I don't consider myself a permanent resident of any town unless I have a library card. I've lived in my average-sized, northeastern Wisconsin town for nine months, and have yet to get a library card. The library is probably 82 steps from work, but I just couldn't do it. Paying a quarter and flashing a billing statement for proof of residency was just too big a step.
But write this down: next week I get a library card. I know, this is big.
I've got a problem settling anywhere. I last one year, pack up and move on. My mind changes, I make decisions on impulse, and next thing I know I'm loading a U-haul and heading to an average-sized, northeastern Wisconsin town. Five months ago I wanted to move to Alaska. Three months ago it was Wisconsin's capitol. One year ago I was set on where I was: a safe, Milwaukee suburb with expensive rent. And now here I am. It's certainly no Alaska. Or Milwaukee, for that matter. And I think I'm going to stay.
I'm taking baby steps to ease into this process. The first step was agonizing over it. One day, if I ever officially settle into an actual life, I'd like to be closer to my family. A two-hour drive is too much gas and not as convenient as I'd like. Or as my family would like, for that matter. But I've settled on the fact that there's no settling any time soon. Besides, I'm only 23. (For one more week and six days. Write that down.) The next step was a little more painful: searching for a part-time job. It still makes me cringe. But it needs to be done if I'm going to stick around and afford to eat. And then comes the apartment search. I've got less than four months to find a suitable home for myself and my children. And by children I mean cats. And by suitable I mean less than $400 a month with no cockroaches. Or butterflies.
I don't know what made me decide to stick around (for at least another lease.) Wait. Yes, I do. Work has become much more pleasant - something I thought would never happen. I enjoy what I do almost as much as I enjoy the people I work with. And this average-sized, northeastern Wisconsin town isn't so bad. It's got green grass, blue sky, big lakes and good running trails. I'm sold. For now.
My family isn't going anywhere, and neither am I. Inevitably gas will get cheaper or I'll move closer. But in the meantime, there are books to be read. And I can't read them without a library card.