shhh... it's a secret

Friday, June 25, 2010

Mountain Girl, meet City Girl

"Well, I guess you're the city girl."

Or so says my mom, the last time I spoke to her.
I guess she's right.

I couldn't imagine returning to my hometown for any extensive length of time. A weekend is fine, a night is better, but anything more than that is just unbearable.

I grew up in a small town in the Adirondacks in Northern NY. As in, two hours north of Albany (yes, NY State continues beyond Albany, and I'm not talking about Buffalo either). I suppose it could have been worse. I mean, if we're talking crime, well, crime was pretty much non-existent in my hometown. A picturesque town boasting a population of 1,250 (2008), my hometown is one of the most serene and non-threatening places you could raise a family. Of course, it's also one of the most boring, uneventful and seriously lacking in opportunity towns to grow up in. It's no surprise that very few young residents stick around after graduation. In fact, as soon as I graduated, I cut out of there as fast as I could.

 My hometown. Yes, this is actually a picture of the town I grew up in. Believe it or not. 
In case you're wondering, my homes (yes, plural) were miles away from here. In the mountains.

Ever since I left, I've been trying to find my place in the world. So far, that journey has taken me to five different regions in NY state. It seems the closer I get to large, metropolitan areas, the happier I am. Despite my introverted tendencies. I'm pretty positive I was born to be a city girl. I blame the ADD in me. I crave activity and nightlife and excitement and chaos and attention and sushi at 10 pm and pizza at 3 am. I want it all. I need it all. That wasn't always the case, however.

I am a born-and-raised, true-blue, mountain girl. I spent my summers barefoot. I swam in mountain lakes and rode four-wheelers down mountain roads. I picked blackberries with my sisters, while keeping an eye out for bears. I can drive a stick-shift, and I know how to drive in the snow, ice and rain. I know what it's like to have to hike up the driveway because it's too muddy/icy to drive up. I've seen deer gutted, skinned and hanging from the rafters of a garage. I know what poutine, Red Hots and Michigans are and I know where to get the best of both.

The house my dad built. Literally. I lived here for a majority of the first 15 years of my life. 
My dad used to own over 100 acres of the surrounding forests.

I've partied in the woods, around a bonfire, with mosquitoes nipping at my ankles. I've partied on the Lake while middle-aged women parade around in their obscenely small bikinis. I've partied in run-down bars in the middle of nowhere featuring strippers who were missing their teeth (a story for another day). I've partied in bars with rednecks, hicks and townies. I've partied at pig roasts. I've partied in fields with guitar-playing, bongo-pounding hippies. I've partied with the band. I've partied with the cooks. I partied on the Swastika (there's a story behind this). I've partied in the snow, the rain, the sun, the sleet and the mud. I've partied in tents, in trailers, in trucks and in back-woods camps. Oh yes, I have partied in the mountains.

In the mountains, function comes before fashion. In the mountains, sometimes you have to bathe in the lake when your well has dried up during a particularly dry summer. In the mountains, you know how to live with no power for a week when there's an ice storm. In the mountains, you can't get cable, high-speed internet or cell phone coverage. In the mountains, your neighborhood is the woods.

Growing up, my sisters and I spent hours playing in the woods. I loved the smell of the woods, and I loved to wander through them and imagine that I was in some other country or fantasy land. The woods were my refuge when I was sad, angry or lonely. Being so surrounded by nature was calming and peaceful. Of course, it was also very isolating and restricting.

 The areas of NYS that I've lived in. See how I've been making my way down the state? 
Obviously the city has been calling to me for years and drawing me closer and closer.

I fell in love with big cities after my first trip to NYC. It only took two more trips to NYC and a trip to Philadelphia to solidify my desire to live in a metropolitan area. In a couple of days I'll be moving to the outskirts of DC. While in my heart I will always be a mountain girl, I'm super excited to become a city girl. I can't wait to explore the DC area and discover new things. And hopefully find a job along the way as well. Call me crazy, but I love the idea of walking everywhere and riding public transportation (I'm sure that novelty will wear off pretty quickly).

