JR’s Not-So-Literal Blog

Thoughts On My Move – Post Mortem

Posted in Uncategorized by notsoliteral on October 8, 2009

I arrived in Madison, Wisconsin mid-week last week and promptly signed a sub-lease I had found last minute. The actual apartment was no more than 5 minutes off the highway, but as I looked down the major thoroughfare I couldn’t really see anything resembling a downtown city within eyesight.

Thoroughly weary from the 1100 mile trip that I drove alone, I signed over the next 10 months of my life to this apartment complex after I saw the gorgeous loft I’d be living in.

After a sigh of satisfaction to be at my final destination du jour, I chugged the final redbull left over from the trek and emptied the entire U-Haul solo. About midway through I realize a) I’m in better shape than I thought because I doubt most people would be able to lift some of this shit up over their heads, hoof it up a flight of stairs and into an apartment and b) that there was a very busy freeway right outside my patio window… hmmm…

About 15 minute after I got my last articles into the apartment my new coworker Ryan Paugh showed up amused that I beasted the entire truckload myself and horrified that I had signed the lease to this apartment so far from town. While I am inclined to not be confrontational with people, Ryan convinced me that I should absolutely confront the property management company and see what I can do about getting out of my lease or subletting so that I can move closer to town.

Living 7 miles from a downtown area doesn’t seem like any distance at all coming from Boston. You can go 15 miles in any direction and be relatively close to the action. However in Madison, the lifestyle that I want and that I expected is simply better suited in a downtown location.

Being reinforced by everyone I’ve met so far, I am taking actions to get my apartment subleased. I don’t know how long it will take, but I feel good that I’m at least making strides to better my situation.

In the meantime, I’ll say these things about moving half way across the country:

  • People are nicer out here, the drivers are nothing like Massholes and the pace is slower overall. These things are not rumors.
  • Cost of living is CHEAP! You’re not in a major metropolis, but there is a little bit of everything you’d ever want from a city and it’s simply not as expensive to eat, drink and get housing. I’m a fan of that.
  • As a conscientious objector to my dumb ass decision to move into a place sight unseen, I’ve decided to only unpack what I absolutely need. So there are boxes piled everywhere in the loft and I’m doing just fine with what I brought out to use.
  • The previous point makes me realize I have too much shit and that if I can live with a good 2/3 of my stuff in boxes, I really don’t need that 2/3 of materials in my life. Food for thought…

Anyways, my general update is this- I love my new job, my coworkers have been incredibly generous in showing me the ropes, getting me acclimated and being generally good people and Madison looks like the sort of place I could spend a whole lot of time in for the foreseeable future.



16 Responses

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  1. Karla M. said, on October 9, 2009 at 4:38 am

    Hey J! Okay, I just totally made up that nickname so I do apologize if you hate being called that; just think it has a nice ring to it! Great post. I’ve always loved how you write but this one was great, although I’m not here to comment on technical writing; just wanted to say that. πŸ˜‰

    Massholes? Ha! I’ve seen it on tv, and I’ve experienced similar back home in Manila. Although I do love the friendliness and simplicity sans the busy city, one day I woke up and realized how much I missed the rudeness of it all — crazy drivers, people pushing you in the subway, being cussed at… Is that strange? I guess it is. But I guess once a city girl, always a city girl.

    Good luck on that lease thing. Can’t wait to read more about your new life there. πŸ™‚

  2. Andhari said, on October 9, 2009 at 5:47 am

    I know what you mean about big city living and the people. I wanna smack em on daily basis and this might make be a miserable human being from time to time. Glad you got friends and co-workers there helping you out and keeping you arounf, you got killer job πŸ™‚

  3. Katie said, on October 9, 2009 at 1:23 pm

    Welcome to Madison!! I’ve lived in the area my entire life, and personally, I think it’s an awesome place to live πŸ˜‰

  4. Amanda Broman said, on October 9, 2009 at 2:34 pm

    Glad to hear you are getting somewhat settled in. Good luck with your lease situation! It is easy to get “far away” from downtown Madison in a few short miles, although it makes for a short ride when you want to get away. I look forward to hearing more on your transition!

