Day 25 and my restless spirit

Today, I am pulling from another list of “getting to know you” questions (here). I guess I could do something a little more organic, like write them all down (print them out on the printer) and pull a question out of a hat but I’d rather just pick something that “sounds interesting” and share my thoughts with you lovely people.

If you could live anywhere, where would it be?

This is an interesting one for me – well, for you, I hope – because my genuine, real answer is “anywhere but here.”

The thing is I have developed a bit of wanderlust and would love to move around more. When I was younger, I hated traveling. I didn’t mind seeing new places and whatnot but I hated packing and unpacking and sleeping in strange beds in strange hotels. Now, if I can’t get away and do something every few months (weeks…) I get a little stir crazy.

And part of that might be that I. Hate. This. Town. I talk to people all day, every day I am at work and so many of them sing their praises – it’s the perfect size for a family, it’s quiet, it’s safe, it’s cheaper than a bigger city – and I have to bite my tongue because it might be the right size town to raise a family (wouldn’t know) but it’s not safe, by any means. It’s dirty and impoverished and one of those industry towns that is dependent on booms and suffers from busts. But even during booms, it’s a narrow-minded, dirty, run-down little redneck hole in the world.

I talked about this with a friend just before Christmas. She felt the same way I do about where she lived (she’s since moved to another city) and we talked about how we are both in career fields where it would be really easy to live somewhere for a year, maybe two, then pack up and move somewhere else. And just do that until we find somewhere we want to live for real.

Ever since I was a kid, I have known I belonged in a city. When I was 12, 13, 14, I was in love with the idea of living in Seattle, Venice Beach, or New York City. Yes, I am aware of how vastly different those places are. Seattle was kind of on the tail end of that and into my later teens, a dream heavily influenced by things like music, coffee, and rain… And Brandon Lee’s grave because I was dark and moody and pretty sure that Eric Draven was a god among men.

Since then, I have visited Las Vegas (don’t know if I could live there), Chicago (could absolutely live there, even applied to grad school there a few years ago), New York (pretty sure I would love to make it my regular hang out but couldn’t live there) and Austin, Texas (would love to live there but there are a lot of ghosts).

And Denver, obviously, starting in kidhood, but Denver is a weird, weird city. Maybe I’m just immune to it but I feel like if cities were furniture, Chicago or Austin would be something you buy at a flea market because literally no one you know will have one like it, something you didn’t know you needed until you found it while Denver came out of a box and has parts that don’t exist anywhere else except in those boxes. Denver, in my opinion, has very little personality. There are places in the city that are pretty cool (some amazing concert venues, cool restaurants, the Tattered Cover, 16th Street, LoDo) but the overall feel of the city is very … un. Unfriendly, un-exciting, uninviting … just … un. I could live there because practically everyone I love in this state lives there but it wouldn’t be somewhere I’d pick otherwise. Which kind of sucks because I got a bug in my brain about a friend maybe moving there and while I’d love for that to happen, I don’t have ravishingly good things to say about why they should.

I’d like to try Portland, Seattle – obviously – New Orleans, maybe somewhere in California (I suppose Venice Beach is still on the table), Boston… all of these places, to live or just to visit, either one. All I know is that I can remember a time when I wasn’t but I have definitely become a restless spirit in recent years.

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