the opposite of locationism

Merry merry, happy happy. 

I spent my holiday sleeping in, then organizing, then walking along the lake and checking out the Christmas hustle bustle of Michigan Avenue. On my way home I stopped for cookies and hot chocolate, had a call with a friend as I walked back, then cozied up on my couch to enjoy the first real night of being fully unpacked and settled in my new home.

For a minute there, I was afraid my place was going to be intolerably tiny. But it's not, it's perfectly fine and plenty of room for me. It's just that with a small space, every moving box takes up precious square footage. Everything needs a home in a small apartment, in order for it to be livable. And now that everything is put away, my Elfa closets up, my pictures, lamps, ceramics, and all my other earthly treasures in their place, I am relaxed and peaceful once more. 

Here is a glimpse of my view from the desk, kitchen to my left, window straight ahead. 



Everything behind me (bedroom, hallway, bathroom) is still under development. 

I didn't get out much this past week. After my things came Monday, I exhausted myself spending every spare minute aggressively nesting. Sometimes being me is the worst thing ever. A normal person would content themselves doing a little bit every day, then stopping at a reasonable point to continue tomorrow. Not me. I stayed up until one, two am all week. Multiple trips in a day to Target, The Container Store, all that jazz. I'm just too single-minded about some things, and too linear in my thinking. Sometimes this is a good thing. It's helped me accomplish a lot, including getting to Chicago and getting into a new line of work. Sometimes it's a handicap.

This is the very linear list I have been working through:

1. Get my place together. 

2. Get back on the self-care train.

3. Expand the perimeter of exploring and start getting out into further neighborhoods / get my feet wet with Chicago's public transportation. 

4. Embark on some kind of socialization campaign. (I have a few ideas.)

Today I got back on the self-care train. I worked out and ate something green for the first time in two weeks. Feeling so, so much better after doing this. It's such a win having an incredible gym right in my building. It's so spacious and empty and inviting.

I am incredibly happy here. It's enough for me to just be out in the beautiful city, with the fresh cold air on my face, enjoying the sights. It's kind of incredible how enough it is for me. Gratitude really is a superpower. And I have so much gratitude for every last small thing. So much awe and wonder. I never realized how much picking me up and putting me down in the right place would fill my heart. I mean, I guess I must have known on some level.

I saw a School of Life video once that talks about how to know if you should leave a relationship. It said you should leave if that relationship is the one source of unhappiness or stress in your life. If everything else is great and you are otherwise content, but your partner brings you down - leave.

I thought about that a lot when I was living in LA. I knew this guy Peter, a customer at one of the stores. He used to warn me against moving away, when I told him I wanted to. "That's locationism," he used to say. "That's thinking that running away to a new city is going to fix your problems."

But here's the thing. I didn't have any problems. I wasn't running away from anything - other than LA itself. At long last, over the past year, I have learned how to really take care of myself. How to set boundaries, respect my limits, and self soothe. I could have found a great job in LA. I could have gotten out of restaurants in LA. Locationism is using geography to try and escape your problems, when the problem quite frankly is you. 

But I just hated LA. That's it. That was my one, sole source of unhappiness. Living in city that didn't suit me. So leaving was exactly the solution to level up my life. 

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My building is incredibly quiet. It kind of blows my mind. The walls are so soundproof, I can never hear a thing. One morning I could barely, barely make out the whining of a puppy, which I've since realized is literally next door. That's how great the walls are here. Which is another amazing win, since I can play my music loud without worrying. (My speaker is against the window, anyway.)

It's also so warm. It is much, much warmer than my LA apartment. Particularly the floors. In fact I can't wear my slippers here; I get too hot. And I still haven't turned the heat on. I actually open the window at least once a day, because I love how bracing and fresh the air outside is. 

I have been wearing less and less as I go outside. The first ten days I was here I wouldn't leave without thermals on, that's how paranoid I was about the cold. But it's just like I remember from chilly nights in the desert: as long as 75% of my body is warm, I actually like having my legs be a little cold, or my head uncovered. If I am swaddled head to toe I get overheated and cranky real fast. I'm also very glad I invested in Moon Boots. Not only do I love how they look, they're warm AF and let me wear less on my legs because my feet are so toasty. Worth every penny.

And now, more photos!