I haven’t had a whole lot of time to write creatively lately. I’ve been writing for graduate school, which, while although productive for me, hasn’t been creatively satisfying. I enjoy the accomplishment of finishing a paper again, but I sincerely believe some of the sense of accomplishment is lost in the fact that the course is 100% online. I’d enjoy if my professor had to pay my compliments to my face instead of my e-mail, but I suppose the ends (Master’s) justify the means (online program).
That’s all just a preface to this whole shebang though. Recently I’ve been feeling an overwhelming sense of cabin fever. It’s the same kind of panic that up-and forced me to move to Chapel Hill, North Carolina on a whim. Cambridge Springs (and the immediate surrounding area) is an incredibly stifling place to reside. I’ve gone through mood swings about having to live here for the last couple of months. Towards the beginning of the school year I was down, because I was teaching and unsatisfied. Now I have graduate school, coaching, and teaching going on and while I feel a moderate sense of accomplishment from completing my first graduate course towards my degree, I still feel like I can accomplish more.
Anyways, that all leads up to this. Cambridge Springs sucks at pretty much everything for an upstarting young man like myself. Aside from the Iron Horse and Sprague’s, there’s really no venue to communicate with people my age. Sure, there’s Edinboro, but every time I find myself there, I get incredibly angry at how much it sucks and the fact that I’m still going out to places I went when I was in college. Which is why a few weeks ago, prior to weeks of formal protest, I took it upon myself to venture up to Erie again, out of season and without any of my ‘regular’ social circle. I needed a diverse crowd. I needed to be able to go somewhere where I didn’t know anyone. I needed to be able to approach someone without any preconceptions of who I am (because I absolutely despise the fact that around this area you can develop a ‘reputation’). I actually loved it. As much as I crap on the city of Erie, State Street can be a very enjoyable place to dwell on the weekends.
I guess the whole point of that is that I enjoy the anonymity of a city. When I moved to Chapel Hill, I was just a really good looking dude with a really stable job, some money to spend, and an amazing sense of humor. Also, I was incredibly modest. Those qualities won’t carry you very far in rural Pennsylvania unless you also happen to own a snowmobile and/or 4-wheeler. And while I enjoy both of those activities, they’re merely recreation. Not passion. And they should never, ever be prerequisites or successful pick-up lines.
But in all honesty, it’s incredibly refreshing to be able to go places where there are people who don’t associate you with something that you did in high school, or what they heard about you at the grocery store, or what their friends told them about you. You can simply go out and just be. Exist. Your interactions can be as sincere and authentic as you want them to be, which I’m sure is something most people who don’t live in a rural area take for granted.