So, I’m moving to Long Beach next month. Why? Don’t really know. What am I gonna do once I’m there? Not really sure. Do I know anyone who lives there? Nope. 

When I first made the decision to move, not having an answer to the questions didn’t bother me, but as I get closer to the move, I can’t help but wonder what the fuck I’m doing.

Okay, let’s plot this out. I know that I hate where I’m living right now. Why are you living in a place you resent Ellie? It was a series of unfortunate events. I know that’s not enough to explain how I’m here, but let’s just leave it at that for now… In the meantime, it’s gotten bad. I hardly leave my house anymore. Yep. I’ve gone full on recluse. Every time I leave house I just get mad at the way everything functions here. 

And, no, it’s not fair. If the people I live around want to act this way, have at it. I’m just done being part of the culture, ya know? Like let’s pretend I move somewhere and things seem great and fine until I learn everyone I live around is a cannibal. Not mine to judge (other than the whole murdering people. Not a great example but we’ve made it this far.) I don’t want to be a cannibal, and it’s metaphorically a huge part of the culture. It’s not gonna change. So, what’s my best bet? To fucking hightail it out of their and pray to not get her arm bitten off in the process. Does that make sense? It’s nothing against the people who live here (though comparing them to cannibals was probably not kind). I just don’t fit into the culture.

Anyway, back to reality, my issue is this: what makes me think I’ll be any happier in Long Beach? The answer is I won’t be. And I know that. The first couple months will be challenging but exciting and they’ll become my distraction to mask my deep unhappiness. And then the novelty will wear off and I’ll be right back where I started, unhappy, and wanting to move again. Right? I mean, if we were in a movie this could be some big life altering thing. I could figure out that nothing makes me happier than Long Beach and my depression will vanish and I’ll live there happily ever after for the rest of my life. But, plot twist, (i know you never saw it coming) this isn’t a movie.

So what do I do? I’m caught in a tricky place. Because even if I’m unhappy in life, there are places that center me. For example, a place I know centers me: Rhode Island, my home state. I mean, how can I not feel more centered there? Its the culture I was raised in. It’s my resting position. But do I really want to live there for the rest of my life because it’s comfy? No. But do I really want to be hopping around from one town to the next looking like a sociopath as I decide after a couple of years that each place is seemingly less suitable for me than the last? Maybe? I mean no. But, also, maybe? 

This is what I’m grappling with right now. And, all of these scary questions are just masking the overarching theme of—I think—anyones early twenties. What am I doing? Is this next step going to be where I find the answer? Or, am I going to be one of those fifty year olds who never got their shit together and figured out what they wanted (no offense to you fifty year olds out there who never got your shit together and figured out what you wanted).

So the answers aren’t clear cut. I don’t really think the questions are that clear cut. But I think I’d rather spend ten miserable years moving around learning other cultures and decidedly hating them than spend the rest of my life in one place, not even aware of all there is for me to hate. 

What’s your philosophy on this? If you’re young, what do you hope your future will look like? Do you want to move around, or are you happy where you are? And if you’ve settled down, how did you learn where you wanted to settle down? Do you have any regrets for the decisions you made when you were young about where you’d live?

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