Saturday, May 7, 2011

First Thoughts on the Quarter-Life Crisis

I am on the verge of making several life changing decisions. I am terrified.

It would be so lovely, so cathartic, just to weep heavily, to release tension from the mounting, unanswerable questions of my future. It would be so heavenly to time-travel back to a time - anytime - when I felt entirely safe and confident. Yet, I am here again at this door of Change.

And what is different this time from one year ago, when I packed my bag and set out north, is that Brooklyn has become all I know and want. There is nothing like Fort Greene in metro Atlanta. Piedmont Park does not have the same atmosphere as Prospect Park. There are no Dutch-Indonesian or Senegalese restaurants in such short distances of each other there; no packed crowds filling First Fridays at the Brooklyn Museum; no thriving 5th Ave business districts free from Walmart Supercenters; no similar commitment to farmer's markets, food co-ops and local gardens. Nor could there be any of those things without the crowds, the foot traffic, the support for small business, the posh, eco-concerned progressivism of western Brooklyn, and the straight-forwardness of NYC character. Few southern streets have such unapologetic, "open-source"-like energy. Yet, the cost of living is so high, how can I set plans to make a life here? And I must make plans to care for my family down south some day. What will my next career step, financial step, housing step, dating step be?

My thoughts have become one long, thick cloud. The days have passed without recognition. My work tasks are completed by rote memorization. My home is unkempt and unresolvable. I am dateless and verging on that rare occurrence called loneliness. I feel completely out of control. And I don't know what to do next, except maybe to bury myself in a book or in mindless sitcoms. Something must change. Some decision must be made soon, or else some important youthful momentum will be lost and the window of opportunity may be latched with bitterness. I must press onward. I will.

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