Thursday, May 15, 2014

On the Importance of Loving Your Neighborhood

Usually, we don't get too personal here on this blog, but these past six months have been extremely transitional for me. I'm in a place now where I'm more comfortable talking about it, so that's what I'm going to do. Right now. 

I'll start by pointing out the obvious. In life, we all go through periods where our worlds are turned upside down. These are times where our confidences are tested and our true identities can emerge. This F. Scott Fitgerald quote has really helped me throughout this particular time in my life and sums up how I currently feel about moving on - “For whatever it's worth: it's never too late to be whoever you want to be. I hope you live a life you're proud of. If you find you're not, I hope you have the strength to start all over again.” 

It does take a lot of strength to leave a part of your life behind and start over again. In my personal experience, I was jolted into starting over. The details of the jolt at this point are not important. They have very little to do with the life I'm currently leading. 

The jolt itself was important, however, because it reminded me of my duty to secure my own self-satisfaction outside of a romantic relationship. I had become so comfortable, and even relied on, being part of a couple that I had neglected my own personal goals and dreams. Losing sight of this was no one else's lapse but my own.  So when I went to start over, I looked back to the person I had been before, the woman I had become and attempted to improve on that. 

My first item of business was to find a place to live that made me happy. I toiled with the idea of finding a roommate, but having never lived alone, I figured this was a nearly lost opportunity I needed to take. I wanted to move to an area where there were lots of restaurants and bars within walking distance, which pretty much narrowed it down to two neighborhoods for me - Downtown and Dundee. While living in an apartment downtown has always been a dream of mine, it's not exactly dog friendly, so when a friend of mine in Dundee posted that the folks living above her were moving out, I jumped on the opportunity for a fresh start. 

I survived the chill of winter mostly cooped up in my new apartment which ended up being kind of a blessing because it made it that much more important to turn this space into my own home. My home for me, myself and I (and Bebop of course). A lot has happened in the in-between time from December until now which I won't bore you with here - though there are some good stories there to tell. What I'm finding out now that the ground has returned to it's lush green state and the trees are almost done shedding their spring buds, is that this is where I am supposed to be. 

I'm putting focus back into the woman I want to be - strong, funny, opinionated, kind and assured in herself without giving a fuck what anyone else thinks about her (this last one is especially important when you live in a somewhat small town like Omaha). I'm getting back into a lot of the music that I loved when I was uncovering my musical tastes. I'm also trying to live as an extreme version of myself, which in a nutshell means I'm listening to a lot more metal and rekindling my t-shirt obsession.

It's funny how youth gives you such a brash concept of who you are. I'll admit, I used to be a rather cold and "mean" person. Things were very black and white for me and I think that put a lot of people off. Walking around thinking I was right all of the time probably didn't help either. One lesson I've learned from my father is that while you can walk around with the confidence that you know best, it's almost always in your best interest to keep that information to yourself. Not to say that I'm some hard-head who is unwilling to compromise. I love listening to people and their stories and their "problems". It's why I've always loved reading and literature so much.  

What becoming older has also taught me is to judge less and try to understand more. You have to know that you can't change people, but you also have to believe that more often then not, there's good in the world surrounding you. Sometimes I miss being that black and white person, but I know if I stayed that way, there would be a lot of legitimate good I would miss out on. 

One of those goods that is impossible to miss around this time of year is how beautiful this neighborhood is and how lovely it feels to be part of a community of people .

Bebop and I have been taking more walks lately and this past weekend we walked up to Memorial Park for a little picnic. This park was a big part of my childhood in the way that we would always come here for the annual free outdoor concert they put on every summer. Now, being able to walk up here with a blanket and a few other items to just hang out for a few hours is a real treat I probably would have taken for granted, even a few years ago. 

Yeah, it's a park so sights like this ^^ can be seen too :(

Could he look any more goddamn pleased to be outside?!

^^My new favorite top from Hello Holiday^^

Phew. I know that was a lot to get through and that's on me, but thanks for hanging in there! I think there's really something beautiful in sharing our life experiences, even the somewhat messy ones. After all, that's where the magic happens, right? 

1 comment:

  1. Beautiful post and so incredibly well-written. With so much life going on in life, it's easy to lose focus of yourself. The one lesson I've learned that I always keep with me is: "me first." I need to focus on my happiness, my goals, my inspiration before I can even imagine trying to make someone else happy. And that doesn't come from a selfish place, it comes from a place that knows unless I have peace in myself, it's unlikely anyone else will be able to find any sort of peace from me. This is getting philosophical. What I really want to say is, Dundee is the best place to be any time of year, but especially now. xx

    The What's In Between