Over the past eight or nine months, I have made several trips to NOVA and the DC area, and I'm psyched to become a part of the city lifestyle. While I have some reservations about my move, these reservations are limited to the personal aspects of my life. I have no reservations about living in NOVA/DC. The food, the nightlife, the hustle and bustle and excitement of it all (and hopefully better job prospects)... I can't wait!

Me, in the mountains. Some of you might remember this picture from my first ever blog header. 
Or was it my second?

Of course, my change in lifestyle will inevitably affect my blog. While I hope to maintain a constant presence in the blogging community, I can't guarantee that I will be able to follow through with that. That being said, here's what I anticipate for my blog down the road:
  • I hope to make "Previously on the OBG" a regular feature on Mondays, but those posts are a lot of work and not always worth it, but I anticipate my weekends to be more fun and exciting, so I'll probably have more to write about. Eh, let's see how this one goes.
  • Random Shit Tuesday will stay. I always have random shit to say.
  • I expect to dedicate my infrequent weekend posts to the shit that I like. For example, my I ♥ Etsy posts and other things that are more for me as a way to document me and my style preferences. No one reads blogs on the weekends anyways, right?
  • As for the rest of the week, I expect to still bring you the intelligent, insightful, clever writing that I've been bringing to you all along. Wait, what? Yeah, you heard me. I'm insightful, intelligent and clever. And you will be hearing from me. I just can't guarantee it will be every day. Like I said, we'll see how it goes.
I'm sure I'll have lots of tales to tell and experiences to report upon. Maybe I'll find myself a job and regale you all with work-related posts. Or maybe I'll make tons of new friends and share my wild times with you. Or maybe I'll just bitch about the horrors of moving and starting over. Or maybe I'll become one of those bloggers who talks about my personal relationships. No I won't. Don't worry, I'll never be that person (not that there's anything wrong with that, it's just not for me). 

In the meantime, if anyone has any NOVA/DC advice or suggestions, I would love to hear them. I'm talking about good places to live. Good places to eat. Good places to go on the weekends. Good places to shop. How to survive the Metro. And so on and so on.

I hope I'm making the right decision with this move. This Mountain Girl is about to become a City Girl. Wish me luck!


Lindsay said...

I lived in DC for a year about 8 years ago. I loved it! I was only 23, but I was working at an international organization so I met so many people from all over the world while I was there. I'm sure you will too!

Dupont Circle is a great place to live, or sort of north(ish) of Georgetown. Except if I remember correctly, Georgetown isn't on the metro and you have to take a bus.

As for the metro, it's easy peasy. One of my biggest pet peaves in Montreal is metro etiquette. Nobody here waits for everyone to get off before they all pile in and it drives me nuts. And in DC, everyone is so polite. Not one person gets on until the last person gets off. As a Montrealer, it was something I really appreciated.

Good luck in your new city!

Erin said...

I lurve DC. You are going to have a blast. Good luck with the Metro, heh. It's great to have lived both lives - country and city. Makes you well rounded. :-)

Shelley Weber said...

I was wondering what your plans were, seeing as today is the day you told me you were moving out... I never sent you the thing, I have it here waiting...
also, are you coming to visit me?

MeredithDuck said...

POUTINE! How I love it. Now you have me craving it and I can't get it her in Michigan! Darn, guess its time to hook up the deep fryer. :)

Good luck to you on your move. I understand the longing for a city. I was from a small town, couldn't want to live in the big city, but I only made it as far as Detroit and this city has made me long for country yet again. But I will always appreciate the convenience of a big city (other than Detroit).

Now after I totally dogged Detroit - if you ever want to teach ceramics in an after school program here I'll hook you up! ;)

Didactic Pirate said...

I have several responses to this post.

1) Congratulations on the next chapter you're about to start. Change is good. Not for me, but for everyone else.

2) When you talk about growing up in the Adirondacks, you sound like me talking about growing up in the Rockies.

3) As one of your loyal readers, I should tell you that, regardless of what you choose regarding future blog maintenance, I require constant care and nurturing. All the time.

