what if everyone grows up and leaves me in this city?

It’d been a long time since I saw my beautiful blond friend with the very put-together life. My friend who always knows what to wear, and always has the earrings that match it. My friend with the grownup life and the baby.

She looked great, of course. She was sparkling. The collar of her little dress sparkled. Her clean, contemporary diamond ring sparkled. Her eyes sparkled, too. Since I’d last seen her, a lot had changed. They were moving. To Connecticut. They were looking for a house now.

Whoa.

Connecticut? But– we used to think Brooklyn was too far away! I haven’t even been back to the Upper West Side since we moved down here. Wait. A house. That means you’ll have more than two rooms? And a car? And a yard? Impossible. A washer and a dryer? Amazing. More than one bathroom? Ultimate luxury! Unimaginable.

I tried to picture her new life. She was wearing pearl earrings in my imagination. But then, she does that sometimes anyway. She looked so grown up. So complete. She would drive her kid (her KID!) to school in her car. She would drive to the supermarket. She would return to her house. Her entire house. Her husband would commute into the city for work.

“What’s your plan?” she asked. “What are you thinking, for the future?”

I stared at her. I looked down at my plate. I looked up again, and I still hadn’t figured out what to say.

“Bear,” I said, later that night, “Do we know what we’re doing with our lives?”

“Um,” he said, “Maybe?”

“I don’t think we do.”

“Yeah, maybe not. But who cares?”

“We’re kids.”

“That’s what’s so cool about us.”

“I guess.”

 

Sometimes I realize that one day everyone will leave this city. It will drain like a bathtub and the empty, dirty streets will leave a streak. Everyone will go find a house somewhere, with a yard. Because kids need space, and there’s no space in the city. Because the air is cleaner out there. Because of the schools. Because of the money. Because the city wears you down. Because it just makes sense. Even my twenty-something single friends talk about leaving. After they get far enough in their careers and when they want to settle down and have a real, serious life. They look forward to not having to deal with the subway anymore.

Sometimes I want to grab the people I like by the wrists and beg them to stay.

Because I can’t really imagine leaving the city. Or when I do, I imagine this cottage at the foot of a cloud-touching mountain range. I imagine breathtaking openness. I imagine the sky going forever. I imagine uninterrupted nature. And this fantasy doesn’t include where to buy groceries or who I’ll hang out with, or where the money will come from, or how close I’ll be to my family, or where the nearest hospital is in case someone has a stroke or accidentally chops off a finger. It’s a fantasy. But it’s the only thing I can imagine wanting, outside of the city.

And I think that maybe there’s something childish about all that. About my obsession with extremes. Being grownup has always seemed to be all about moderation. About balance.

(this)

(or this)

When I was a little kid, all I wanted was to step off the back porch into an endless, rugged wilderness. I hated the white fence that separated our yard from the neighbors’. I hated his ride-on mower, which he seemed to use as an escape from the stagnant world inside his house. I wanted to explore, and sometimes it felt like there was nowhere to go.

In the city, there is always somewhere to go, just like there is in the wild.

But what if everyone grows up and leaves me? This whole place feels temporary sometimes. Everyone is only passing through.

After I saw my beautiful, grown up friend, I had this overpowering urge to go to suburban New Jersey to see my parents. Bear and I took the train out. And then we called a broker and she took as around to see some houses. We saw a house with a formal dining room. There was a fireplace in the living room. There was a mantel over the fireplace. There were wintery, naked woods in the back. But through the woods, I could see a fence. And another house. I could see the borders. And I felt somehow both far away from everything, and not far enough away. What would I do in my formal dining room? Who would come over for dinner? Would I have to cook something formal?

In the car, in between houses, I said, “Life is already so constricted. We’re already living in so many different boxes. I want the land to be open.”

I could almost hear my mom rolling her eyes in frustration, and I was frustrated, too. I didn’t mean to sound so philosophical and annoying. She said something about priorities. About reality. About having kids one day and being a part of a community. The stuff that matters.

“But I’ve always wanted to be somewhere wild,” I said. I was a little embarrassed, again, but also defiant. Why can’t I want that? Why does it have to be immature?

She said something about how what you want changes. Kids change everything. I’ll know, when I have kids.

