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Goodbye to all that?
November 14, 2012 1:52 PM   Subscribe

When is it time to move?

I'm coming up on two years in NYC, and I'm wondering if I'm not cut out for it and if it would be best for everyone involved if I got the fuck out. I'm asking it here because my default reaction to everything is the path of least resistance.

Reasons to go:

* I'm running out of money. I don't have a full-time job, not even a part-time one, and I'm unemployable. I don't have any "real-world" work experience besides a summer job in high school I got fired from in two weeks and "working" at my dad's office. In my field, I'm in a weird place where I'm overqualified for entry-level - I've interviewed places and gotten "why do you even want this job" questions (then not hired, go figure) - but underqualified for anything else. I have freelance clients that are great and that I'm incredibly grateful for, but they aren't enough to pay rent. Unless something changes, SOON, I will be literally broke unless I ask my parents for money, which I don't want to do. (They're not doing so well either.)

* I'm running out of friends. The same thing is happening to many people I know, and I'm not the only one seriously considering moving. Which is their choice, but it means I have that much less reason to stay. Plus, I suspect something that's happened lately has really bothered my friend group to the point of not inviting me anywhere anymore. (I'd rather not get into details, but it involves a guy.) I'm home alone most nights anymore.

* Speaking of guys, I feel like I have exhausted the dating pool here. Which is insane, it's a major city, but I really do feel that way. My sister is getting married next summer. She's younger than me. And it's crazy young for her and I shouldn't feel upset about that, but here I am.

* My roommates hate me, and I'd rather not have to deal with them. It's to the point where I don't even feel comfortable in the place I'm paying rent for. I don't know if this is an issue with roommates in general (I've never ended up friends with a roommate) or with these people in particular, but it's an issue.

* All the "I just moved to NYC and I hate it" threads seem to say something like "it gets better after 3 months/6 months/a year!" It hasn't gotten better. If anything, it's gotten much worse. And it's gotten worse and stable, which makes me wonder if I've passed some kind of plateau.

Reasons not to move:

* My field is here. So much that it is a huge outlier for jobs in it to be anywhere else. Not to mention networking etc.

* My life is here. Where the hell would I go? My only real option is to move back in with my parents, in a small town where I don't know anyone, don't fit into the culture and don't even have a car so I wouldn't even be able to leave the house. I barely leave the house anyway as it is, but at least it's a distant possibility. Other than that, my options are to... be unemployable someplace else where I don't know anybody, and to pay moving fees and upend my life to do it?

* Along those lines, if I'm running out of money, then moving fees just pushes up the countdown.

* It feels like giving up, like I've trashed my life already before age 25.

I'm really sorry about all this. I just don't think I have anyone I can talk to about it, and I don't even know what options I have anymore.
posted by dekathelon to Work & Money (38 answers total)
 
Sounds like you need a career strategy. For what it's worth, those nights home alone could be a good time to work your ass off at advancing your career. Work isn't everything, of course, but a good foundation laid in your 20s can make the rest of your life a lot more comfortable.

What kind of work do you want to do?
posted by mr_roboto at 1:57 PM on November 14, 2012


I grew up here, I tried numerous times to move to somewhere else, and each time I find myself practically racing back here due to myriad reasons that aren't relevant to your question. Considering that, I cannot imagine living in NYC without feeling like I absolutely must live in NYC. Which is how I feel.

When people mention things they don't like about this place, you don't hear "that's not true," you hear "yes, but..." It sounds like you've run out of "yes, but..."s. I've been unemployed here and it is a pain in the ass. I have encountered the transience of friends who aren't from here and don't stay here, and it sucks. Dating people is just encountering one brand of crazy after next, regardless of your age, sex, creed or color. Roommates? Same thing.

Now, here are the "yes, but..."s: you're not going to get a better (if "better" is defined by variety, which it was for me) pool for dating unless there's a community somewhere that you specifically want to date in. You're not going to find a better job market in your field if your field is here. Living with your parents, for some people, is worse than living with the craziest of roommates.

