Out of my element and frustrated!

I'm so frustrated! I just spent nearly 2 hours running 2 errands and realizing how out of place I feel outside of New York.

Drove to the bank. As I approached it, I saw the drive-through thingy and realized that I have no idea how that works. So I parked and went inside. I've done all my banking at ATMs for so long (since the bank lines in NYC are so insane), that I don't know how to interact with a teller. So, even though I was the only customer in the branch, I made a deposit at their ATM.

Then, backing out of my parking space, I gently bumped the parked car next to me - not hard enough to leave a mark, but just enough to make me feel like a complete idiot. Three guys in suits standing in the lot chuckled at me and shook their heads.

Made my way to the grocery store. The place is huge. Now, when I was in NYC picturing my life outside of it, I visualized visits to the grocery store as fun and relaxing - there would be so much space, so much variety! But after half an hour in this place I was exhausted. I couldn't find anything I wanted (hummus and sorbet were epic hunts with little reward, and I never did find sandwich bags), but was surrounded by crap I really didn't want - why is there a whole aisle of stuffed animals and greeting cards in a grocery store?!

I know none of this is tragic. But everything about getting around here feels foreign to me, I can't get into the rhythm. I miss the efficiency of NYC, the way I just had my bag and everything I needed was in it. All I needed to travel was my Metrocard - no car to lock up each time I get out, no parking to find.

And being an out-of-practice driver really sucks. I drove for 1 year in high school, and rarely ever since, and that was 13 years ago. I expected driving again to feel self-sufficient, liberating - but so far it feels like a burden and an embarrassment.

Overall, I feel like I'm 16 years old again, learning how to do all these "adult" things that weren't part of New York life. When, if ever, will this stuff feel natural?

Views: 23

Comment by Mari Brown on November 17, 2009 at 7:22pm
your point about feeling 16 years old again, learning how to do "adult" things is a GREAT one. it reminds me again of adit's point about nyc letting you stay younger longer...though, of course, nyc makes one an adult in other ways...
Comment by Anna on November 17, 2009 at 7:45pm
Thanks, Mari. How long did it take for you to feel comfortable with Boulder's pace - and with driving? (Didn't you learn from scratch?)
Comment by Mari Brown on November 18, 2009 at 5:12pm
as will not surprise you, anna, i work in extremes - so at first i *totally loved* boulder's pace, everything about it, and then one day became *totally frustrated* with the slowness. after bouncing back and forth between these two extremes for ... a month? ... i got into the groove. but i think this might be another place where you think about how long it took you to get used to "times square."
Comment by Anna on November 18, 2009 at 5:38pm
I would imagine that that bounciness is a pretty common reaction to leaving New York. What about the car/baggage thing? I feel like I can't get into the rhythm of car transportation - knowing what should stay in the car, and what to carry in my purse; having to find parking, roll up the windows, lock the doors, and grab my purse every time I get somewhere; figuring out how long it takes to get somewhere; dealing with shopping carts in parking lots... I just feel like while I can carry less on myself physically, there are a lot more little logistical things to deal with. When did that stuff start feeling as natural as carrying your laptop everywhere and swiping your Metrocard through the turnstile?
Comment by Mari Brown on November 18, 2009 at 5:59pm
dude, shopping carts in parking lots. that is difficult. also difficult: not killing people in parking lots. was i this reckless as a pedestrian?
Comment by Adit Nathan on November 19, 2009 at 2:07am
You're bit about the bank is HILARIOUS, because I totally feel the EXACT same way. Even to this day. I still don't use the dumb drive-through banking nonsense. I park and walk up to the ATM EVERY time!

With the driving/parking/shopping/banking stuff, I think it took me a few months. Especially the parking. Not so bad in Texas where they build a 50 acre parking lot next to every store, but Seattle is sort of like a hybrid if you actually live in the city. Sometimes there's a lot, sometimes it's the street, sometimes you pay a meter, sometimes not. I was just thinking the other day about one of the first times I went downtown to just run an errand. It was a little daunting. Park? Pay a meter? Is it worth it? Should I take the bus? How close do I try to get parking? I sort of stressed the shit out of it.

I'd say it got to feel more natural after a few months. If I had to do that sort of thing every single day, maybe weeks. The grocery store, well that's another story. That just sounds like you're an old person who's used to things "a certain way." hehe
Comment by Adit Nathan on November 19, 2009 at 2:07am
Hey, BTW. I'm in your HOME STATE!


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