We took the train back to the city, and came above ground at Penn Station– emerging into the stinking mouth of the beast. A siren wailed, and was immediately joined by another. Horns honked. Misguided tourists froze under the spasming lights.

“Welcome home!” I said.

“I know…” said Bear irritably. “Exactly. Welcome home. I hate this damn city.”

“I love it!” I said.

“It’s like putting on a big, hot, dirty jacket, and you can’t take it off.”

“I love it.”

“It really is like that– like the jacket. That was pretty good.”

“Yeah, yeah, it’s like a jacket. But I love it.”

“We live in a little box in a bigger box full of stupid little boxes.”

“But we get to ride an elevator up to it!”

I realized that when I think about growing up, what I’m really hoping for is a box on a higher floor, with a view of the city, and the water. That would be amazing. At least it wouldn’t be pretending not to be a box. At least all of the borders are obvious, and they’re all slamming into other borders, and we’re  forced to deal with all of our edges all the time. I like that, for some reason. I like it even more than a yard, and possibly about as much as a washer and dryer.

And maybe, along the way, I’ll meet a lot of other people who aren’t ever going to be completely ready to grow up. Who like the extremes. Whose kids know every inch of Prospect Park and have eaten every kind of food in the world by the time they are six or so. Whose kids are explorers by nature. (Or who decide not to have kids.)

“I wish you didn’t love this city so much,” Bear grumbles. “We’re gonna be stuck here forever. It’s terrible.” 

And there– there is a problem that I don’t know how to handle at all. Because I really don’t know what we’re doing with our lives. And I look bad in pearl earrings.  I’m wearing my mom’s right now, just to see, so I’m not just making things up when I say they don’t work on me. Which is maybe partially why I should try not to ever have a formal dining room.

*  *  *

If you could live anywhere, where would you live?

Unroast: Today I love the way I look in white and green.

P.S. Check back tomorrow to find out who won the sneakpeeq giveaway!

46 Comments »

Kate on January 16th 2012 in family, life, marriage, new york, relationships

46 Responses to “what if everyone grows up and leaves me in this city?”

  1. T.K. responded on 17 Jan 2012 at 12:18 am #

    I too love the city. And I am not leaving either, even if it means I’ll have to redefine what it means to be a “grown up”. Especially because of that. Most places are just one world, and there is like a hundred different worlds here. My ideal would be a penhouse over Central Park. But I’ll settle for a tiny box in the park’s vicinity. I love the way the city is so layered and so contradictory. It suits my personality. I love the way it offers intense proximity to others as well as the way it offers ultimate privacy and room to reinvent yourself. So heer is to taking the tiny boxes in the city over the tiny boxes that suburban life can often pigeonhole you into!

  2. bethany actually responded on 17 Jan 2012 at 12:52 am #

    My husband is in the Navy so we’ve gotten to try out living in lots of different places. I’ve learned that I can manage to be happy even in places I don’t much like, especially if I know we won’t be there forever. That doesn’t stop me from bitching about the traffic or the lack of good restaurants or whatever in the meantime, though.

    I love cities. I live in the suburbs of D.C. right now, and I really wish we could have found an affordable place in the city itself, but that just wasn’t practical for a variety of reasons.

    If I could live anywhere in the world, hmm…I guess I’d either live in San Diego (we’ve lived there twice and love it, plus we have family in SoCal), or in Omaha, NE, which is where my husband and I both grew up. We have lots of friends and family still there, and it’s a surprisingly great place to live. (Even though it’s in Nebraska, it’s actually a medium-large city with a thriving arts culture, great restaurants, a lively downtown, several universities, affordable housing, and—best of all—really nice people.)

  3. Val responded on 17 Jan 2012 at 1:22 am #

    Kate? If I could live anywhere? I’d still live here, in this drafty old house, in a boring city.

    That’s the beauty of me selling real estate. I never envy beautiful homes.

    I’m living in the only house I ever loved.

    Whatever evolves, you have no choice really, but to be who you are.

    We have a dining room, where we serve informal buffet meals.

    Life is good. Try not to worry. The path unfolds before you. love, Val

  4. Elena responded on 17 Jan 2012 at 5:04 am #

    Hi Kate!

