It’s been a little over five weeks since I changed my outlook on life completely, and I have learned a few things.
The first, and most important, is that this is absolutely the changes I want to make. I want to live in an urban environment, I want good public transportation, I want the ability to do and go most places without having to drive. I have never felt so strongly about something in my life. I don’t know if it will solve all my mental health issues, but it would certainly go a very long way to doing so.
The second is that I cannot get hung up on a specific location based on specific amenities. The coffee shop that I have been going to on Monday mornings, and have recently been straight up walking to on Saturday mornings, will be closing soon. This felt devastating to me, because it was both a place I could go and get some work done, and a place I could employ my “gym of life” mentality towards. The big draw of this was that, while not really in an urban environment, it felt like one. And was by far the closest thing that wasn’t a Starbucks. Now I just have Starbucks in walking distance. So, I have to start figuring out a way to get those experiences back. I am looking into ways that I can get to other places without driving, as walking more than 3 miles each way every week probably isn’t a sustainable thing. Particularly because the weather hasn’t turned inclement yet. An e-bike doesn’t seem like a good option just because of how poorly people drive around here. A motorcycle would at least allow me to keep up with traffic, or an e-scooter on the sidewalk would be an option.
The third is that this is going to be a difficult ask. Places where I want to move are expensive, and if all our money is spent on rent then it will be hard to get what I want out of the experience. What is the good balance on all of this? I’m not going to give up on the dream, but we also need room to thrive in our finances. A city is no good if you can’t interact with it. A big house is no good if all you want to do is not be in it.
The fourth is that we can’t skimp too much on our lives now for what might be our future. I have invested a little bit in improving our space, namely buying a couple of lounge chairs that we could enjoy a book, a movie, or a secondary place to work at. I can’t go to the coffee shop too often, or I won’t have much money left from $6 lattes. Having a different spot in the house where I can also get work done has been a big help. We’re still trying to put our own touches on it, getting the right chairs and etc. I also figured out that I have a ready-made spot to do stand-up working as well, so that’s yet another option.
The fifth is that I have come to realize that aural cues are a big key to my mood. The right music can amp me up or calm me down very quickly. I have started to listen to some ambient sounds from London that really put me in a good place usually. Then there’s Bloop London, an underground electronic station that does a great job.
It’s a process. For me, it’s going to have to be a lifelong one. I sometimes get very anxious and stressed out that I can’t have exactly what I want immediately, and it’s a learning process to figure out how to cope until I can make some measure of progress toward my goals.