Twelve hours of sleep is a hell of a drug. I know there’s such a thing as sleeping too much; while the five hours a night I usually get isn’t enough, anything over nine hours puts me in the position of being awake but less than completely aware of my surroundings. I’ve been up for several hours now but I still want to go to bed, and a piece I was going to write this morning is definitely not getting started before
noon late afternoon the end of the day.
Sometime today, I have to start that piece, run on the treadmill, make a batch of marinara sauce, and get ready for a trivia night with Mike, Abbi, and some other nerds I know. Probably also do a load of laundry because I’m down to the socks that aren’t very warm and sometimes get bunched up inside my shoes. Until then, there’s an Intervention marathon on A&E and if anything makes me feel more productive, it’s a slurring, eye-rolling alcoholic that looks kind of like Captain Ron.
I may also do some thinking about Seattle, which I’ve been doing every day for the past month. Like I said yesterday, Graham and I have been kind of sort of seriously talking about maybe moving there, and while no decision has been made, it’s clear that we’re both interested but, at least for me, there are a few issues to consider. My main concerns are logistical. For instance, I can’t move without a job, and for an un-degreed person such as myself, getting one before I move will be challenging. Speaking of things that have to be done without actually being there, finding a place is another challenge. I also think about the pain in the ass stuff like packing, hiring movers, and driving across the country with 2 cats (both stress-shedding, one possibly stress-peeing) in the car, and about the more sentimental issues like giving up the best place and neighborhood I’ve ever had, as well as leaving my nephew, who is only five and seems to like Graham and I an awful lot for us to just leave him here.
What I’m not concerned about is the change. I find that I’m becoming less attached to St. Louis as I get older. Surely things like my crap ass job and the crap ass economy are factors, but overall, St. Louis seems more and more like a dying, tired, aggressive city full of dying, tired, aggressive people. Initially, one of these things is why I didn’t want to leave for some crazy goddamned reason. It once occurred to me that if I move to someplace where it isn’t necessary to be a dick all the time, I’ll lose the aggressiveness that I’ve developed by necessity of living in St. Louis. At first, this bothered me. Losing that edge, that ability to detach and deflect, that unwillingness to let someone else fuck up your day just because they think they can. And then I realized that this isn’t a quality that I should want to keep. I mean, I don’t want to turn meek and trusting of everyone because that’s just foolish, but why would I want to be an asshole to everyone I meet? Being a dick isn’t something that I or anyone else should strive for, and it’s become obvious to me that living here has made me think otherwise.
I’m not even close to making a decision. I remember all the headaches and heart attacks of moving, and I also live daily in a city that I don’t love in the way that I used to. I also know that there are plenty of factors out of my control, for instance, if I don’t get a job, I don’t go. I also also know that I’m a little too old to make a half-assed effort, because I don’t want to live my life coming back here to start over every few years.
Also the coffee there is better.
The classic self-defeating flyover-zone St. Louis mentality encourages its people to play it safe, stay right where they are, never try anything new, never embrace new ideas, be suspicious of people who went to a different high school and/or are of other religions and cultures, never take risks, and basically just keep their world narrow and their dreams in check and make peace with being STUCK in crap jobs (if they can even get one) for a lifetime. Excuse mechanisms for remaining mired in St. Louis range from “low cost of living” and “all my family is here” to “I can’t find gooey butter cake anyplace else.”
Fast-forward to many, many years from now…. most likely, you won’t regret the things you did, only the things you were afraid to try and were left wondering about. Sure, your nephew may love having you around St. Louis, but he also might totally love visiting you every summer in Seattle and have a blast Skype-ing you in the meantime. As for liking your current neighborhood —- that’s nothing you can’t duplicate (or even beat) in Seattle.
Oh, the excuses people have here are my favorite. You really CAN’T beat the low cost of living, but multiple people I know have excused themselves out of moving to Chicago because “it’s too cold there.” Meanwhile, the same temperatures exist in St. Louis winter and natural gas heat is just as costly.
Gooey butter cake and toasted ravioli suck, by the way.
Strangely enough, the foods that I thought sucked when I actually lived in St. Louis ended up becoming cravings when I moved 900 miles away. So weird!
If you want to move, that’s awesome but (a) it shouldn’t take moving to make you less of a dick and (b) every life I live here is so different from the next and I love it.
This is purely my opinion, but it’s the things I DON’T do that I regret the most
If you have always lived in St. Louis then yes, by all mean move and stretch your wings. I’ve been lucky to have traveled a lot in my life and I don’t regret it for a second..I’ve had some grand adventures that I’ll be able to share with my grand kids someday. I have to agree with 100% with one comment you made because I myself have experienced that several times and you’ve opened my own eyes a little, “I don’t want to live my life coming back here to start over every few years.” It seems I’ve been starting over far too much in my life and that really sucks.
I’ve already lived bi-coastally. Graham hasn’t, though, which is why he’s thinking more about moving, while I’m thinking more about what’s actually involved with moving two lives across the country.
You have just recently settled into your new home that you say you love. So, maybe give it a year or two and then maybe rehash the moving thought again. 😀
A friend of mine and I were just discussing yesterday the flourishing of the local art scene in STL. Also, improve comedy. And our sex positive community. I, personally, enjoy living in STL and do not think the grizzled, life-beaten characterization of the residents is any more true here than anywhere else in the US. Folks are impoverished. The economy sucks. That is true, generally. If anything, it seems that people are drawing closer together and taking comfort in each other more than they did before (vs. in the 90’s, for example). But I’m a relatively young woman who has yet to live anywhere other than STL, so I admittedly don’t know much.
Regardless, I hope you and Graham do what makes you both happy. Don’t allow logistics to interfere, Erin! And Carmen’s Skype-ing/visiting argument is particularly persuasive. Five-year-olds are highly adaptable. That’s one of their greatest assets 🙂