Apparently, we live in the fourth most dangerous city in America:
"CQ Press has published its rankings for 2008. The most dangerous cities are New Orleans, followed by Camden, N.J., Detroit (last year's No. 1), St. Louis, Oakland, Flint, Mich., Gary, Ind., Birmingham, Ala., Richmond, Calif., and North Charleston, S.C."
Interesting. I feel annoyed (car break-ins) and frustrated, but not unsafe. I walk alone at night a lot, and sure, every once in a while my ears prick up, but generally, I feel safe enough to wander outside after midnight with headphones on and nothing but my keys and my running shoes.
Likely it's because the city is so different from area to area. I mean, certain areas may be dangerous, but I find that the areas I have inhabited are pretty safe. And I have lived in several parts of the city. Annoying neighbors who beat each other up? Sure, in some places. Drugs? Oh, yeah. But fear of rape and murder? Not where I have lived.
This all has a point.
Ever since I came back here in 2000 (1? I have a hard time remembering it all now...) I have wanted to leave again. I hate to bad-talk this place, but I dislike it intensely. I don't "fit in". Not in a "I'm such a loser outsider" way, but in an "I'm not into baseball and I hate summer and by interests are better served elsewhere" way.
I left Colorado years ago because I had to. Or so I thought. I was in a relationship that had gone south quickly, I had a great job but lived in an area where waiting lists for apartments were years long, and I was 20 years old. I was scared.
So I came back here, tried to go back to school, and basically, my life went to hell.
But that isn't the point here.
I have been back to Colorado five times since I moved back here. Each time, I feel a little sadder when I leave. As I drive up 70 towards Summit County, it's like I am home. I can finally breathe, and I realize I have been holding my breath all along.
And I am scared that I will never get out of here.
So my idea for the coming year is simple: I need to change my lifestyle just a bit so that I pay off every debt I have. I have to make something of myself, whether it is teaching a lot of Pilates or finally just writing that novel or bartending...I don't care, I have to do something. Because I want to move. No, I NEED to move.
Crime stats or not, I think that everyone has a place that feels like home. A lot of times, this isn't where we actually live. That makes me sad. I believe fully in "the power of place" and feel like where we live affects our health, our children's/pets' health, our happiness, and our ability to achieve things.
I know it will be difficult, but I need to try harder to make this happen. I know that all four of us (!) will be so much happier somewhere else.
I resolve to pay off all my debt before July 2010.
That starts in January 2009.
In the meantime, it's time for a big spending binge!
I know, I know. I'm so predictable.
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