The correspondence of Apartment 5402 in exile


Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Tie me down!

Dear Non-Random Former Roommates,

I am co-opting Rita’s place in line, since she is presently too freaked out and unhappy about all the amazing grad schools she’s been accepted to think about her impending vagrancy.

I agree and disagree with you, Julia. It’s hard for me to say that moving around is a bad idea, when a lot of my decisions are geared toward exploring new cities, and I’ve never had too much trouble building new social networks. It never occurred to me to stay close to home for college, I loved study abroad and interning in NY, living in Madrid after college was perfect, and I was willing to move to almost any city that would offer me a job afterward. All in all, I do not consider myself to be too deeply held back by my roots, and my life has been better because of it.

But that’s only because the opportunities offered to me at those times were good opportunities. Chicago is better than any school in Florida, who would turn down a Fulbright, etc. My having to move didn’t make them what they were. If I enjoyed the living in new places aspect of it (which I did) it’s only because it’s a personal interest of mine to see and live in new cities. That doesn’t make it an inherently good thing. If someone is lucky enough to live in a place where there are great schools and jobs and other opportunities, I don’t judge them for not moving. And if someone who feels deeply rooted is unlucky enough to live in a place where there are no opportunities (relative to what they want), I don’t judge them for being unhappy about moving. The only time in my life where I had to move was as a child, from New York to Miami, and I hated it. I can’t say that moving to Miami was a positive life change. It turned out fine, but it would have been equally fine to not have moved.

This passage of yours struck me: “As newly minted adults, we are free to explore! No longer tied to our parents, and not yet tethered by our children, there is no better time to move places and live with strangers.” And while I agree that this is how I am choosing to live my life at the moment, I’m not so sure that it is the best way for everyone. I am occasionally struck by how deeply weird my life is (despite being very similar to many other young adults I associate with.) I live in an apartment that I found online, with a girl I had never met before, who wasn’t even a friend of a friend. No social vetting. I left my family to work at a job that pays about the same as one I could get at home, and now I spend the majority of my day with people I had never met four months ago. I like my co-workers, but every once in a while, I stop and think about how I spend more time with people who are not my family, and whom I didn’t chose as friends, than any other human beings on the planet and...well, I guess I just stop and think that it’s weird. The fact that I have absolutely no obligations, not tied to parents or tethered to children, as you say, also kind of bothers me. I could be lying in bed, eating mayonnaise out of a jar, for the eight hours a day I’m not at work and no one would know because no one depends on me or expects me to be anywhere at a certain time. Strange!

Anyway, kids, this is no way to treat the 5402! Becky, I know you are planning a wedding, and Rita, I know you are huddled in a dark corner with your Nick and Nite, but we need updates! Julia, you are excused since you are somewhere in Asia, practicing your vagrancy.


PS-Now that I have seen all of Friday Night Lights, I need a new show to be obsessed with. Suggestions? I started watching 30 Rock, but it was boring, and Big Love, but it freaked me out.


Blogger Vivian Darkbloom said...

Big Love has gotten better this season. I used to hate it but now I almost like it. Have you watched Joss Whedon's new show? Not a candidate for obsession, but I'm curious to see how it turns out.


Blogger Miss Self-Important said...

I watched the first two episodes of Dollhouse. More compelling than Firefly, I think, but kind of silly still.

Blogger alex said...

No, I haven't seen Dollhouse...I keep watching Big Love, even though I don't like it. It's strangely compelling to watch three women who are married to the same man interact with each other.

Blogger Vivian Darkbloom said...

Agreed, Rita. I read an interview with Joss about how disappointed he is with the way Dollhouse went down. He's quitting tv to make more shows like Dr. Horrible.

I didn't really keep up with Big Love when Becky was watching the first two seasons, but I am starting to get into it now. I really think it has improved.


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