The Claustrophobia of Convenience

The year-and-a-half I’ve resided in DC proper has been my first experience with small town living. That probably sounds odd given that it’s a big city filled with lots of people. For perspective, I lived in ten different towns before I turned twelve. After settling in the place I call home – Annapolis – I lived a very suburban life. We drove everywhere. There were three different grocery stores that were equidistant, several convenience stores, all sorts of shopping plazas, etc. Then I commuted to college, traveled all over the state and the east coast for various extracurricular activities, and went to a school the size of a small city so it was easy to go an entire day not seeing a familiar face. For the most part, the friends I spent time with lived in Baltimore, Silver Spring, or at least the other side of town. When I started dating, none of the guys ever lived in my own town. In short, I was out and about and on the go all the time.  

Then I moved to DC. My office (old and new one, for that matter) is about a mile from my apartment and nearly all of my life takes place within that one little mile. Almost all the bars and restaurants I frequent are on the walk home, I go to the same grocery store week in and week out, when I need something at an odd hour I go to the convenience store on my block, five coworkers and a couple friends live within a three block radius and I bump into them often, and the three guys I’ve had more than a passing fascination with in the last year and a half are all there too — one works on my block and the other two live within a few blocks along the route I often run. I rarely go to other parts of the city because I’m still not a huge fan of the extra time one has to allot for public transit and, truth be told, I can find most things I need and want right here (such is the convenience of my tiny slice of real estate).

The same things, the same places, the same people, the same memories — in short my entire life at the moment — is on top of me all of the time and I’m constantly bumping into it. It’s like living in the smallest town I’ve ever known and, though it certainly has its benefits and one can’t argue against the convenience, I’m not sure I’ll ever fully adjust.


2 responses to “The Claustrophobia of Convenience

  1. I often struggle with what you highlight in your post. I have to actively try not to stay here, do the same thing and have the same memories even tho it is extremely convenient.

  2. I never though I’d live as close to a city as I do now- growing up in New England Suburbia I never imagine my life taking me here- but I’m glad it did and I love it!

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