    The good thing about life is that there’s not just one way of living it. So you just have to find your own way, the one that makes you happy, and it seems to be that is exactly what you’re thinking about throught these texts of yours.

    Sometimes we get too upset because we think we’re doing things wring as friends and/or family tells us we’ll end up one way or another, or that in the end things always boil down to the same path for everyone (something my mum tends to do a lot). But I refuse to believe so, I think we can always walk our own path making it as we go : )

    Cheers!

  5. aria responded on 17 Jan 2012 at 7:11 am #

    but maybe you’ll be famous and rich one day and you’ll buy a house in NY! How about that? a yard and the subway!

  6. Sari responded on 17 Jan 2012 at 7:42 am #

    Check out Ditmas Park, Brooklyn… country in the city! But sans box with a view. Erm…

    Seriously though… I don’t know what to wear. I don’t think I’ll ever be that “put-together” lady, running a home and raising kids and working and… screw that. I cannot even begin to think about a wedding because I’ve never actually wanted one. And then there’s an after-the-wedding life to plan?

    Screw plans. (And pearl earrings.) Just live, I say. Hopefully living passionately will lead you where you need to go.

    Oh yeah… and I’ll be back in NY soon enough. Passing through Israel. New York is the place to which we’ll return.

  7. Katharine Lilley responded on 17 Jan 2012 at 7:55 am #

    “This whole place feels temporary sometimes. Everyone is only passing through.”

    This is life and this is the whole world and this is truth. And I can tell you from experiance that the only thing that will quench the discontent is Christ. And I would have despised me for telling me that just a few years ago but I am telling you anyway.

  8. Frances responded on 17 Jan 2012 at 7:58 am #

    People say the same thing about Paris! How crazy is that? The city of shiny romance, yet people still complain about the metro and the delinquent youf. It’s been nearly two years but I still admire the grey rooftops and coloured graffiti, the cafes on the sidewalk and the shouty markets.

    Please don’t grow up! It’s comforting to know there are other happily lost people out there too!

  9. Frances responded on 17 Jan 2012 at 8:09 am #

    P.S. Metro = subway, obviously. And Paris is where I am and where I most want to live. Hurrah :)

  10. Sarah responded on 17 Jan 2012 at 8:32 am #

    I don’t think I’ve ever told you this, but New York actually scares me. I like it enough when I visit for four days. But seriously, *right* after the four-day-mark, I start feeling claustrophobic and painfully isolated. That’s the thing about New York City. To me, the craziness of the city makes me feel so very alone. It is as if I am anonymous, but don’t have a choice not to be. And then I feel so isolated–there is this huge city with big lives and plans and millions and millions of people, but it’s all just going on around me. I’m watching.

    I want to live in a place where anonymity is possible, but I guess I want it to be optional rather than obligatory.

  11. Sophie responded on 17 Jan 2012 at 8:32 am #

    All of my grandparents were born in NYC! And all of my parents! (Well, both of them, at any rate). And my sister and I were raised here. Currently, I live predominantly elsewhere for graduate school, but I plan to be back. I promise, you won’t be alone if you stay! And, it was a phenomenal place to grow up … Even in a little box without river views.

    Though, here is a great Slate essay about New York’s preoccupation with goodbyes.

    http://www.slate.com/articles/life/welltraveled/features/2005/bohemian_new_york/leaving_new_york.html

  12. Caitlin responded on 17 Jan 2012 at 8:41 am #

    You know, I grew up in the country – horses, sheep, chickens, cornfields… The whole shebang. And I loved it. But I also had zero social life since we lived 30 minutes from everywhere and everyone. So I’d be quite happy with living in an older neighborhood, white picket fences and all!

  13. Laura responded on 17 Jan 2012 at 9:04 am #

    I grew up in the suburbs of New York, and had two best friends move away, one when we were 6 and one when we were 12. I guess it seems like no matter where I live, people will move in and out, so I just have to keep meeting new people and keep trying to stay in touch with the ones who leave.

    I live in Boston now and love it! It’s small enough that it feels like a manageable place to live but large enough that it really is a city with lots of museums and things to do and delicious vegan restaurants.