Leaving here because you can't stand it here is not giving up. Not "making it" in New York isn't some sort of failure of character. The reason this place is so nuts -- and so wonderful! -- is because of the people who are from here and who stay here. It doesn't average out to "normal," by anyone's standards, ever.
posted by griphus at 2:01 PM on November 14, 2012 [4 favorites]


Reading your "reasons to go," I don't see a reason that would necessarily be remedied by moving to another city. Getting work is tough everywhere, and if you don't already have friends in the city you move to, you're still starting from scratch socially. Is it NYC itself that is getting to you, or your life circumstances within the city?

As someone who's moved around quite a bit, I can relate to the feeling of being in a rut and wanting a fresh start in a new town. To some extent I think it can be effective, psychologically, to sort of reshuffle the deck and see if you do better in a different environment. But while I don't regret moving so often, I have to say that mostly what I've gotten out of it is seeing a lot of cities. In terms of my life issues or problems I was wanting to get away from, they've tended to just follow me around. For me at least, there hasn't been such a thing as a "fresh start" in that sense.

Perhaps, short of moving away, you could start with paring away those negatives in your life that you have the power to remedy. Your living situation sounds pretty awful -- is finding another place to live in NYC an option? If your basic home life sucks, that can poison every other aspect of your life.
posted by El Sabor Asiatico at 2:16 PM on November 14, 2012


I can answer your question about being overquailified. Dumb down your resume. Get that job and work your way up.

If you hate your roommate, get another living situation that's more congenial.

An option might be to change fields. There are programs at places like AT&T where you can come in and train in sales and then they'll relocate you somewhere. Check those out if they interest you.

New York, San Francisco and LA are hard places to make work. They just are. You need a dynamite job to make it worth your while.

Call around to your friends who have relocated and see what they're doing. Perhaps you can couch-surf and look for a new job for a month or two in their location.

I've moved a bunch and it always sucks before you settle in. The game changer is getting the job that lets you stop worrying about bills and rent and gives you the room to make the new city your home.
posted by Ruthless Bunny at 2:19 PM on November 14, 2012 [1 favorite]


I've read your previous questions, and you seem really depressed and like you are in the grips of some seriously distorted thinking.

* I'm running out of friends. The same thing is happening to many people I know, and I'm not the only one seriously considering moving. Which is their choice, but it means I have that much less reason to stay. Plus, I suspect something that's happened lately has really bothered my friend group to the point of not inviting me anywhere anymore. (I'd rather not get into details, but it involves a guy.) I'm home alone most nights anymore.

I don't live in New York, but I moved to another major US city (knowing no one) to follow my career-related dreams. I moved here three years and change ago, and I have a few dear friends, some casual friends, and some ex-friends. It's part of life. I got cut out of a social group after a break-up; I lost a close friend over a weird work/money thing; I've just stopped talking to some people. It's part of getting older. I am a happy, relatively social person, and I spend most nights home alone with my dog.

As I said, I've read your previous questions, and I think you have a lot of self-esteem issues coupled with unrealistic expectations. Life is not like the movies.

* Speaking of guys, I feel like I have exhausted the dating pool here. Which is insane, it's a major city, but I really do feel that way. My sister is getting married next summer. She's younger than me. And it's crazy young for her and I shouldn't feel upset about that, but here I am.

Your sister is getting married really, really young. But what on earth does that have to do with the dating pool? You live in a large city - I can guaran-fucking-tee you that you have not exhausted the dating pool.

* My roommates hate me, and I'd rather not have to deal with them. It's to the point where I don't even feel comfortable in the place I'm paying rent for. I don't know if this is an issue with roommates in general (I've never ended up friends with a roommate) or with these people in particular, but it's an issue.

That sucks. You should move. I haven't ended up friends with the vast majority of my roommates, but it's good if you can peacefully co-exist with the people with whom you share a living space. If you move, don't expect BFF roommates, but look for nice, normal people who let you do your thing.

* It feels like giving up, like I've trashed my life already before age 25.

That's nonsense.

That having been said, I think you should really reevaluate your career goals separate from all the bullshit about your sister getting married and your friends not hanging out with you and your angst of your roommates disliking you. There's not enough information in your question to give you advice on that, but running out of money at the end of each month is no way to live.

