For the most part, I’m happy. Both momentarily and in general. I have a nice apartment and a good living situation. I have a job that I enjoy. I have awesome friends and interesting ways to spend my time—singing in the chorus, playing on my office softball team, probably doing another half-marathon in the fall, and possibly doing an open-water swim. I’m planning on taking some trips this summer as well—NYC next weekend, California in July, DC in August, and San Francisco in September, plus a weeklong business trip to Dallas. Nothing in my life right now is actually terrible.
But here’s what’s been bugging me for the better part of the last six months or so: I am ready to be done with this stage of my life. The single-in-the-city stage. The spending-weekends-out-with-girlfriends stage. The cycling-through-dating-sites stage.
I’m done with it. Or, at least, I really, really want to be.
I wrote a few months ago about how scared I am of notgetting the things I want the most. Nothing has changed since I wrote that, except that even more now, to quote Veruca Salt, I want it noooooooowwww!
I’m tired of having to check OKCupid or Match or eHarmony every day when I come home. I’m tired of going on awful dates that leave me checking my watch to figure out how long I have to suffer through the rest of it. I’m tired of wondering if all the good guys out there really are taken or gay, if there was some chance years ago that I should have taken and didn’t, if I’m too picky or if I could really be happy by lowering my standards, why there are people who are so much fill-in-the-blank-er than me who have managed to attract guys and find loving relationships when I haven’t. I’m tired of seeing cute babies everywhere I go and wondering how many years my eggs have until they dry up. (Cue the Marisa Tomei foot-stomp.)
Nothing original there, I know. Most single people probably think all of those things. But one thing has changed recently: I am really freaking sick of the city.
This is a change because, although I love Boston (and its surrounding areas, like Cambridge/Somerville, where I currently live), I’ve always seen it as my temporary home. None of the apartments I’ve lived in have ever quite felt like home—they just feel too ephemeral. Until I actually own a house that I can furnish and decorate myself, I don’t think I’m going to feel that way about any place.
I don’t want to be constantly surrounded by people, bumping into people everywhere I go. I don’t want to have to rely on the T to get anywhere. I don’t want to have to walk everywhere- and therefore have to get nauseated from cigarette smoke everywhere I go. I want to be able to step out my back door and not be ridiculously close to every other house around me, and not to have my next-door-neighbor’s creepy fake owl staring at me while I try to read on the back porch.
I don’t want to have to depend on having single friends for nights out. I don’t want weekends to revolve around going out and trying new restaurants or bars. I’d rather come home and find my significant other there and know that we can spend the whole night watching bad reality shows together.
I want to be able to drive in places where I’m unlikely to run into much traffic. I want to be guaranteed a parking space when I drive, and know that I won’t have to parallel park to find it.
I know the suburbs aren’t for everyone. They certainly aren’t cool, but neither am I. For me, there’s an element of permanence to it that appeals to me. I want to worry about lawn mowing instead of cover charges, paint samples instead of Craigslist roommates, finding a baby-sitter instead of finding a date.
If I could live there now, I would. But I don’t have a car, which I’d at least need to get to and from the commuter rail. I certainly don’t have enough money to buy a place, although I could rent. But there’s also the matter of depending on friends for my social life, and said friends being in the city.
I am lucky to still have friends who are single, but that won’t last forever. And I am so scared that they’ll eventually get married, have kids, buy houses, and have more important things to worry about than when to hang out with their friends—and I won’t. I’m scared that something bad will happen to me– losing a job, a death in the family, some kind of serious illness– and I won’t have anyone to lean on.
I don’t want to be left behind.
But I’m sure as hell ready to leave all this behind.