Sunday, April 21, 2013

Big City Living

I love these few moments of quiet and peacefulness in the early morning, when I've got sunlight streaming in through my window, some cereal and fruit, and some uninterrupted time to think, read, pray, and plan my day. Before I leave for church I want to pull together a study plan for this entire week, as my first exam is a week from tomorrow. And I have 3 exams next week, which I don't really want to think about at all!

This week has been a little bit of a whirlwind, but it's been good, because I got some very important things taken care of once and for all--such as finding and signing a lease on an apartment for the summer. I finally was able to drive into the city yesterday, look at the place, and sign all the paperwork, and I can't tell you what a relief it is to know that my home this summer isn't going to be the Best Western or Holiday Inn!

And just like that, I, the self-declared small-town girl who's never really wanted to live in a big city, will be living right smack dab in the middle of one of the biggest cities. There will be skyscrapers right outside my 9th floor window and the dull roar of traffic on the street far below. I couldn't be closer to the rhythm of city life. I've never wanted to live in a big city because I've always been afraid. Afraid of not knowing my way around, afraid of driving in heavy traffic, afraid of not being able to keep myself and my stuff safe from unsavory characters, afraid of the constant noise, chaos, and activity. The introvert in me who prefers my quiet spaces--my early mornings, untarnished by the chaos of the day--is still a little afraid. The girl who has struggled in the past with a fear of driving that's pretty much borderline driving anxiety disorder (is that a thing? It should be, because I have it, or at least I have had it before) is still a little afraid of waking up in the morning and fighting my way through the traffic and trying not to get lost or have an accident.

But the job I wanted was there, not here and not somewhere else. And I felt God telling me that it's time to face this fear, once and for all, because I can't let it hold me back forever. And telling me that the only way to eventually do something unafraid is to first do it afraid. I mean, think about it. The first time I went to school, rode a bike, spoke in front of people, had a job interview, went to a college class, and spent the night in my own apartment all have something in common--I was totally terrified. But imagine if I never did any of those things because I was afraid. I'd never get to the point where I am now--where every single one of those things feels like second nature.

So I'm still afraid, but I decided that this is the summer that big city living gets stricken from my laundry list of fears. I don't predict that I'll end the summer as an absolute convert to that lifestyle or wanting to pursue it long-term after graduation, but that's ok. I just need to know that if I want to or need to, I can. So I'm not going to just live on the outskirts, in a suburb, allowing myself the bare minimum necessary exposure to the place--I'm going to live in the middle of it. Where I can open my window and practically touch the skyscrapers next to me.

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