  14. Mallory responded on 17 Jan 2012 at 10:06 am #

    I was obsessed with the city & apartment life as a child. I live near cape cod, with a big yard & a neighborhood that doesn’t need sidewalks because the streets are essentially huge sidewalks. I have forest, beaches, a private home & a long driveway. But then I saw harriet the spy & realized I could never live a good life if I wasn’t in an apartment in a city that never sleeps. So I went to college in a mini-city north of boston & lived in an apartment & realized my childhood fantasy was just a fantasy & could NEVER be reality. I hate cities & living in an apartment! Wouldn’t have known until I tried.

    Now I dream of a house that has lots of open spaces between the windows; so air can blow through, with water near by (I can’t breathe without the slight taste of salt in the air), a forest in my backyard, and a roads like sidewalks. So funny to me!

  15. jeanie responded on 17 Jan 2012 at 11:20 am #

    Take it from someone who lived in the city for four years and then moved to the middle of nowhere to get those wide open skies and spaces: NYC is really nothing like the wilderness. I like your comparison, your idea that both settings offer endless things to do, but that’s about the only similarity. If you move to the wilderness, true wilderness, after living in NYC, you will experience loneliness. You will desperately miss people. And you’ll start to feel like maybe you aren’t as relevant in others’ lives, since you’re far, far away. The city goes on without you.

    Anyway, I moved back to NYC because I missed it so much. I stayed for a year and moved again, this time to a more in-between type place. But I still miss it. But should I really go back, I mean isn’t that the definition of insanity (http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/quotes/a/alberteins133991.html)? Anyway, in answer to your question, I have absolutely no idea where I would ideally live. I have thoroughly confused myself :)

  16. Trisha responded on 17 Jan 2012 at 11:24 am #

    This is funny timing. My partner and I were just talking about a kid, and what that will mean last week. About how when (if) we have decide to have one, we’ll want to be in the city. I couldn’t imagine raising a kid anywhere else.

  17. Kate responded on 17 Jan 2012 at 11:39 am #

    @Val
    I liked this comment. I’m imagining the buffet.

  18. Kate responded on 17 Jan 2012 at 11:42 am #

    @Jeanie
    Interesting!! Where did you move, when you wanted open space? I think you’re totally right– I wouldn’t be able to handle the loneliness. I’d feel like I was missing out. But in the fantasy, my personality changes, too, and I am this awesome character from a Barbara Kingsolver novel who thrives in the heart of nature.

  19. Kate responded on 17 Jan 2012 at 11:47 am #

    @Mallory
    This is not to encourage you to ever try a city again (that first description of your home sounds perfect, really), but when I went to college in a mini-city, I hated it. The thing I love about NYC is the scale– it has everything, and everyone seems to have to come here at one time or another. But I was totally unprepared to love it: http://www.eatthedamncake.com/2010/06/03/the-big-city/

  20. Kate responded on 17 Jan 2012 at 11:48 am #

    @Sophie
    That WAS a great essay! Thank you for sharing!

  21. Alii responded on 17 Jan 2012 at 11:49 am #

    I object! It sounds like you had an attack of the ‘shoulds’, but you’ll probably get over it, eventually. *grins* You NEVER have to follow the script if you don’t want to. It’s not even a matter of growing up. It’s NOT grown-up to buy a house you don’t want in a place that makes you feel uneasy. It’s NOT growing up to do what you ‘should’ just because you ‘should’. I, personally, think it just makes people miserable.

    Ditch the ‘shoulds’ and the script. It’s always been my experience that memories are made when you deviate from the script. Adventures never follow scripts!

    I know that’s how it feels for you, but I think equating no-house with childish is nonsense. You don’t need to compare yourself to someone with a completely different life path already. *grins* That way lies madness. And houses with faux forests and visible fences that will make you miserable because you followed a script you felt obligated to adopt.

  22. Kate responded on 17 Jan 2012 at 11:52 am #

    @Alii
    Ha! And I’m now a little in love with the term “faux forests.” Maybe you’re right.

