Moving to a city is daunting because you’re forcing yourself to change and upheaving your comfortable small town life. I’ve lived in a small town in upstate NY my whole life. Sure, I’ve visited family in California and visited a few other places but, never stayed long enough to really decide if city life would be for me. Now that I’m 19 I have so many options and choices to make. Lately moving to NYC or Cali has been on my mind. I have anxiety but I don’t want that to get in the way of experiencing new things and traveling like I’ve always dreamt of as a kid. I’ve been surfing the web for hours and hours, reading forums about city life. My logic is, “Well you’d be forced to adapt and put yourself in uncomfortable situations, so you’d get over your fear of what others think of you right?”. It’s very idealistic. And I know I shouldn’t be so hopeful and look to this as an “end all be all” solution to my problems. But, it’s easier this way.
Anyways, my cousins and my Aunt live with my Dad and I at the moment. Actually moved from Cali to Wisconsin after my Aunts (now ex) husband’s pasta company took a hit. My grandma was getting pretty old so needed some looking after anyways because she no longer had my Uncle there (he had died a few years back from lung cancer, smoking 5 cartons a day and drinking all day had finally done him in). She passed away 2 years ago and since then they’ve been living with us in New York. They LOVE California. They tell me crazy stories all the time. Like today I was talking to my cousin, Johnny, we’ll call him, for about an hour about Cali. He said it definietly gets some getting used to. When he first got to West Hollywood, he couldnt sleep for the first few nights because of all the noise; people yelling, helicopters looking for people, and cars honking at one another. One night he was out on the porch of this shared apartment complex smoking a ciggarette with his dad and a helicopter beams a light on them. A man I guess a week before had decapatated a man on the trail leading up to the Hollywood sign just a few miles from where they were. In fact, Johnny had seen a man running on the street across from them and pointed in his direction, perhaps this was that man. Another crazy thing happened in the first few months of living there… my other cousin Liz was walking along a street at night shopping for new clothes and all of a sudden she hears shooting down just a block from where she was. A guy pulls her into his shop and locks up for the night. I guess there was a huge gang fight going on (pretty uncommon for the area too). The next morning there were hundreds of riot police on the scene; it made the news. Pretty nuts. Oh and about 3 months in, I should mention, my poor cousin Johnny is in a school shooting (Santa Monica 2013). Runs past dead classmates and runs outside while still hearing guns being fired! Scary shit. It’s fucked him up for sure. Has a hard time feeling safe and is worried he’s going to die a lot of the time. He still praises California though. I mean you cant live in fear. City’s arent all that bad and the media protrays the world to be a scary place when really it’s not all that scary. It was kind of a freak situation that all these big eventful things happened in West Hollywood in the first 3 months of living there lol. And he made sure to specify that haha. Sounds all pretty crazy but, even after hearing all of that I still want to move. I refuse to be sheltered. My mother was sheltered and lived in the same town her entire life. There’s just so much more to experience and things I may potentially be missing out on. Or missing a part of myself that I didnt even know existed because I haven’t put myself in that position yet. Makes you think what could be… It’s these late night thoughts that keep me optimistic about things. A good thing, but when expectations arent met could be a very disappointing thing.
“There are these two young fish swimming along, and they happen to meet an older fish swimming the other way, who nods at them and says, “Morning, boys, how’s the water?” And the two young fish swim on for a bit, and then eventually one of them looks over at the other and goes, ‘What the hell is water?’ “-David Foster Wallace 2005
“On the evening of May 29, 1997, Buckley’s band flew in intending to join him in his Memphis studio to work on the newly written material. That same evening, Buckley went swimming in Wolf River Harbor, a slackwater channel of the Mississippi River, while wearing boots, all of his clothing, and singing the chorus of the song “Whole Lotta Love” by Led Zeppelin. A roadie of Buckley’s band, Keith Foti, remained ashore. After moving the radio and a guitar out of reach of the wake from a passing tugboat, Foti looked up to see that Buckley was gone. Despite a determined rescue effort that night, Buckley remained missing. On June 4, his body was spotted by a tourist on a riverboat and was brought ashore.”