What I Learned About Myself

This move to Boston was the second real move in my life. The first was from the house that I grew up in in Abilene to the house my parents currently live in–also in Abilene–when I was sixteen. It was a pretty minor transition; the hardest part was getting used to the relative silence of living in the country and getting up early to feed my horses.  When I was in college, I just moved the stuff I needed across town to my dorm, house, or apartment during school terms, but spent a lot of time with my horses at my parents’ house.  So, my first real move was this one, and I’ve learned a lot about myself as I’ve made this transition.

I’ve learned that I’m not really good at moving. Maybe no one is. But I feel like I’ve made the transition with about as much grace as a rodeo clown. There’s a whole room in my house that is in overwhelming disarray. I forgot to pay my parking rent for two months in a row. I made rookie mistakes on my seminar paper for my Irish lit class. I didn’t manage my time well. I didn’t always keep my house clean, and I ate more frozen and boxed meals than I intended. I found that I’m not as competent an adult as I thought.

But I also found out that I’m really good at one of two things: either I’m particularly adept at accepting the reality with which I am faced, or I’m remarkably skilled at living in denial. I’m not really sure which it is, but I’m going to go ahead and believe it’s the former. What I mean by this is that I’ve had a pretty easy time accepting all of the new things in my life–different weather, different traffic, using public transportation, different church, different school, loads of new people, living in an apartment.  You know, all that kind of stuff that comes with moving. It’s required an adjustment, but it hasn’t been a particularly difficult adjustment, which is not at all what I expected.  I’ve missed home a lot, but haven’t often found myself wishing to be there. I’ve been surprisingly rational about the whole experience.

Before moving, I suspected that I have the right disposition for living alone. I was right. I kept waiting to feel lonely in my apartment, but it never happened. I was lonely at times for certain people, but I never wished for another person to live with. Of course, having Spur helps. I probably would have felt lonely without her. But I’ve actually really enjoyed just being there on my own.

However, as much as I like living on my own, I have not become a hermit, which I was concerned about before I left.  I have a pretty low need for social interaction, relatively speaking, and I tend to be a real homebody.  So I was afraid that I might overly indulge those tendencies and not really make new friends, and not get out and socialize much with other people.  But that hasn’t been the case; on the contrary, I’ve had a great time getting to know people from school both in class and out.  And I’ve absolutely treasured the time I spend with my fellow Abilene transplants.

I’ve learned that I can survive on a really tight budget.  Okay, that’s not really surprising for those of you who are familiar with my dragonish money-hoarding tendencies.  I’m pretty sure I’ve been a penny-pincher since my first allowance as a young child.  I’m good at not spending money on objects that I want.  But I’m also not used to self-denial when it comes to things like groceries and eating out.  So it was an adjustment for me to tell myself “no” when I wanted to buy giant cartons of expensive berries that I wouldn’t be able to finish on my own, or candy, or whatever other frivolous items caught my eye.  It was hard at first but it got easier.  I’ve discovered that I can come up with some of creative meals involving frozen vegetables and chicken.  And that Old El Paso taco dinner boxes are both reasonably satisfying and super cheap, and good for three meals.

Mostly, what I’ve learned about myself this semester is that I’m okay.  I’m better at navigating my life than I thought.  Not a bad thing to discover.

 

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