I blame London, I really do. Ever since I set foot just outside of Paddington Station and had a whirlwind 5 days in which I became a full-fledged Anglophile (I mean good god, I watch Youtube clips of the British X Factor and debate whether or not I should download episodes of the UK's version of Jersey Shore, “Geordie Shore”, because their characters seem equally as deplorable and thus wholly entertaining, plus they're British so its cooler!), I've been infected with this weird since of FOMO, or the beloved Fear of Missing Out. Missing out on what? That I don't really know. I mean, traditional weekend FOMO usually takes shape in regrettable bar decisions when a friend had a great time elsewhere or why I basically refuse to stay in one a weekend night, apart from extenuating circumstances. This particular life FOMO if you will is a bit more murky.
This wanderlust is nothing new for me. In early 2009, I was wholly certain that I was going to move to New York in 2 years, barring some sort of unleavable job or relationship. Despite a lack of both of those, that feeling subsided, I started grad school, and life basically proceeded, albeit on more acceptable terms, both professionally and socially. Maybe it was because I threatened to leave Chicago somehow rose to the challenge and made me remember why I lusted after the 312 in the first place. But this feels a bit more fundamental. Ive always considered myself, in an extravagant bit of internal arrogance, to be extraordinary and unusual, cut from a bit of a different cloth. Thats why I felt the need to leave the general vicinity for college when most of my extended family remained close and why, despite my familial closeness, returning to Milwaukee was never an option, at least in my best laid plans. And my life right now just seems too eh. I don't date nearly enough for lack of enticing candidates, I don't play/make enough music cause half the time, between work and school, I don't feel like expending the requisite energy, and I feel like I'm sick of having nothing memorable to share when people want a life update.
How this would be solved by moving to London or NYC...I frankly have no idea. And my solidly Midwestern upbringing and emotional centering therein may be the reason it seems so sexy. Walking around London, it was like my great need to have a meaningful 20's experience was shaking me and screaming “This is it Justin! Think of all the terminology you'd pick it up, think of how wordly you would be, you could date, nay, marry a girl with an accent and a foreign passport. Your children could have dual citizenship and then even if you moved back to Milwaukee you would be irrepressibly awesome and unique...forever.” That honestly was running through my mind at times as I sat on the Tube or walked in Hyde Park. I felt like even 2 years abroad would change me for the better. I wish I wasn't such a myopic dumbass in college, I could have gotten, you know, good grades and going to LSE for grad school could have been a real thing...sigh. That damn hindsight. But I just constantly find myself afraid of the ordinary. I mean, its a testament to my parents and my relatively blessed upbringing that this nonsense really is a concern, but I feel like my end of the bargain, in exchange for all they did for me, is to take everything to another level.
So here I sit, 35000 feet above Pennsylvania, en route to NYC for a much needed weekend away. Not away from anything or anyone in particular, but away from my own clinically insane analyzation of my own life. It will be good for me. New York always seems to center me. For all its glamor and allure, I always find myself calmed by the ordinariness of life and how in many ways, its not all that different from Chicago. I mean, for gods sake, I don't live in Tulsa, I live in the 3rd largest city in the country, and really one of my favorite places anywhere.
I think the solution for this is just to do something rash. I've been waffling with my desire for tattoos and my aversion to permanence for years, probably about time to bite that bullet. Whatever it is, I refuse to let December 31st arrive with me saying “Another year and I neglected to put a stamp on 2011 they way I promised.” Fuck that noise, these last 2 months are mine.