New Beginnings

Posted on May 16, 2010


I was sitting in my backyard this afternoon, smoking a purloined cigarette and reading a memoir about Irish-Catholics and heroin addiction, and I thought, I should just leave this city. How much would I love to start again in a whole new city, go back to school, live on student loans and cheap coffee, and re-invent myself again. Maybe get it right this time. By my next birthday I will have been here for half my life. There was no rhyme or reason to how that happened, just the urge to flee the midwest and a few years of desperate scrabbling to hang on to my life here, with its taxis and Thai food and challenging crossword puzzles.

Who’s to say who I’d be if I had ended up somewhere else? Is this identity, this version of me, mutable or would I be who I am wherever I was? I tend to think I would, but then the idea that I could have had a happier life…a graduate degree framed in my office and two or three cherubic kids running around…hell, a regular sex life…is too painful to contemplate. And such contemplation is probably not fruitful, really.

But it does seem like time to start some self-reflection, and I may as well start here.