Oh, and please see a therapist. There are a lot of low-cost counseling options in big cities.
posted by ablazingsaddle at 2:36 PM on November 14, 2012 [2 favorites]


* I'm running out of money. I don't have a full-time job, not even a part-time one, and I'm unemployable.
...
* My field is here. So much that it is a huge outlier for jobs in it to be anywhere else.


You know, it's not your "field" if you're not actually working in it. And there's is hardly anything you could be "overqualified" for before the age of 25. My advice would be to focus on nothing but getting a steady income in NYC right now that will allow you to reliably pay rent and keep up with expenses. Then reassess your situation.
posted by deanc at 2:45 PM on November 14, 2012 [3 favorites]


Some clarifications:

* I am working in my field, but only freelance. The nature of the job makes dumbing down my resume very hard since my name is attached to all my work.

* I don't know whether it's the city specifically. I don't feel at home here - it is just a small room in a house with people who hate me - but I never felt at home anywhere else either.
posted by dekathelon at 3:04 PM on November 14, 2012


Just something to consider: when you go on job interviews and people ask "why do you even want this job?" it doesn't mean they don't want to hire you and are being incredulous about it. I get asked that question even when I am a perfect fit for a job. You need to figure out, before you go on an interview, why you are applying for the job aside from needing money. Think about what you can offer and get enthusiastic about it.

I think in theory it's fair to move somewhere if you just haven't found your niche after 2 years, but given that you are lacking money and new locations to move to, I don't think moving is a perfect solution here. Beefing up your job-hunting skills, however, is a great thing to try. Job = more money = more stability = more opportunity to focus on making friends and finding better roommates and other things that will make you happier.
posted by joan_holloway at 3:08 PM on November 14, 2012 [1 favorite]


No time to respond to everything, but you can very likely change your circumstances without changing cities.

1. Find new roommates.
2. If you're getting interviews, your resume and qualifications are not the problem. Saying "The economy is still improving, I want to work in my field, I need full time work and I'm looking to advance" is a 100% valid reason for being in an interview where you're overqualified.
3. 25 is super, super, super young. Give yourself some time. This too shall pass.
4. Dating and friends: Go to new places, do new things, try online dating. You might have exhausted your small social pool, but you have not exhausted the social ocean that is New York City.
posted by cnc at 3:13 PM on November 14, 2012 [1 favorite]


I never felt at home anywhere else either.

Sounds like depression to me.
posted by ablazingsaddle at 3:15 PM on November 14, 2012 [1 favorite]


Here is what to shoot for with roommates:

People who find you and your habits inoffensive and vice-versa, pay the rent and bills on time, and don't bring too many sketchy characters home. This is your goal. Anything less, and your life will suffer. Anything more is a wonderful bonus. You do not have to live with crazy assholes who bring their dealer home, but expecting anything past a rent check with a boring person attached is the road to disappointment. Do not expect to be BFFs with your roomates, or for them to do favors, or even pay attention to you.
posted by griphus at 3:25 PM on November 14, 2012 [1 favorite]


I've lived in New York for almost 10 years (including an attempt to leave, and a return) and I still haven't started to like it. There are plateaus, it gets better, but it also gets worse. If you don't want to live here, then don't -- no need for a guilt trip against yourself. If you aren't into it, you aren't into it.

Here's my opinion: it sounds like the #1 thing you need is not to move, but to find work, even bad work. Have you tried going to a temp agency? That's a good way to get dropped into a job, and will give you enough structure (and cash) to help figure out what you want. Several of my friends have found gainful employment at Forrest Solutions, and there are zillions of other agencies. A little structure does wonders for your life.

Finally: if you're running out of friends, take a tip from me and keep having roommates. Not necessarily your current roommates. I have found a great deal of happiness from (1) saving up enough money to rent a 2- or 3- bedroom apartment myself and (2) screening and choosing my own roommates right after I move in. Of course, this is tough to do without income.