Miss Nikki said...

Sorry, but THE best poutine in the world is in the poutine capital: Alfred, Ontario. They use REAL potatoes and REAL curds, I think they even invented it... I (being a french-canadian) am obligated to love poutine (pronounced poo-tsin, not teen). It's a way of life for us...

And like you, mountain girl meets city girl. Grew up in a boring burb, but my mom is from Northern Ontario where I spent major parts of my summers. The only thing I can't really say "check" to is the gutting of a deer. But I have eaten: deer, moose, caribou, geese, wabbit, duck, beaver (the animal, not the she-kind variety), arctic char, RAW caribou, every kind of fresh and salt water fish you can imagine... but I LOVE CITY LIFE!!! Love public transportation.

I'm jealous of you for your move to DC. Hope you enjoy it!!!

One Blonde Girl said...

@ Lindsay- Thanks for the tips!

@ Erin- Thanks!

@ Shelley- Yeah, so I was I. I've been going back and forth with this for awhile (and still kind of am). What are your plans late July?

@ MeredithDuck- Me too. *sigh* hmmmm... gravy... Thanks for the possible job hook-up! (where were you two months ago?)

@ Didactic P- 1) Thanks. I seem to crave it. 2) Mountain living is unique 3) Duly noted

@ Miss Nikki- Good to know. And wow, you're far more adventurous than I am when it comes to eating wild game. Thanks!

itsallabitrandom said...

Soooo congrats on your move. I'm jealous. I have wanted to move forever but upping three kids from USA to another country or even just another state is all together undesirable.

However, I am from the big bad Atlanta and our public transport is Marta. The BEST way to make sure you're left alone if an unruly and possibly life threatening group eyes you....start talking to yourself and fidgeting a lot. Or go sit next to the guy that is doing it already


Hipstercrite said...

wait...there is more of the state up above albany!? ;)
you have no idea how much i can relate to this. well, yes, you do. i thought cortland was small, but i guess your town has us beat.
i could write a post exactly like this, but it's an emotional area i have yet to fully understand. i want to feel like ny is my home, considering it is where i lived until i was 20, but i can't. besides ithaca, i can't imagine living anywhere in upstate ny. when i think about, i feel stifled.... :(

MeredithDuck said...

OH MY GOD. I just re-read my post and saw all my many typos.

I ain't stoopid. I'm just a fast typer that don't proof read stuf.

(now while I was trying to make that last statement funny I almost typed "fat typer" and that ain't cool, that's downright cruel.)

Salt said...

Ahhh welcome to the area! I don't know much about NoVa or DC, but if you ever need any good recs for cool things to do in Baltimore or Annapolis, I'm your gal!

That house that your father built is so beautiful! said...

I'm a mountain girl too! Grew up in the mountains. Lived in SF and LA for the past 10 years, but the mountains will always be in my heart!

Good luck!

One Blonde Girl said...

@ itsallabitrandom- Thanks! I'm really good at talking to myself. And fidgeting. Thanks for the tips.

@ Hipstercrite- I know, right? Who woulda thunk it. Having been a frequent visitor to Cortland when I was young (and having lived there for a year), I can attest that yes, it is small, but compared to where I grew up, Cortland was a metropolitan (okay, I may be exaggerating). And I can totally relate to your feelings of being stifled.

@ MeredithDuck- No worries. I'm a fast reader, so I barely even noticed.

@ Salt- Ooh... thanks! I've heard some good things about Baltimore.

@ hiphophippie- You can take the girl out of the mountains, but you can't take the mountain out of the girl. Thanks!

One Blonde Girl said...

p.s.@ Salt- The house is pretty unique. The top floor (with all the windows) is a greenhouse. Who has a greenhouse on the top floor of their house? Yeah, we did! The basement has a concrete floor, and my sisters and I used to roller skate laps around it. (It's on the market, btw. Just saying.)

madi.d said...

im so jealous that you're about to move to DC. Good luck, I'm excited to hear about all of your adventures..well, read about them anyway.

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