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Restless Me Syndrome

June 5, 2013


My birthday is coming, and so begins the annual ritual I’ve adhered to faithfully since first embarking on the adventure that would become My 30s. First, in May, I get restless. Maybe it’s the impending new age looming over the horizon. Perhaps it’s just Spring Fever. Either way, it’ll end in either a rash decision or some serious angst. Or an angsty rash decision. Then in early June I begin referring to myself by the new age so that by the time it actually arrives, it’s already a non-event. Then in late June, I’ll age officially, forget about my earlier trick, temporarily increment my age a second time, then roll it back to its actual number with a sigh of cautious relief. For a moment or two, I’ll question whether I even know how old I am, which will make me feel older than ever.


A couple of months back, a co-worker found a newish dance studio in town with a friendly owner and cheap rates. While I never (ever) would have considered taking tap dancing lessons before this, the idea of missing out on six consecutive Friday post-work sessions with some of my favorite co-workers was too much to risk, so up I signed.

Do something new! Especially if it’s tap dancing!

Dancing is fun. Dancing with fun people in a semi-private class with a laid back teacher is funner. Dancing with fun people with noisy taps on your shoes is funnest. My cats disagree,  as may my neighbors, but the cats eat off the floor, and I can’t swear the neighbors don’t too, so their opinions are meaningless.

The teacher is so sweet that I decided to pursue my unfulfilled childhood dream and sign up for adult beginner ballet. I’m 36, so there’s still lots of time to be a star, and I just know I’m gonna make it! And if not, I still have pink shoes and leg warmers, so the haters at Julliard can suck it.


What other unfulfilled childhood dreams do I have yet to indulge? I’m pretty sure I was destined to be a triple threat, so now I just need to find a way to sing and act. I haven’t quit my day job yet, because I make a decent living at this IT thing, and frankly, stopping at triple is weak. (She sings! She acts! She dances! She models… databases!)


So there’s this other thing I always thought I’d do before I turned 36 (or 40. or dead). And that was live somewhere else. I have thought at varying lengths about the following options:
– Europe (because I’m classy and I like small cars and stinky cheeses)
– Toronto (because it’s close enough to my parents in Upstate NY that I could drive home for holidays, and as a bonus, they don’t have passports!)
– Chicago (because my former job tried to relocate me)
– Bangalore (because my former job tried to relocate me, and I was getting divorced so moving to India seemed extremely practical at the time)
– Vancouver (because I would like it to be 62 degrees all of the time)
– Portland (because I like big trees and strong coffee)
– Costa Rica (but not until I retire at, like 40. Or 50. Or whatever age seems distant-but-not-too-old at the moment)
– New York City

Always New York City. I’ve talked myself out of it a million times, and if I don’t go for a while, I can convince myself that I’d never want to live there because of crowds and grime and expense and cockroaches and all the very valid reasons to live anywhere else on this planet. But then I go, and I’m in love every time.

So this May, at the height of Spring Fever, I went to NY to visit a friend I hadn’t seen in over a decade. We had a lovely visit and blah blah blah. And I saw Brooklyn for the first time. And I fell in love. I mean, not all of it, but his neighborhood of brownstones and perfect population density. And of course it’s just vacation head compounding my ennui, but I can’t shake the feeling that it’s time to move on. If not to NY then to somewhere.

I’ve been in my house for eight years now, and within a mile of it for thirteen. Do I want to live here my whole life? In a small city with few career opportunities? (and wonderful people and great cheap housing and easy commutes and good grocery stores). Do I want to wait to uproot myself until I’m 40-50-60-105? (or never at all, because there are worse things one can grow than roots, and friends are golden). At what age should I admit that I’m no longer preparing for life, and am actually in the middle of life RIGHT NOW? How about RIGHT NOW? It seems like as good a time as any. I am, after all, somewhere in the neighborhood of 36. I think.

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