Permanence

by Stephanie

4 years ago, I packed my life into two suitcases and got on a plane to NYC. I’ve always been a sort of restless wanderer, but each step was full of such unbridled enthusiasm at tackling the unknown. A cheery, optimistic wanderer who was happy to roam about freely unencumbered.

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Yesterday, I packed my life into a tiny 5×10 storage unit. I didn’t even fill it up halfway. I again packed two suitcases and moved into someone else’s apartment. New York City apartment living can be cruel. I stared at that half-empty storage unit before I locked it up and thought about my transient lifestyle. I’m not a materialistic individual, but as I round out my 20’s, shouldn’t I have more things?

I feel less like the happy smurf and a little more like a sad gypsy.

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I’ve had no less than a dozen jobs.* I’ve changed addresses on average once a year in the past 10 years (more than once some years though I did manage to resign a lease for the very first time a coupe of years ago in Queens. I felt like such an adult).

I’m a firm believer of the old adage that says that variety is indeed the spice of life. If I’m not changing jobs or addresses, I float seamlessly from social circle to social circle to the point where my friends are slightly convinced, based on the wide range of anecdotes I share, that I’m much older than I claim to be. Up until now, my fear of commitment and roots could give most men I know a run for their money (societal gender stereotype alert). The point is, I always seem to be moving on to the “next best thing”. Perhaps I should stop chasing unicorns. Maybe I should sit still for a moment and watch what transpires. Maybe life will surprise me.

I’m only staying in this apartment for two months before I hope to settle into something more permanent. I already informed New York that we are going to have a serious discussion about things should I still be going through this whole roommate Craigslist rigmarole when I’m 30 (NYC—consider yourself warned!). This post probably sounds more like a lament than it truly is. It’s actually a good bout of introspection (technically the “intro” went out the window when I decided to share this with this internet, but that’s just semantics). Maybe I’m lamenting a tired perspective and ready to embrace a new one, one where I’m less afraid of permanence.  Well, almost ready—just typing that word permanence made my chest tighten a bit. But seriously, guys, I definitely need more things.

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*Full list of past employment: Dairy Queen ice cream specialist, Jonathan Byrd’s cafeteria line server, veterinary technician, grocery cashier, restaurant hostess (twice), retail inventory counter, administrative assistant, cult inventory manager, portrait photographer, video editor, office manager, Olive Garden server, spa receptionist, reality TV intern, spa operations manager, temp, and currently a retail distribution planner.

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