Monday, March 21, 2005

feet forward

Well, here I am. Boston, MA. 1,360 miles from the warm and distorted memory I nostalgically call home (although at 7 years in exile and counting, maybe I should rethink that title). I've got a cat, a graduate degree, and a full set of kitchenware. And I'm on my own.

Before I moved to New England, the idea of adults sharing housing was strange and foreign; "I have roommates" meant "I'm still in college." Or possibly "I need extensive supervision, especially after that incident at the Kwiki-Mart. They're *still* finding play-doh in the dairy cases."

So I was totally unprepared for the reality of Boston housing costs. I toughed it out in grad school, living with classmates. I enjoyed (at first, anyway) a brief cohabitation with a then-boyfriend. I lived in a 21st century boarding house, complete with eight roommates and 2 1/2 bathrooms. And then something snapped, and within 30 days, I found myself alone once more, in a lovely, tiny apartment all to myself.

I was so excited about living alone again that it never occurred to me that
1) living alone in the town you grew up in, within walking distance of virtually your entire social community is one thing; living alone in a new, cold, highly transient city is quite another, and
2) I might have scoffed at communal living, but over the years, I'd gotten pretty accustomed to its subtle benefits, some of which I never even registered until they were suddenly, drastically, absent.

So solitary living has not been quite the liberating lark I'd envisioned.

Never one to suffer in stoic silence, I decided to chronicle my experiences - the good, the bad, and the banal - in this blog. My intention is to create a map of some kind - one that shows the scenic vistas as well as the fetid swamps, the long painful roads and the zippy shortcuts of the sort you can only see in hindsight. A traveller's guide to freedom, loneliness, and washing your own dishes.

And hopefully, when it's got enough miles on it, I'll be able to look at it and find some perspective, some beauty, and the feeling of accomplishment that comes from travelling a hard road well.


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