Moving to a new city is great and all, but you will be more alone than you are now. This can be challenging.
posted by zvs at 3:57 PM on November 14, 2012 [1 favorite]


I lived in NY for 8 months, in Astoria. I left for a lot of the same reasons you mention - I was unemployed, not making a lot of friends, staying in all the time, didn't feel at home there.

What I realized about NY: You really have to love it to live there. Because it's a tough tough city. Lots of it is smelly and unfriendly and cold and fast. It's not like any other place in the world. Which can be both a good and a bad. For those who love it, none of those bad things matter, because it's NYC, and it's home. But for people who are bothered by the negatives... I don't think they'll ever love living there. You have to be able to look past all that stuff and think the city is so awesome. That's why people who love it, LOVE it. They already got past all the tough stuff about the city, and now it's the best damn place in the world.

Leaving doesn't make you a failure. I know, I had that feeling too. But the truth was that I never felt like I even began to get my footing there, let alone that it might happen eventually, and in the grand scheme to improve my life and better understand the person I was, being there made no sense.

So I moved back home, with my parents. I know it sounds awful - and I was even older than you when I did it. But living in NY was a culture shock to me, and living at home, with my parents, working a minimum wage job and having lots less pressure to lead some sort of life I felt I should be leading, helped me get my head together and move on to where I was going next.

Good luck!
posted by dithmer at 4:35 PM on November 14, 2012 [1 favorite]


I lived in NYC in my early 20s three different times and I finally left for good for many of the reasons you mentioned and more. I came to the conclusion that it's a hard place to make a good living and if you're not totally into it, there are better ways to use your time and energy. You're not a failure if you leave and you're not a failure if you move back home to regroup.
posted by youcancallmeal at 8:42 PM on November 14, 2012


Nothing you mention is specific to New York City. If you leave because you are broke, unhappy, socially awkward, or whatever, none of that stuff is going to change simply because you moved cities.

It sounds like what you need to do is work on yourself.

I mean, leave if you want, but I fail to see how you will magically get a job somewhere else if there are no jobs in your field anywhere else and you're already failing to get jobs by living where the jobs are. If you've already "exhausted" the largest dating pool in America, I don't know what you think moving to Scranton or whatever is going to accomplish. Do you have friends anywhere else that you won't "run out of" in the same way?

It sounds like you're not thinking about leaving New York, you're wishing you could simply not grow up.

That said, if you want to go, go. Nothing is keeping you in New York.
posted by Sara C. at 11:55 PM on November 14, 2012


The nature of the job makes dumbing down my resume very hard since my name is attached to all my work.

Go get a job at J. Crew or something. The holidays are coming up. I bet a lot of places are hiring right now.
posted by Sara C. at 11:59 PM on November 14, 2012 [1 favorite]


I don't understand how it's fair to say I don't want to grow up. I'd love to grow up. I'd kill to just skip the next 5 years or so. What I am worried about is that I am stunting myself and wasting my money, time, health and life just by inertia.

And like I said, I am unemployable anywhere else. My entire resume is in my field; beyond that, I am essentially worthless. I couldn't even get hired at the Starbucks at my small town, after applying every year, or anywhere else there; what makes you think anyone here would be different when most places, as I understand it, want New York retail experience in addition to other experience?

Other clarification: I've tried online dating, unsuccessfully, for almost as long as I've lived here. This is what I mean when I say I've exhausted the dating pool. I log on and it's always the same people who've rejected me already. Trying to date among people I know just causes problems.
posted by dekathelon at 1:38 AM on November 15, 2012


Dekathelon, you keep asking these questions about how to fix your life, and people keep telling you that you desperately need mental health care, and you keep ignoring them and asking about moving or plastic surgery or basically any other solution at all besides going to therapy and addressing your problems. Please get help, I get more worried every time I see one of these questions from you.
posted by showbiz_liz at 7:21 AM on November 15, 2012 [7 favorites]


I'm already going to therapy. What the hell can I say to that besides "doing it, getting more broke"? This is a different question. It is a pressing question, because I am running out of money. I don't know how much else stress can be put on it, the game is changing.\

Along those lines I'd really appreciate it if people address the question at hand, please.
posted by dekathelon at 7:31 AM on November 15, 2012


...what makes you think anyone here would be different when most places, as I understand it, want New York retail experience in addition to other experience?

