i keep having experiences with some form of media that make me want to relocate to a new place.
first, i read the geography of bliss, in which a grumpy npr correspondent globe-trots for a year to visit some of the happiest (and unhappiest) places in the world and try to glean some secrets to leading a happy life. (as a sidenote, i think it’s amazing that there are social scientists who actually study the nature of happiness, which seems to me such an elusive and situational phenomenon. awesome.) he visits iceland, which, apparently, is consistently in the top ten happiest countries each year. for that entire chapter of the book, i was thinking how much it sounded like a place i wanted to live: it’s eclectic and everyone is a recreational artist, if not a professional one; it is small and quaint and everyone knows everyone; most people believe in ghosts/spirits/magic as a matter of fact; people change jobs all the time with fluidity because failure is seen as a great try that didn’t quite work out, and trying is admired; it is in an almost perpetual state of night, even in the afternoon; instead of binge-drinking because they’re miserable, icelanders binge-drink because they’re happy. it just sounds like such a pleasant place to live. i’m hoping to make a trip there during the summer.
and when i first jay-z’s song “empire state of mind,” and heard alicia keys belt out the chorus, i started crying because her voice was so beautiful and what she was singing was so inspiring. new york is the epitome of the american city, and is essentially a microcosm of the u.s. as a whole. all the good stuff that happens, happens in new york. i’ve never been there, but hearing that song made me want to pick up and move there immediately. alicia sings that new york is “what dreams are made of! there’s nothing you can’t do!” and i think to myself, “yeah! i can do anything!” and then she sings “these streets will make you feel brand new! big lights will inspire you!” and i think “yeah! i want to feel renovated! i could go for some inspiration, too!” the song just leaves me with a good feeling, and with the feeling that new york is the place to be. i’m going to apply to a few graduate schools in new york next year, so it could be a reality (maybe/hopefully).
i think i must just be restless. i’ve been in seattle for four years, which isn’t really that long, but i’ve experienced the equivalent of a lifetime here. i’m ready for a change of scenery, with the possibility of return.