  5. Raine said, on October 10, 2009 at 11:49 pm

    Horray! Congrats on the move! Everything is cheaper out there – it got us into a bit of trouble because we got this super swanky apartment for the same price we were paying in NH, but then got jobs that paid much less. Live and learn. Hope you find a place closer to the action

  6. notsoliteral said, on October 11, 2009 at 4:37 am

    @Karla, I’m developing a bit of an idenity management issue these days. JR, James, Jim, Jimbo, JimmJimminer, Jimmy On the Floor, J-Dubbs, Jubbs, etc… I’ve got nicknames for days. Pick one and use it liberally! As for writing about the developments of my professional and personal life, it shall be documented! The city person will never be expunged from my character no matter how anyone tries. It’s not weird, it’s the city! Urban life baby!

  7. notsoliteral said, on October 11, 2009 at 4:38 am

    @Andhari, the mellowness of Madison is remarkable. I spent the morning at the organic farmers market downtown and then went to a “Dogtoberfest” at a local brewery. Thing I’d honestly never do back home. Don’t know what it is about this place, but I love it!

    The job is the best part though. Loving this place is icing on the cake!

  8. notsoliteral said, on October 11, 2009 at 4:39 am

    @Katie, I’ll be looking for recommendations on what to do around town!

  9. notsoliteral said, on October 11, 2009 at 4:44 am

    @Amanda, I’m doing what’s in my power at the moment, but I won’t go to the extent where it consumed my efforts and affects my mood, you know? I’ll for sure update if anything crops out of my moving efforts.

  10. notsoliteral said, on October 11, 2009 at 4:55 am

    @Raine, I’m def. keeping my price range in mind. Won’t live beyond my means at this point. I want to save some dough over the next few years. Good call though

  11. *uncorked said, on October 19, 2009 at 1:27 am

    Glad you like Madison! I love it up there. My college roommate lives there and we used to go all the time. There are some great restaurants and Halloween is insane up there. Enjoy and welcome to the midwest!

    • notsoliteral said, on October 19, 2009 at 2:22 am

      Ms. Uncorked, thanks! I’m really pumped for Halloween too! I think I’ll be doing semi-frequent Chicago visits too as it’s one of my favorite cities ever and I’ve got friends I haven’t seen for a long time residing there.

  12. Sabera said, on October 20, 2009 at 3:50 pm

    It is truly brave of you to leave a city I am sure you must be deeply attached to, and move to Wisconsin to pursue your passion. Glad to know you love your new workplace and the city you live in! I recently got back from a 10-day trip from Boston and New England and fell in love with Boston! Yes the drivers are far more aggressive but I adore the architecture, the T and the crowd of thinkers and intellectuals all around wherever you go! Frankly, I didn’t want to come back to Minnesota. πŸ™‚

    Good luck with the new phase in life.

  13. notsoliteral said, on October 21, 2009 at 6:45 pm

    Hahaha, I love the rudeness of Bostonites as much as I love it! It’s so strange. Worcester is even more interesting and different. It’s def. a huge change for me, but I have no qualms about making changes, as long as they lead to progress in some form. I refuse to take an steps backwards- life is too short.

  14. Monica O'Brien said, on November 5, 2009 at 6:18 pm

    I definitely think you should get rid of the stuff you are keeping in boxes! It will make you so much happier to be free of that stuff if you truly don’t need it.

    I’m going through my entire house to get rid of stuff this winter. I’m going to sell what I can on EBay or Amazon and trash the rest.

    And welcome to the midwest! You should definitely move to downtown Madison instead of living out by the highway.

    • notsoliteral said, on November 6, 2009 at 4:20 pm

      @Monica, thanks for the comment and I think you’re so right about getting rid of everything. It’s a huge task and sort of requires some semblance of focus and time commitment that I haven’t found during the week. I’m actually planning on putting my books together for what I’m going to sell and keep this weekend.

      Doing all of this will make moving into a smaller apartment close to or right downtown much easier and more enjoyable. Besides, I hate extra space. I’m always much more organized and comfortable in small living spaces for some reason. It’s probably the lifelong urbanite in me.

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