Hi, retail veteran here, both clerking and managing. Standards are dropped through the floor for the holiday season, which is right now. This moment, right now, right this second, is basically the best moment for you to find a retail job. The longer you wait, the more jobs will be filled. Will it last past December 25th? It doesn't matter. By my count there are three Century 21s, a handful of Targets, a bunch of Best Buys, and endless number of GameStops and lots and lots of other stores that see a huge uptick during the holidays. Go apply at all of them.
posted by griphus at 7:44 AM on November 15, 2012 [2 favorites]


To add: when looking for new people, managers do not look through applications/resumes in the order that they were received. I generally only looked at last 5-10 resumes before giving someone a call if we needed a new person. So when I say "go apply at all of them" I mean do it again even if you did it before.
posted by griphus at 7:49 AM on November 15, 2012


I couldn't even get hired at the Starbucks at my small town, after applying every year, or anywhere else there; what makes you think anyone here would be different

This is the true value of why it's better to live in New York as a young twenty-something with little or no job experience.

There are so many more coffee shops, restaurants, bars, retail stores, etc, in New York than almost anywhere else in the country. It's a city of eight million people. You can literally fill out 20 job applications at places like that per day, and assuming you speak English, bathe, and are vaguely personable, you will eventually get a job.

In other parts of the country, if you can't get a job in an area related to your college degree, you're going to starve. In New York, if you can't get a job in the field you want, you're simply doomed to a life of day jobs. Which is better than actual starvation or moving back in with your parents.

The reason I suggested that you're afraid to grow up is that you don't seem interested in actually taking any of these steps. You are going to have to have a job whether it's here or wherever else. Your friends are going to move away or get angry with you or develop other interests, it's a fact of life wherever you live. Dating is hard, period. Rather than taking simple steps to make these things easier for you (get some job, look into low-cost mental healthcare, keep trying to make new friends, etc), you keep trying to explain to us, in thread after thread, that the rules somehow don't apply to you and you don't really have to keep hacking through life like everybody else does.

I'm sorry to be harsh, but as others have said you keep asking this question in different ways, and the answer is always going to be the same. You're out of the nest now, little duckling. You have to learn to fly for yourself. And doing that means taking action rather than just giving up and reverting to some idealized childhood that can't exist for you anymore.
posted by Sara C. at 7:53 AM on November 15, 2012 [3 favorites]


Re you already being in therapy - have you talked to your therapist about any of the reasons you're thinking about leaving New York?
posted by Sara C. at 7:57 AM on November 15, 2012 [1 favorite]


I have a hard time believing that you can't find any retail or food service job. It's the holidays - apply for a job at Target. They hire high school kids, and believe me, they will not google your name or give a shit about your previous work.

I have been really, really broke, and I have sold my stuff, took odd jobs off Craigslist, worked at foot fetish parties, and worked as a movie extra. I have friends who've made money participating in medical studies. If things are really desperate, those are the steps you have to take.

Along those lines I'd really appreciate it if people address the question at hand, please.

Oh, please. Half of your fucking question was angst about your dating/social life. You also include almost literally no information about how you're looking for work or what your specific problems are with finding work, so um . . . that wasn't really the question at hand.
posted by ablazingsaddle at 8:41 AM on November 15, 2012 [2 favorites]


The question at hand is when you know it's time to move. That is what I am asking. That is the thing I do not know and am looking for input on. What you call "angst," I call running down potential reasons to move. It's just cold, hard fact.
posted by dekathelon at 9:07 AM on November 15, 2012


In my first answer in this thread, I told you to consider the professional reasons to move very separately from the personal reasons. The social issues in your question sound like depression/distorted thinking/immaturity, and people here are trying to explain to you, even if you don't want to listen, that leaving New York will not make you a different person. Moving will not fix your social or dating life. Wherever you go, there you are.