  23. Jess responded on 17 Jan 2012 at 11:56 am #

    I grew up here. I was a kid here. In New York City. And it can be pretty awesome. I grew up in a box on top of and below other boxes, on a high enough floor that Manhattan was a glowing outline on my north Bronx horizon. And we went there pretty often. And it was cool. Dim sum by age 6. Theatre at 10. Going to high school on the subway by myself at 13. Its completely doable. And fun. I too dream of bigger spaces and homeownership, but thats because its what being in your 20s is like. You’re not in the Forever Home yet, but that doesn’t mean your current sucks. My parents have a 3 bedroom with 1.5 baths and laundry in the building– and they own it. In truth, the one thing it didn’t have that little me always wanted *was* a yard. I had plenty of safe nearby outside places to play, climb, ride my bike and go on swings, but it wasn’t *my* outside place, that was private and personal and I could leave stuff there. And it makes me sad to hear my friends, who also grew up here, wanting to leave as well. What other definition of home could there be?

    Also, I’m pretty sure people in the ‘burbs think city-living is really grown up too. It’s all perspective. :)

  24. Mandy responded on 17 Jan 2012 at 12:44 pm #

    Kate, I have to agree with Alii–don’t ever do something just because you think you should. Or because someone else thinks you should.
    Take a deep breath and search your heart and soul before you make life-changing decisions. Be true to yourself–you are the best and only judge of what will make you happy.
    And, so far as being “grown-up” goes…as George Bernard Shaw said, “We don’t stop playing because we grow old, we grow old because we stop playing.”

  25. melissa responded on 17 Jan 2012 at 12:52 pm #

    augh, the same thing is happening to me! My parents fled town (four hours away) the second I moved out, my aunt went six hours away, my first childhood friend moved to the next province (15 hours away) and my other only friend also moved an hour away.

    I do not have a car, and everyone who leaves town always expects me to do all of the work of maintaining relationships. Needless to say I no longer have any family or friends.

    The obvious solution to this city drain problem is to make new friends, but who can do that sort of thing beyond the age of 10? Not me.

  26. jeanie responded on 17 Jan 2012 at 1:24 pm #

    Kate, that was what happened in my fantasy, too! I love Barbara Kingsolver :) And my personality has indeed changed. I have learned so much about myself thanks to all this moving around, and I do think I’ve gotten a lot more independent and confident.

    I love nature. That sounds so trite. But as much as I adore NYC, I don’t think I’ll ever be able to stay there permanently. Like clockwork, I start absolutely needing to be outside in natural spaces. I’m thinking the answer is to make a ton of money (freelancing?) and get an apartment in Brooklyn AND a place somewhere beautiful, so I never have to really choose.

  27. Kate responded on 17 Jan 2012 at 1:25 pm #

    @jeanie
    That’s MY goal! :-)

  28. Diana responded on 17 Jan 2012 at 1:53 pm #

    I, too, wanted to live in the wild. I relocated to rural Alaska. No roads. No sidewalks. No grocery stores. No fences. Less than 500 people. Endless miles of open tundra. An airplane ride to civilization.

    I’ve also done the city apartment thing, the loft, townhouse, condo, duplex, tri-plex, four-plex, cabin, ranch, basement, attic and the suburban house with a big yard in the bedroom community thing.

    I’ve done London and Oregon for school; California, Washington, Iowa, Wisconsin and now Alaska for love.

    I’ve lived in a coastal town, in a large city, in the country, in a middle-sized city, in a college town, in a sprawling metropolitan city and in a rural community.

    I loved them all for different reasons; I also hated them all for a completely different set of reasons.

    Too hot, too cold, too boring, too stimulating, too hard to relate to, too easy to get lost, too confusing, too simple, too many things to do and not enough things to do.

    Try to remember: You are where you need to be. It makes all the difference in the world.

  29. Kate responded on 17 Jan 2012 at 2:20 pm #

    @Diana
    WOW. Amazing. I want to be like you.
    Where are you now?

  30. Emily responded on 17 Jan 2012 at 3:45 pm #

    Kate, I so identify with this piece! It’s exactly how I feel about Chicago, and I can’t help but be dismayed with my friends who are already plotting their “escapes.” They are thinking about kids, and calm, and neighborliness, but the vitality of this city is just more important to me than those things, and I think it always will be. It’s a hard case to make, so thanks for making it!

