No worries, my dear West Coast friends, this will not be happening overnight, or even in the next couple months. There's too much debt and too many ends that need tying up to disentangle myself from California so quickly. But it's time now to start the cleansing process.
I spent 11 days on Manhattan, staying in a hotel room alone for the first half, and then having my sister join me (very last minute) for the latter half. (To be honest, the first half of the trip was better, when I was only concerned with myself and not having to deal with someone else as well.) And from the minute I touched down, even with a 50-pound suitcase to lug on the subway and across town, even with barely two hours of sleep in my system, I was so incredibly happy and alive-feeling. I said last year that returning to NY was like slipping into an old favorite pair of jeans. This year was like being with a favorite friend, someone who makes you feel good just by being around.
It was so very hard to come back.
The game plan for the next year or so (and it's an appropriate time to be making game plans, being the mid-point of the year and all), in no particular order:
- Aggressively pay off the debt. I mean the credit card debt here, because I don't think I'll be able to pay off the $38,000 or so in student loans I have left in a year. The $3,000 on my credit card, though — and most of that is from this very trip I just took — is probably more doable. If I can actually do that while at the same time slipping some funds into my savings, so much the better. This probably means no trips for a long time. And possibly knitting for income and opening up an Etsy store instead of letting all this beautiful yarn rot around me.
- Pull back from my social network a bit here in SF. I don't mean I won't be hanging out ... I just need to do it less (see 1. above). And I'm not going to be actively looking for new friends ... or especially a love life. Still not sure if I'm keeping my ceramics class or not; I did sign up for this next session, but after that I don't know if it's worth continuing or if I just should save that $210 every two months. This also means more nights spent at home, or trying to get friends interested in at-home dinner parties/movie nights instead of hitting the bar and spending $80 on drinks and a cab every Friday.
- Lose weight. Ever a goal, but this time I think I mean it. I've slowly been creeping up again, and I want to be my fittest (and healthiest) when I go. Which means still giving money to the JCC for their exercise facilities. But also hopefully spending less money on food, if I eat less, especially at restaurants.
- Get things together at work.
- Purge my apartment of unnecessary stuff. This can wait until I'm closer to departure.
I do plan on making at least one more "pilgrimage" up to Portland at some point, but for the most part I hopefully will be a big homebody for a while now. I hope I can keep this up; I'm not used to disciplining myself so much.
Is it too late to move to NY at the age of 30? I hope not.
Oh, and pictures from the trip can be found on my Flickr, here