Friday, August 11, 2006

Every Party Has a Pooper

And the pooper is me. Yes, me.

Unless it's a pity party. Then I'm the belle of the ball.

While everyone else seems to be enjoying their move to the Cities immensely, I wake up every day more depressed than I was the day before. But not because I miss Bemidji or because I don't want to be here. In fact, I'm very excited to be living in a city with interesting stores and restaurants and museums and events. But I haven't really experienced those things yet. We've eaten out twice, both times within 24 hours of our move, both because we didn't have food at the house yet, and once it was take-out from the only place nearby that was still open and wasn't McDonald's. (On the bright side, it turned out to be delicious.) The closest I've come to experiencing local color was picking up a package of nails at the neighborhood hardware store and a prescription at a privately-owned (not Target) pharmacy.

Our apartment is beautiful, and I have plenty of good things to say about it. But I'm starting to feel suffocated by it, even when I'm reading on the front porch or bird- and squirrel-watching in the back yard. Inspired by Jessie, I started a list of the 20 things I like most about living here. I got to #7, and then drew a blank. This is my fault, I'm sure. I should be taking walks, browsing in nearby stores and co-ops, drinking coffee at neighborhood cafes. And I can make excuses and even form valid explanations for why I haven't been doing these things, but I won't subject you to the rationalizations of my crazy mind. I will simply say that there are many things I want to do here (working, shopping, eating), and that those things (reading, writing, volunteering) are becoming a daily source of massive guilt because I'm not doing them right now.

And I will. Do them, I mean. Those things I want to do will be a part of my life because they are priorities in the way I want my life to be. But I'm always slow at habituating myself to new places and integrating myself into communities. And at the moment, it doesn't help that I'm so goddamn lonely.

Ten hours a day, five days a week, Eric is at work and I'm here. Alone. With tasks to accomplish. (Still, I can't seem to make myself put away the last scattered items of our lives or sit down and steadily search for jobs online.) And maybe it's pathetic that I can't quite function on a normal level when he's so consistently not around, but I'm used to sharing things with him. I like to share things with him, and actually, I don't want to try to experience this city without him.

So I'll admit that I'm probably acting like a coward and a crybaby. But I won't admit that there's anything wrong with wanting my best friend around.


Blogger Natasjia said...

I'm much the same way, I just write about the nice things so I don't have to think about it. I didn't ride my bike to the fabric store today -- I made Jonathan drive with me and then we ended up driving in circles for hours because we couldn't find exactly what I was looking for. :) And I feel horribly guilty because it seems like all we're doing is spending money instead of just getting on our bikes or feet and enjoying the streets.

8/11/2006 5:22 PM  
Blogger Natasjia said...

And I'm being dumb and scared to do things without Jonathan, too. Ugh. :)

8/11/2006 5:23 PM  
Blogger Amber said...

Well, then the two of us will have to do more things together (which isn't exactly brave, but at least it gets us out of the house without needing boys). Yoga, belly dancing, pretend-shopping.... I was looking on last night and found some cool volunteer opportunities around here. Cooking dinner at women's shelters, assisting in basic writing classes...things like that. And some of it I'll need to make myself do alone, but if you're interested in any of it, I'd love the support and the company.

8/11/2006 5:35 PM  
Blogger Loralee Choate said...

I am the world's shyest person when I am out of my comfort zone. I didn't dare get on the bus in Cancun until our LAST day for hell's sake.

You, Natasjia, and Jessie should go and get steaming cups of coffee and tea and explore one new place a week.

Of course, I plan on living in this town until I die, so you don't have to listen to me at all.


8/11/2006 6:52 PM  
Blogger Jessie said...

Awww's a hug. And here's another hug.

We are all different and you shouldn't compare your experience to anyone else's. If it makes you feel any better, it took me ALL day to get to #20. I just kept adding to it through out the day, not to mention the couple days I took just in thinking mode before posting any of it.

Even though you miss Eric, I vote that the 3 of us go on a date--girls only. I'll even brave my way over to your part of town, then we can brave our way (together) to find Tasha, and finally brave our way even further (the three of us) to somewhere exciting and new--like out for breakfast! Actually, there is a KICK ASS restraunt right in your neighborhood that I used to make a tradition of eating at every time I came down (the Seward Cafe). They have good, healthy, cheap food and their breakfasts are to die for.

oooh, oooh....and then maybe we could go the Mpls. Public Library for free books?!? Downtown is a freakin' busy place (I was there today and experienced culture shock!). We could live on the wild side and take the bus! I'm too chicken to do it alone.

Maybe sometime next week?

I was so absolutely unhappy in Bemidji (for many reasons--too complicated to actually write about)...and I think that is why I'm so relieved to be *somewhere else.*

Take it at your own pace, my friend. I'm only an e-mail away when you get bored or lonely.

lots of love,

8/11/2006 10:01 PM  
Blogger Amber said...

Everyone: Thanks for the support. It helped.

Natasha and Jessie: I kind of put you two on the spot, and I'm sorry if I made you feel like you had to explain or justify or downplay your experiences. I'm very happy for all of the good things in both of your lives. But I do think we should all go out sometime. Jessie, your idea sounds fun. I've been wanting to try the Seward Cafe (it's mere blocks from my house), and it can never hurt an English nerd to know where the library is.

8/12/2006 11:33 AM  
Anonymous emily said...

now i feel stupid because you have alredy moved here.

8/21/2006 11:36 PM  
Blogger Amber said...

Don't feel stupid,'s my fault you didn't know, because I haven't called you yet. I'll do that soon.

8/22/2006 10:40 AM  

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