That having been said, if you're running out of money, having difficulty finding work, etc., move in with your parents. But don't move because you've run through all the guys you'd consider dating on OkCupid.
posted by ablazingsaddle at 9:12 AM on November 15, 2012 [2 favorites]


I don't have any "real-world" work experience besides a summer job in high school I got fired from in two weeks and "working" at my dad's office.

It could be that the problem is that you just don't have any experience finding a job, and this is a problem getting a job. This is not something that is going to be solved by moving.

For me, it's "time to move" when you've gotten everything out of a location that you can get, you want more, and there is nothing tying you to your current location.

As the saying goes, though, "no matter where you go, there you are!" The person who doesn't have experience and can't get herself a job is coming with you to wherever you move to.
posted by deanc at 9:14 AM on November 15, 2012 [1 favorite]


But I don' know whether I've gotten everything about here that I can get. Nobody is letting me get anything out of this location. It is Friday night, all my friends are hanging out together without me, I can't even get one of my closer friends to even meet up for coffee despite asking at least five times (but she is perfectly OK hanging out with all my other friends without me), and I am going to be home alone again with 6 more hours to do nothing until I get tired. And I pay a lot of money for this. Do you see where the issue might lie?
posted by dekathelon at 3:39 PM on November 16, 2012


Did you ask to hang out with them? What did they say?
posted by showbiz_liz at 3:40 PM on November 16, 2012


Every single one of my friends who is prone to "everybody is hanging out without me" syndrome is also the type of person who ALWAYS declines invitations, and of whom we all tend to ask, "Where's [Friend]? I was really hoping she'd come out tonight..."

I've fallen into this cycle, too, so I feel your pain, but seriously, just start going to stuff. Don't worry about whether you're wanted -- just GO. If you don't get invited to things, organize your own thing and invite everyone else. If you do this like ten times and you feel like nobody comes, and the existence of these events doesn't remind people to invite you to their stuff, get new friends. New York has eight million people in it. Surely two or three of them want to hang out with you.
posted by Sara C. at 4:57 PM on November 16, 2012


Hi dekathelon, I've read your other questions. My response below isn't so much an answer to your OP, but rather something I hope might be of use more generally.

I recommend exploring and developing ways that you can enjoy time by yourself, whether it be doing hobbies, or reading, or aimlessly walking around the city, or whatever floats your veritable boat. I know you're dealing with job pressure right now, but in NYC there's all sorts of free/low-cost stuff that's accessible to you, if you want. Enjoying time spent alone isn't easy for a lot of people, especially at first, but there's something empowering about doing it.

Sure, it takes practice. Start small. You mentioned trying to meet up with a friend at a coffee shop in your last update. Yeah, friends are flaky sometimes, which stinks, but there are always workarounds. Go to a coffee shop alone-take a book or a magazine or newspaper with you, or a drawing pad, or puzzles. Buy a coffee, hang out for a while. It might feel good, it might not. But as the cliche goes, you don't know until you try.

You wrote in your latest update that "nobody is letting [you] get anything out of this location", but I think you know that what you get out of this location, or anywhere, is ultimately up to you. And that's scary as shit. I'm maybe a year or so older than you, and I'm feeling the post-college accountability burn. So that's why I say start small, taking steps to build comfort within yourself, at your own pace. There's no rush.
posted by freeform at 5:02 PM on November 16, 2012 [1 favorite]


I said we should hang out before I go home for Thanksgiving. She asked when I left. I told her when. That was the end of it. I've suggested specific days before and they never work. I mean... if someone doesn't want to hang out with me I don't think it's fair to keep pretending to be friends with me, but if someone does want to be friends with me I don't think I'm asking for much here. All I want is to be let out of my room for a little bit. Like a hamster or something.

I never decline invitations, either. If someone asks me to meet them at 1 a.m. I'll do it and have done that because it's not like I have anything else to do. I sincerely doubt anyone is hoping I'll come out anyplace.
posted by dekathelon at 6:15 PM on November 16, 2012


All I want is to be let out of my room for a little bit

It's your choice to leave your room.

Go. Leave.