  31. Gia responded on 17 Jan 2012 at 4:17 pm #

    I’ve lived all over the place. I’ve been up one seaboard and down another and crossed the divide of them twice. I’ve found something in every place that I’ve been that gets a check on the “I want this when I buy my live-here-forever-house and it’s been great, and annoying.

    We’ve been looking to find what we like the most, what works for us, what makes us both happy. So, on that note I guess… Where does Bear want to live? If he could pick any place in the world, where would it be?

  32. Kate responded on 17 Jan 2012 at 4:23 pm #

    @Gia
    That sounds romantic!

    Honestly, I don’t know, about Bear. I’m not sure he knows. I’ll ask him. I don’t know why I haven’t!

    But he’s been looking up houses all day. He just sent me this: http://www.zillow.com/homedetails/42582-Roseman-Creek-Rd-Gualala-CA-95445/19217098_zpid/

  33. Kate responded on 17 Jan 2012 at 6:11 pm #

    @Katharine Lilley
    I think I’ll stick with being Jewish and angsty! :-) I like the journey.

  34. Krys responded on 17 Jan 2012 at 7:58 pm #

    I have lived in different places/different countries and right now live in my favorite place…a small (22 miles wide) island in the Turks and Caicos in the Caribbean.

    We’ve been here 15 years and watched it grow from a sleepy unknown destination to a place for the “rich and famous”, but the road in front of our house is still unpaved. We sleep in open air (no windows only screens and louvres) and quiet. Family and friends who visit and stay always say they have never slept better.

    The residents are from all around the world (12 countries alone are represented in my oldest child’s class). It’s a small town atmosphere with an international flair.

    We all wear t- shirts and flip flops and no make up, trade hand me downs and upcycle a lot because the cost of things is very pricey. I’ll have coffee with friends and they range from ages 25-72 with many different languages and experiences. And I only deal with snow if I want to…I love the sunshine and being 2 miles from the beach wherever I go. I am pretty happy! (but my sister who lives in Downtown Atlanta can only stay about a week, she loves the city life so it’s all a personal preference!)

  35. San D responded on 17 Jan 2012 at 8:30 pm #

    Having moved all of my life, home IS where the heart is, because the physical thing called “home” can be as small as an apartment in a walkup in the city, or as large as a mansion on the sound. I live close enough to take public transit to the “city”, but far out enough that I have a pond in my front yard and deer napping in the back. Wherever you end up in life will most likely give you access to a “city” and the magic of nature that you also love. Just make sure Bear is by your side.

  36. P Flooers responded on 17 Jan 2012 at 9:08 pm #

    You can have a modern reasonable life on enough land to feel wild within 30 minutes of a city.

  37. Melanie responded on 17 Jan 2012 at 9:22 pm #

    When I was growing up all I wanted was to explore and get out of this city. Then I realized there was so much to love here. If I wanted to go out and dance all hours of the night I could. If I want to sit home in peace and quiet I can. I have mountains and snow close, I have an ocean close, and I can walk to the Mexican market on the corner when I need a mango fix. I love to visit places like San Francisco and New York, but what I really crave is my neighborhood away from the bustle. After years of being restless in my own skin I have finally found a true home where I feel at peace. It’s a nice feeling, until I get a manic moment and have to run away for a while. :)

  38. Lauren responded on 17 Jan 2012 at 11:16 pm #

    I think everyone wants to live in a place opposite of where they grew up. For example, I grew up in rural Michigan and I now live in Michigan’s second-biggest city, Grand Rapids. It’s a very nice city and very affordable, but somewhat boring. I often crave the excitement of Chicago or someplace exotic and foreign, like Budapest or Tokyo. I think we always want to believe the grass is greener on the other side, so to speak; that somewhere else is always better.

    Personally, I never want to live in a big house with a bunch of kids. And I don’t think there’s anything wrong with not wanting that. Don’t try and force yourself into something you think society expects of you. Just concentrate on enjoying life. You can always take a vacation to a cottage on the mountainside; it’s more enjoyable like that anyway.

