Recently, I was asked if it was weird to be back in the city. Now, let me set the scene for you. I was standing on my balcony just after sunset and was staring out to the west of my Rockville apartment. For those of you not familiar with the area, that basically means that nothing but trees stretched before me as far as I could see. Of course, there are a couple of office buildings and a couple of apartment buildings, but mostly, it's trees, trees, and more trees.
My automatic response to the question was, "It's actually not much different from Washington [state], only instead of a few mountains there are a few buildings." I realized today that although that statement was true for what I was seeing, it didn't answer the question that had been put to me. The fact of the matter is that in the week since I've come to DC, I've actually only spent about three minutes in DC proper (when I took the Metro to a friend's apartment, which is located at the edge of the DC/Maryland border in Chevy Chase).
That same friend (the one I went to visit) and I talked about how I was going to readjust to city life not too long ago. At the time, I proudly proclaimed that I was a city girl at heart and that the suburbs were not for me. In fact, when I actually lived in the city (Downtown even), I loved it. I adored the convenience of being able to walk almost anywhere I wanted. The constant exposure to hordes of strangers suited me just fine. And, I had a habit of going up to my roof to have telephone conversations so that I could watch the lights of the city sparkle under the canopy of orange that blocks the night sky from every city dweller's view.
However, after having spent a year in what can only be referred to as pseudo-suburban hell, I am starting to wonder if I have been ruined. That is not to say that I don't think that I could hack it if I were to find a place in the city. On the contrary, I know that I would be ecstatic. But, I'm not hating my current suburban location. It's peaceful and clean and upscale in a way that the city never really can be. And, I like it. That's the rub.
I suppose that the point is moot considering that my tenure here is going to be very short-lived, but still, it makes me wonder: does the fact that I am becoming increasingly comfortable with the settled, easy, and uniform (the suburban) lifestyle signify that I have lost something? And, if so, should I care and try and get that something back? Up to what point will I be too young - too ready-for-adventure and too eager to live out loud - to be settling in the 'burbs?
It's said that youth is wasted on the young, but I don't intend to follow that particular trend. Still, what exactly constitutes wasting? And, am I doing it now?
I'll let you know when the jury reaches a verdict, but please, lend me your two cents in the meantime.
Oh, and I haven't forgotten about the California recap! Don't worry. It is on its way. Remember: Patience is a virtue.