Perhaps I need to post this somewhere else, on the side, in the “about me” section, so people quit asking. “My gawd, why would you eva leave New Yawk?” Because of people who sound like that, for starters. No, really, people want to know why I’m choosing to leave Manhattan. “Because I can” is only part of it. The real reason is because I’m just READY. I have lived here, in New York, my entire life. I’ve lived in Manhattan since 1993. I love it here; I do. I’m ready for a change though, to go somewhere where the New Yorkers that I love are not. It’s why I’m not moving to Florida* (where a lot of NYers go). I’m not moving to L.A. unless I have to. Why? Because I’m too scared of L.A. and the materialism. Yes, NY is materialistic, but you can also walk around in the same tattered jeans and not wash your face, and be fine here. You can be moody and wear black. Every single day. I’m afraid that if I moved somewhere like L.A. it would become about the car I drive, or the handbag or watch I sport. I feel it in New York, but I feel it more there where everyone wears pink to show off their tans.
When I visit my mother in Florida, I call to ask her what to pack. She responds, “One nice outfit. No one gives a shit here.” I love that. I’m in a new phase of my life where I don’t feel the need to keep up. If I moved to L.A. right now, I worry I would still feel that need. We shop, sometimes, for esteem. I am worth more because I have… fill in the blank. We fill our lives with food, alcohol, or credit card debt. We fill where we feel empty. Will Austin change this? Hells no. I’ll fill it with Viking Grills and furnishings instead of Vuitton and Fendi. I don’t feel important or worth more if I have these things, but I know my propensity to fill and comfort, to replace with the wrong things. I’m aware of it. Thankfully, I’m not one of those woman who shops to feel good. I write or draw or try to accomplish something to feel good. But in L.A., I’d be around it too much. I wouldn’t feel right or good about driving up in a Toyota Carolla surrounded by the Jaguars and foreign cars of friends. I’d rather be somewhere where it matters less. Where people don’t give a shit. Especially if that people includes me. I think a place can do that for you, give you that ability to care about other things.
Austin is more affordable for us. Our money lasts longer, since I will have the same salary anywhere I live. So it’s not as if I will make less in Texas because salaries say so. And The Suitor is keeping his current job, so that’s not a factor either. There’s space, and everything is twelve minutes away from everything else. We’re close to a downtown scene when we want it. I have wi-fi by the pool every single day! It’s like being on vacation where you live. I can sail on the lake. Go fishing. Be on the water, where I feel most alive. There’s a major music scene, which inspires my writing and life. Right now, I need a more nurturing lifestyle. I need to breathe. I need fucking space. Mountains. Springs. I’m just ready. I don’t have children to uproot. I don’t need to quit a job. It’s time. I can always change my mind. We all can.
* Joke’s apparently on me. In July 2011, I move to, gulp, Boca Raton, FL.