    Furthermore, I hate the question: “What are you doing with your life?” How can anyone be sure? You can make plans, but the future is unpredictable and you have to enjoy each goal you achieve before making 100 more. Savor your accomplishments. I recently graduated with a degree in Art History and just landed an amazing job in IT. Throughout my entire college career, people used to ask me in a somewhat condescending manner, “What are you going to do with that!?” I used to reply, “Probably teach English in Korea or get a job in a museum or go back to school and get a masters in Middle Eastern Studies.” But I never knew for sure. And look where I am now? I’m happy and it’s not what I or other people “expected” of me. My coworker at my old job asked me before I left, “Where do you want to be 5 years from now?” I replied, “I don’t know. Married? I can’t really put a time frame on that, though. I’m just enjoying the fact that I landed an awesome job and moved into a nice apartment. I’m going to enjoy my accomplishments, for once, before setting anymore goals.” He thought that was absurd.

    In short: don’t worry about the future. Worrying solves nothing. What happens, happens, and will happen when the time is right. Worrying won’t change the outcome.

  39. Diana responded on 18 Jan 2012 at 7:25 pm #

    Hi Kate,
    Go to an Alaska map. Go to the northwest corner. I lived in Kotzebue, Alaska next to the Chukchi Sea for two years. Now go south along the west coast, past Nome and north of Bethel. I also lived in Emmonak at the mouth of the Yukon River with Yupik Eskimos for 3 years. I currently reside in Eagle River, a sleepy bedroom community east of Anchorage.

    I may seem restless, and I am. Where will my next adventure take me? Two years in one place and I’m antsy. 29 moves later and I only want to move more, experience more, learn more and write more.

    I deeply admire your journey inward and the daily sharing of yourself with others. It is through you that we learn about ourselves and others. I love meeting you (and Bear) and believe in your wanderings, wherever it may take you.

  40. Emily M.M. responded on 20 Jan 2012 at 9:20 am #

    /catching up/

    I don’t have a choice where I live.
    New York City has claimed me. I am hers.
    I always knew I would end up here. I did not know how or when or why, just “that”.
    Someone said, “one belongs to New York as much in a minute as in a lifetime”.
    I knew as soon as I hit the crowded, nasty, dirty ground running here.
    I am a little scared though – we may go bicoastal and cheat with San Francisco or (gasp) move there outright. Business. (shhh – don’t tell NY!)

  41. Don’t Leave Me? | rosiesaysblog responded on 26 Jan 2012 at 8:03 pm #

    [...] of my favorite internet writers, Kate from Eat the Damn Cake, wrote a post last week called “What if everyone grows up and leaves me in this city?” Well damn, if [...]

  42. Eat the Damn Cake » goddamn dreamer responded on 02 Feb 2012 at 3:29 pm #

    [...] septic tank, up against the back of the neighbor’s flaking gray shed. This is it. So when I write about my friends who are moving to the suburbs, it’s not so much the house, but the borders that bother me. It makes me angry– why [...]

  43. Eat the Damn Cake » falling out of love responded on 26 Mar 2012 at 1:15 pm #

    [...] from before this crazy change of heart thing (which will hopefully pass really soon) happened: What if everyone grows up and leaves me in this city? , Love and Money, Meeting girls on trains, and My first [...]

  44. j responded on 26 Mar 2012 at 8:29 pm #

    hey there. in the past few days i have been devouring your blog. i love what i have read so far for its honesty, bravery, creativity and insight.

    sometimes i think about my life (i am 29, female, and have both graduated and married in the last year) and i get overwhelmed with the pressure to make my next step. i feel frozen. i want to be that image of a stable adult in pearls and perfectly manicured nails, but my core craves something a little more loose-ended, tossled and airy.

    i breathed a sigh of relief after reading this entry.

    thank you. :)

  45. Eat the Damn Cake » where are the forever friends? responded on 05 Apr 2012 at 12:59 pm #

    [...] but wonder how long they’ll stay. Especially in a city that moves so quickly. Especially when everything here feels so temporary. I realize now that I am opening slowly. I am protecting myself. I want to throw my arms around [...]

  46. Eat the Damn Cake » the contract responded on 09 Aug 2012 at 11:50 am #

    [...] sign. Bear’s is more graceful. And then the witnesses, his friend, who has since moved to the suburbs to live in a house so big that I can’t keep track of the number of bathrooms, and my closest [...]

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