December 20, 2006
Now, nothing against the state of New Jersey, mind you. It's just that I'm living here now, and I'm in a state of shock.
I have to admit it; there's nothing remarkable about denial. I made a decision to move here and acted on that decision. It's the move itself that has brought about a shock to my state of being and my life. And I like it.
I live by the philosophy that change and challenge are vital to life. Some change is sad, even tragic, some disappointing. I'll warrant that. Finding the way to use disappointment as a path to growth is neither fun nor easy and not always productive. On the other hand, making what appears to be a difficult but positive decision without a great deal of deliberation produces a shock to the whole system. That's where I am now.
A lot of the adjustment of moving to a new place is adapting to processes and procedures. Instead of going to my car and driving 15 minutes to an hour to get somewhere I need to be I put on a lot of wraps (a usually-unnecessary step in the previous climate) and walk about ten minutes to the train or five to the bus (where I might have to wait ten minutes). From there I am conveyed to a place within a short walk of where I want to be, so I walk some more.
Yesterday the weather was better -- it warmed up to the low 40's -- so I decided to go to Manhattan to buy a sofa. I did a little research on the Internet (Googling "New Jersey Furniture Stores") and found that the nearest furniture store to me is two and a half miles away, on W. 23rd St. The ones in New Jersey were at least 15 miles away and would have required a transfer or two by bus. I was on West 23rd in 20 minutes. I found just what I wanted -- a classy showroom, a smooth salesman, and a sofa and chair I liked within my budget. I bought it and made arrangements for delivery December 28.
The whole excursion took a little over an hour. And I was in New York, walking through the crowds, negotiating the lights with the little man striding to tell you it's your turn to walk (as long as you take big steps). (In Hoboken, some of the lights give you a countdown -- flashing 10, 9, 8, 7, and so on as you run to make lift-off without getting lifted off the street by a whizzing car.) City life is exciting.
Little by little, I'm getting stuff accomplished like learning which days to put out the trash. I tried to put a couple of cartons on the street last night (knowing tonight is the official recyclables night) and they were ignored, so I carried them back upstairs to avoid a fine or other police action.
Gradually, like Alice perhaps after a little time down the rabbit hole, I find myself changing. Even my way of writing is changing, as I see, editing this. I'm using more commas, more semicolons, more parentheses. I am still cautious. I must still be in shock. I am certainly in a different state of mind.