Just got back from an extended trip to Illinois. When I’m in the Midwest, I get really nostalgic and I wonder why I ever left. Sometimes, I fucking hate New York. Seriously. I want to be near my Chicago-based family and friends again. And, I miss having a decent standard of living that didn’t require forking over my entire paycheck to support it. If I lived in Chicago, I’d see my closest relatives on a regular basis. My Midwest mortgage + car payment would be less than my NYC rent. Sometimes, I look at my friends back home and I’m jealous that they’re able to live in an extremely comfortable world. They go on nice vacations. They own the spaces in which they live. They have what seems like — from the outside at least — VERY easy lives. Yes, I know the facade often hides what’s beneath. And, yes, I know I shouldn’t compare myself to others. (But, sometimes, I do.) Fuck me; I’m human.
I think back to the years I lived in the CHI. I had a great job, wonderful apartment, padded savings account, etc. But, I felt soooo alone and out of place there. I didn’t feel like I could be myself because people would judge me. I’ve said it before: People generally come from all over the entire world to live in New York City. People generally come from all over the entire Midwest to live in Chicago. In my mind, Illinois is provincial. That doesn’t make it a bad place. Actually, on the contrary, that’s one of its good points. The place is STUFFED with decent fucking down home people — the kind that often seem sparce on the Isle of Manhattan. It’s as if Illinois is the “sensible guy” I should be dating. But, I can’t help it. I’ve never been any good at: (1) being good or (2) doing something solely because it was good for me. Give me a stable, healthy existence without any real challenges (i.e. Illinois) and I’ll bore. I want thrills. Fun. Adventure. Shitty experiences that I’ll bitch and moan about for ages until, years later, I’ll be thankful they caused to me grow into a better person. To me, that’s better than experiencing regrets and unfulfilled dreams. I want to live. You know, like, REALLY live instead of just settling for something that’s the sensible/right thing to do.
Anyway. So, yeah, I really fucking hate New York sometimes. But, I love it too.
Changing the subject. Kind of.
You know it snowed in Illinois on Christmas, right? Snow can be pretty. But, sometimes, it makes cold, damp, grey and cloudy weather.
Sure, it snows in New York, too. But, we have fun with it.
Ages ago, before I moved to Manhattan, a guy friend who is a New Yorker-turned-Chicagoan described Manhattan to me by saying, “It was like watching color TV after only having experienced black and white.” I understand. I really do.
* Pssssst, the dating culture here is whack, too. But that’s a topic for tomorrow’s post.