have something to learn in those areas, then I wouldn’t be here. And when I think about leaving (which I do, sometimes), I realize that all the reasons I have for coming here are still fully in operation. Life can’t just be about being comfortable; a person needs more than that. A person needs to be able to grow, in some way.
Some people need to grow in ways that don’t require leaving the places that they’re familiar with. For a long time, I was one of those people. But now that’s no longer true of me, so I am here.
Thus, if a person wanted to know whether or not I was happy here, I’d say that the answer is…kind of?
I’m not acutely unhappy. I have enough human contact (I really like the people that I am living with), and I have my work, and I see and hear new things every day (yesterday, I saw one of the biggest cockroaches I’ve ever seen in the United States). But if I thought I’d still be this isolated in six months, then I’d pack up and leave right now.
However, I don’t think I will be. Part of any speculative venture is just having the confidence that someday things will be different. I don’t know exactly how things will be different or in what manner I will make them different, but I know that life will change. My experience with almost every place and situation I’ve ever been in is that you’re uncomfortable and lonely for a few weeks or months, and then, almost without you noticing it, things snap into place and suddenly you’re at home. I don’t know exactly how that works (maybe it’s just something that happens to me?) because it doesn’t seem to require much conscious effort. All it requires is that you have patience and that you be willing to try new things.
So yes. The future. Much is uncertain.