Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Inertia or Prudence? On Blooming Where You're Planted

No filter -- just shot through a scrapbook
 protector that can't ever be removed. 
I had a hard time transitioning from elementary school to junior high. I left the neighborhood school where I had grown significantly for seven years for a building that looked to me like a prison (in fact, they kept the kids out of the school building in the morning with a large metal gate). I had to change classes and figure out how to deal with different teachers' personalities, and I had to integrate with kids from four other schools.

It was hard to leave this place.
But I'm fine now.
Similarly, it was difficult to leave my childhood home when my parents divorced and sold it. I had lived there for almost twenty years at that point and the house had been the base I set myself into every night and the backdrop for almost everything significant that had happened to me.

So perhaps it's not surprising that I have stayed in my childhood hometown and have now lived in the same house for almost twenty years. And while I complain about my town, it is undeniably a safe and pretty place to be.

What does surprise people is how badly I want to move, specifically to Chicago. Part of it is a desire to be closer to work, but my commute is actually considered fairly standard.  Part of it is a desire to have lived somewhere other than Downers Grove, Illinois.  Part of it is to have access to things I don't have here--better public transit, more restaurant choices, the ability to take advantage of what the city has to offer without sitting in traffic for an hour.

But are these reasons enough to uproot my life? Whenever I have this conversation with myself, the answer comes down firmly on "no." And still I want to go.

A change of scenery.
Last month, my husband and I tried Acting Without Overthinking. We saw a few apartments in our target neighborhood, and even thought we had one. There were many questions to be answered if we got it (cute vintage apartments seem to lack accommodations for two litter boxes). However, we were outmaneuvered by others playing Act Lightning-Fast if You See A Nice Place and lost the apartment of our recent dreams.

So now I am back on dangerous ground. It's finally summer -- Downers Grove's best look. My local mechanic just did the usual thorough and fair-priced job on my aging car. And I just paid my taxes, which have been going down in recent years (because my little area has not yet recovered from the housing crisis -- another reason to wait around here a bit more).

So I wait for the Apartment Fairy to flit on over and whisper in my ear that someone's daughter's friend has just been transfered and needs to sublet her lovely place just minutes from a Metra station and the Blue Line. Meanwhile, I guess I will remember when big change scared me, rather than excited me. And I will sit in traffic on the Eisenhower.

1 comment:

Marc said...

Have you tried leaving your house keys under your pillow?