Friday, January 22, 2010

Quandary of a Dream

Where will I end up? Where will I live? These are questions one might ask in their adult years. You might get married, you might start having kids. You might have one dream, and you won't rest until you see yourself there. Or you might feel varying feelings. Despite where you are now, you might have a feeling, somewhere in a nook of your innards, a desire to "settle down" somewhere. To have your spouse and your kids and to raise them in this place that they will call their home, and look back and remember it with the homey feeling and say "that was where I grew up."

I believe, ultimately, that i am one of the "varying feelings" kind. Many people move to Brooklyn to attend a school program and then move back to whence they came, or someplace similar. When I first married, the plan was to be in New York for at least 2 years. Sean went to art school in Brooklyn and that was the length of the program. It was strange, because I think we knew in our hearts we would stay longer than that, because when those two years were up and the decision to stay was naturally & easily made, and people asked us "when are you moving back?" i thought it was weird. Like, what? why would I, necessarily? We are of that kind. Sean used to "teasingly" tell me, "I am NOT New York!" For before we met, I yearned, deeply, to live in a big city. I would pick up or drop people off at the airport, take a minute to watch the departing planes in the sky and think, where are you going? take me with you.

And then we met in the summer, he told me his fall plans, and then we decided to get married (heh heh).

I have loved living here. I have never known a place with such a strong impact on my identity, nor have i felt such a strong connection. I had wonderful growing up years and loved where I was raised, but there is something about this city place that reflects something deep in the insides of my soul. I don't know what it is, exactly. But it's a tone that resonates, and beautifully, and I cherish it, I really do.

People in Brooklyn might start having kids. They might have another, and another. And that's just about the limit before your apartment literally bursts at the seams. And people leave to bigger, less expensive pastures. For the people who didn't determine to leave after their schooling, I think the common response they give, when asked how long they'll live here, is "who knows? Probably 3-5 years." And they've been saying that for the past 3-5 years. Like us. And now it's been 6.

Now I have a child and I feel a certain draw to things never much considered, like the suburbs, or a house. I've never planned on living in New York FOREVER. It's too cold, too hard, too dirty, too expensive, too small (the living space). But always the next thought following that is, but how could I ever leave? And that's how it ends. Every time.

And yet, there is a part of me that thinks, maybe it is time? Maybe we should move, and "settle down." Toting a kid makes getting around incredibly more difficult. And then there's always the looming inevitability of schooling. Do i want my kid to go to school here?

So as much as it scares me/makes me cry/whatever, I think that, who knows? Maybe I'm ready to move, to settle down. I see myself living in a lot of places, really. And I see myself never living in others.

And then I see something that sparks something else. And I remember that thing, that need, deep in my innards, that I've long known was there, but that New York has heartily satisfied these 6 years, and it is this: the desire to live in a foreign land. There is a strong pull. A very strong pull. And i've lately felt a sharp tug.

I want an adventure. Always, in life, wherever i am, all the time. I live for the adventure. And i fear the mundane. I know life is what you make it, but could that life just be in the Seychelles for a while? Or Kenya? Or the south of France? Or Italy? Or, as my dear friend Amber said, the south of anywhere.

It might be crazy, it might be hard, especially with a little Julian, but the force of the pull is strong. I feel it every day. Sean and I both feel a change might be looming, of some form or another. So I might start doing some investigating. But I might not, because, how could I ever, EVER leave this place?

9 comments:

ange said...

Don't be ready to leave yet, Jen. I know you're a few years ahead of us, but we're not ready for you to go. Even if it is to a foreign land, which sounds exotic and probably the only thing that could draw one away from New York (in my opinion). Here's to staying! And surviving!

Natalie R. said...

I definitely wasn't ready to leave the city when we had to go. It was a very tough move, and I kept hoping we would be back, but you gotta go where the job takes you, right? And I have to say, we've been really very happy in Hershey. I don't regret leaving because I feel like we're where we're supposed to be at this time, but at the same time, I still have lots of moments where I think, "Oh man, I wish I could be in Brooklyn!"

Anyways, good luck with making your decision and trying to decide what to do next!

Joel said...

I hear the Sea of Tranquility is nice this time of year.

The Pedersen Posse said...

Man... I knew you were adventurous, but you'd really live in a foreign land? Good for you. I think investigating living possibilities is quite fun. Enjoy the dreaming. In my opinion, the reality of moving is not quite as fun. Good luck.

Alanna said...

I was lucky, because I managed to travel a lot before I got married. But I usually stuck to the country-- I'm not a city person, even though I love museums and shows.

Now that I have kids, I worry that if I lived somewhere foreign (especially if I didn't speak the language), I'd just use that as an excuse to become even more of a homebody than I already am! So for now, I love living in suburban America where I can find almost everything I need at a store or two, and the kids can play in the backyard.

But I do plan on getting back to my traveling once my kids are in college. My husband has never been to Africa, and this is a situation that will have to be remedied sooner or later!

Jen said...

Ange, (#1) I knoooow. We'll probably be here forever. Just take me to Grimmaldi's and i'll forget everything. :) (i'm not asking you to take me to Grimmaldi's)

Sea of Tranquility? I WISH.

Sometimes I just feel like saying "you know what? let's live in Mississippi for a while" just to have lived in Mississippi. Just something spontaneous.

Yeah, if I had the money, I would travel. And eat. Travel travel travel, eat eat eat.

KamilahNYC said...

Sounds super dreamy. I'd totally live wherever, but I personally am not ready for you to leave New York. not yet, not till we start our ice cream club. I mean, priorities...

linsey said...

jennifer morello. you knock this crap off or i. will. cut. you. you want a new adventure, come try carroll gardens. foreign lands with a kid is overrated, trust me.

Jen said...

ice cream club. You're right, what was i thinking?? that will keep me here, along with linsey's death threats...

linsey, find me an apartment. and then pack my stuff. and move it.