five years ago this month he purchased and we moved into the tiny little house we now call home. it was located in what i thought to be the boring neighborhood, way too far away from the action. a month before, i’d packed up my belongings and moved-in with my college sweetheart in the tiniest studio on the fourth floor on the nineteenth block of spruce.
five years later and philly is our home…more so than anyplace else.
I remember having a really hard time the first year (perhaps explaining this impulsive decision) and someone (my therapist) telling me it takes at least a year to get acclimated to a new place. She suggested really getting to know the city, taking long walks and finding some semblance of routine (all which later worked, by the way). I didn’t have a year, I thought to myself, I wanted to acclimate now. While that didn’t happen (sorry to say) certain things helped me find my way a little bit.
I got a job at a school rich in great people. from there, I made friends, honest to goodness friends who i spent my days and evenings with. More than that, I felt like I was a part of my new community and meant more than i could have imagined. That is, after all, one of the greatest questions posed by our young, mobile society how do you make friends as an adult? It’s tough, it really is…but the greatest advice i can give is open yourself up to others and they’ll return the gesture. sometimes you’ll click, other times you won’t, but you must try. over the course of the first year- through my job, L’s graduate program, and blogging, oddly enough- i met some incredible people that truly shaped our time here.
From there, the struggles were more tolerable and the accomplishments more joyous. We were welcomed into this world, more or less (yes, I’m talking to you, neighbor-who-still-avoids-eye contact..hmph), and settled into our life together into a place i never expected to be.
The traditions, neighborhoods, ethnic food stores, independent shops, restaurants and most of all the people that make all of those tick, make me fall in love with this town again and again…though I suppose we’re just getting to know each other.
we have our differences though, that’s for damn sure. For all the reasons every city-dweller has, some days I return home after being chewed the requisite 20 times and spit right out again and want nothing more transport myself to a greener, more caring place.
But you see, at least for now, this quirky, gritty, charming, delicious, heart-filled city is home. And I’ll tell you what, these years will hold a special place with me for the rest of my days.