Go for a walk. Go look at the Holiday windows in midtown. Go have a pint and read a book in a pub. Take a class. Train for a marathon. It is not anybody else's responsibility to entertain you but yourself.

I sincerely doubt anyone is hoping I'll come out anyplace.

This is not something you can know. Assume from this moment forward that your friends like you and want to see you. If you have evidence to the contrary, those people are not your friends and you should go find new ones.
posted by Sara C. at 6:24 PM on November 16, 2012 [1 favorite]


I do have evidence to the contrary. I'm lying in bed alone, and they're out having fun without me and never invited me. That's evidence. All of that stuff sounds very boring and pointless alone.

None of this, anyway, answers the question of when you know it's time to give up and move someplace else.
posted by dekathelon at 10:26 PM on November 16, 2012


When you know that moving will improve your life (for reasons other than a change of venue) or provide you with new opportunities that you are completely sure you currently do not have. Moving is stressful, costs a lot of money, and force you to play 52-pickup with your life for months after. If wherever you're moving to is worth that, move. If not, don't.
posted by griphus at 8:18 AM on November 17, 2012 [1 favorite]


How is going somewhere you have zero friends going to improve your social life? How is moving somewhere with less single guys going to improve your dating life? If you think you can't get a job anywhere doing anything how will abandoning your current gigs improve that?

One knows its time to leave a city when there's somewhere else they'd rather be. But it seems like what you want is to be someone else.
posted by modernserf at 8:29 PM on November 17, 2012


warning: tough love to follow


People are addressing your unhappiness because that is clearly the root of the problem, not whether or not you should move. It's obvious that the issues you are encountering are not caused by life in NYC and will not get better by moving. Sorry to be blunt, but you don't get it. Whether or not you should move is kind of irrelevant because the kind of breathless negativity you choose to live your life trapped under will go with you anywhere unless you choose to change it.

I don't think the dating pool is even an issue here because frankly, you don't seem to be in a good place for dating. Besides, if the dating pool is too small for you in NYC, where do you think you can go where it will be bigger? Shanghai?

You're probably an awesome an intelligent person but the negative vibe you put out there is really overwhelming and honestly I think it's why your friends don't want to be around you. People on this thread are being nice, but you have a list of questions on AskMe that are essentially all saying the same thing- life sucks an you are unhappy. each question just manifests this attitude in a different way.

Being grateful for all that you do have, treating yourself well, and putting positivity out into the world will change your life. It changed mine. It's not what you have that makes you happy- it's the gratitude you express for what you have that does. Keep a gratitude journal. Work on changing your negative thoughts. Read some books on the subject. Meditate. Do some work. You can be happier and more positive- and everything else will follow. It doesn't work to address things in the opposite way.
posted by bearette at 1:17 AM on December 3, 2012 [3 favorites]


It is time to leave a place when you genuinely believe you'll be happier in another place. Or to follow someone you love or for a job.

Good reasons to leave NYC might be that you really miss being around horses or mountains. That it's too crowded here and you want more time alone. If you think there's work for you someplace else and you can't know until you get there. If your sister has a kid and you want to be closer to them. That's the answer.

Sara C is right: if you have evidence to the contrary, they aren't your friends. You say you have evidence, ergo: they are not your friends. Stop counting on them and expecting anything of them. If you need them professionally, fine.

Being freelance is agonizing and isolating. Feeling unemployable is equally agonizing and isolating. You can kill two birds with one stone by finding someplace to volunteer, either in fits between jobs or at regular intervals. Look at Botanic Gardens, soup kitchens, Housing Works, a museum, the Cancer Society Thrift Store. Help the Lower East Side Ecology Center collect compost at the greenmarket. Take a meditation class or a welding class. Don't worry about whether your time is well used, that isn't the point. The point is to get out and be around other people because being alone is hurting you. The point is also to be around people who can give you some perspective on how other people live. And, the point is to establish yourself as someone who can show up when you say you'll show up, get things done, take initiative, all those things that employers look for when they aren't looking for a specific skill. And the point might be to start to find more friends who are interested in the things you're interested in. That, or just to get interested in something.
posted by amandabee at 12:20 PM on February 4, 2013


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