On my way to work today, looking at the bright, blue expanse of Lake Michigan, I thought to myself that I'd never really want to live anywhere but Chicago. Now, granted, it's spring, and I'm singing a different tune than I was a few weeks ago when I was ready to hop the next train south, head anywhere where winter didn't last six months of the year. But those other six months are heavenly. And while there are any number of places I would love to live--the Carolina coast, Tuscany, a cabin on a lake in Wisconsin, or somewhere more rural, some deserted old farmhouse with a hundred cats with no one else for miles, I can't see myself really living in any of those places for a good long time. I like the city most of the time(and if there's one place I can tolerate winter at all, that's where it is.)On bad days the traffic and the noise and the grit can get to me. Occasionally the glut of summer tourists and the heat on downtown streets suck. But on days like to day, just cool enough, but sunny, the streets lined with tulips and the trees in bloom, nothing seems more beautiful, I'm such a sucker for it. I remember being fourteen and on a trip to the Feild Museum with my high school class and deciding once and for all this was where I wanted to live. And I guess for the last ten years, this is where I've been pretty much (there was a depressing year and half in Rockford in there somewhere).
And I even love my neighborhood most of the time (though weekend Loyola drunkeness notwhithstanding.) I like that it's one of the most diverse in the city, that I'm practically on the lake, that it's quiet and more residential than some of the crazier, hipper ones. The fact that there's an excellent cafe (Metropolis) and a really awesome thai restaurant steps away doesn't hurt. Everyone always seems surprised when I say I've lived in the same apartment for seven years when most people are pretty mobile. Except for adjusting to the damned Loyola students, which still makes me want to throw in the towel occasionally, I really have no desire to go anywhere else.
I've never seen myself as one of those people who can just move around willy nilly. Uproot themselves and adapt to any old where they please. For one, moving makes me anxious. Not just anxious, but borderline terrified. I've had nightmares where I have to move suddenly and have to decided what I can take with, what I can leave behind. It might be I'm way to attached to things--my books, artwork, papers. My odd collection of furniture and my clothes. I could never just up and put everything in storage and go to a new job, a new city. Even the thought gives me hives. I'm also the sort of person who needs a tremendous amount of stability, routine, control in order to function. I like to travel, though I don't get much of a chance to due to a lack of time and money, but I like to come home even better.