Owing to some events at home, I have found myself face-to-face with the possibility that I will have to make a change in my life yet again.
You guys know me. I’m a stalwart when it comes to things. Few things do I detest more than making a rapid change. When I departed from my old job, it was done with trying to stall or delay the change as long as possible. It didn’t work. But that was a voluntary situation. However, this is vastly different. It is a matter of circumstance, and my choice in it is limited.
I may have to leave NYC behind.
Hands down and bar none, this will be the hardest and most painful thing I’ll yet have to do. NYC is my home; it’s the only home I had since I was nine, and it’s the only place I can imagine as being home. It moves at my speed, and I get swept along with it. I call it my first love affair, and it is indeed. And…I have to leave. Not immediately, but I can feel it in my bones, every minute of every day, that my time as a New Yorker is drawing to a close in the semi-distant future.
Because, like as not, the truth is this: NY is the most expensive city to live in, and my money needs to be stretched a little further, a little better, and cover a little more. My student loans are non-negotiable, and if I’m going to relocate, it has to be someplace with a cost of living that lets me actually pay them. I need to live somewhere that would not only pay me for the work I do – as a bookkeeper/accountant as well as a photographer – but where that salary would actually afford me something more than just the barest expenses. Right now, I’m the sole income-earner in my household, and I know, mathematically, that it won’t be possible.
It’ll be some time before I leave, but I’m earmarking to be out of NY by the end of 2015, depending on how things unfold. But in truth, it’s inevitable. Unless my job will raise my pay to keep with costs of living here, I am on borrowed time. Until then, I’ll make a point of enjoying my beloved home as much as possible. I don’t know what will happen exactly but, to be sure, it may involve a hastily purchased car, or a U-Haul, and a really long road trip.
My new home will be one of the following:
Chicago, IL (big maybe)
It all depends on where I’ll find the right-paying job. Considering the cost of living in Arizona and Georgia, I may actually very well end up there. My brother is thriving in Bentonville, AR right now, in a huge part because living there is extremely inexpensive. But…my brother’s been a countryside type of person since his birth. Me, I was born to be in a big city.
There’s also one other thing all these destinations have in common: a major music presence. That, of my new home, is non-negotiable. I cannot not have music in my life. There are two major festivals in AZ that I hope to, one day, not miss, and it is a long drive’s away from CA and Newport Beach.
I have fabulous friends in every one of those cities, some of whom I see once a year, and others I’ve yet to meet in person.
It won’t be soon. And who knows, if things turn around financially, I won’t have to leave at all. But all logic tells me that I have to start planning for this and bracing up for it now, so that when the future does turn the corner and stands right in front of me, that I’m ready to face it with shoulders back and head high.