It has now been roughly half a year since I moved out on my own.
I have to admit, it isn’t quite what I thought it would be, but my independent life is still under development.
Having daydreamed about living on my own since I was about fifteen I thought I would be more prepared. But I certainly never anticipated the emotional hurdles I would face (although I thought I might spend the majority of the first week in my closet, curled up in a ball). And I have not spontaneously morphed into the super-productive, crafty person I envisaged. I’m still only that person intermittently.
But the fact is, I can’t be upset about any of this. Because my independent life is what I have made it. After all, that was the point of all this. Given that I am still so early in this process, I suppose I can’t really make demands of myself until I understand more who I am absent of other influences.
My surroundings are also not what I originally thought they would be. I had hoped to move somewhere lusher and greener, preferably near the sea. But compared to the soft, rolling hills of Metropolis, Smallville’s rugged terrain looks almost prehistoric in comparison. And it’s even drier than the dryness Metropolis is known for.
The river snakes through Smallville like a giant anaconda that occasionally breaks loose and swallows things. Happily, I am well out if it’s reach. But when I got here, the major concern was the fire beast whose handiwork enveloped my new home in a thick shroud of smoke, and resulted in an influx of refugees. There was even a possibility, however slight, that it would force me back home. Maybe even destroy all the stuff I had carefully and expensively collected and carted to my new home.
These days, the snow beast is of more concern. One of the major highways I rely on for food is so treacherous it has it’s own reality TV show. I am told there is another supply route. If this were not so, I would seriously reconsider staying here in the long term, or at least have a much larger stock of supplies set aside for the zombie apocalypse (my personal euphemism for disasters that are both devastating and likely enough for me to not want to think about too much.)
I should probably more prepping anyway, but I do know that the great river anaconda has a baby near me which I can use in emergencies, albeit one who is a bit tucked away in a gully. Although these days the amount of snow makes any concern about water irrelevant.
It does, however, highlight to me the difference between my chosen lifestyle, and those of other people.
See, I have no car. This makes me much more reliant on myself, and my physical ableness, to get around. But also less reliant on my job for financial security. Notwithstanding my other reservations about spending, the fact that I am able to avoid owning a car probably has the most to do with the sizable chunk of change I sock away every month.
This is what I wanted, but it also means that I run the same risks as a wild predator of starving to death if I become injured or otherwise disabled. (Which is really not true, a number of local grocery stores delivers and my employer has a nice disability benefit plan, not to speak of the people who would help me.)
But I still like thinking of it that way. Making expeditions out to the stores on foot and hauling back my finds, hopping over snow berms on the way, appeals to my hunter-gatherer instincts.
I didn’t expect that either, although in retrospect I might have. I also didn’t expect my proccupation with physical fitness. (Although the extra inch around my middle that appear during Christmas and Just. Won’t. Leave. might have something to do with that.) I suppose one needs hobbies. I’ve always had a lot of hobbies, but that wasn’t one of them.
In short, there are a few things still missing from my independent life, and several things that are here that I didn’t expect. It’s a mixed bag, but considering that as of this writing my biggest worry is what will happen to a particularly imperiled favorite character on Netflix, I’d say things are going pretty well.