Thursday, January 3, 2008

Confessions of a Wayward, Over-Acheiving, Type A Neurotic

Since moving to Bozeman I've found myself answering the same question every single day with a lie. "So, how are you liking Bozeman?" some unsuspecting soul will ask me. And, in an effort to be kind, or conversational, or at the very least not come off as a complete jerk, I'll respond with something to the tune of, "oh, it's real cute," or "the area is really pretty" or the closest to the truth, "well, I really haven't seen it all yet, but it seems nice." Uh huh. Right. The real story, the real, cold, hard, bitter truth is that Bozeman and I haven't exactly gotten off to the best start.

First of all, I got a tad lost my first night here and I never get lost. And then there was housing --could I really live with three dogs and a cat? Then there was the car insurance and it's bastard cousin, American health insurance, which, of course, was a special torture all it's own. AND THEN there was the whole growing pains of settling in to a new job and a new office culture which, let's be honest here, is almost never easy no matter where or who you are. Add to the above the mild to moderate stress of finding/not finding new friends in Bozeman, spending New Year's holiday in a strange and unfamiliar place, a week of shivering non-stop, not getting the second job I wanted, a raging case of PMS, a lack of exercise, not "feeling cute" and too much sugar in my diet and you have what I like to call, The Perfect Freak Out.

I screamed. I yelled. I even stomped my foot. And then I called my freak out buddy, Robin, and left a long, rambling, slightly deranged "I can't do this!" message on her cell phone before finally bursting into tears and tearing into the chocolate orange my mom gave me for Christmas. A low point? Maybe. A dam finally giving way? You bet.

Why did everything have to be so difficult here!? Why couldn't one thing, just one stupid, sodding thing work out like I had planned? Come on, Universe! Give me a break!!!!!

And then I realized (after a great deal of pouting, slouching around the house, and eye-balling the job ads in three different states) that I was being an idiot. In reality (a place I sometimes visit) my housing situation is better than I could have imagined, my first project at my new job is pretty cool, my New Year's was actually very nice, I now know at least a dozen people in Bozeman, and to top it all off, car and health insurance problems aren't specific to me so I had better just stop whining about that right now. So while I may have thought that the world was coming to an end in Bozeman, MT, I was in fact quite wrong.

I'm not sure why I calmed down, I just did. I think it was the realization that while moving here might have been a bit rough, and while I do have a legitimate beef about some things that didn't turn out the way I expected, the experience on the whole really hasn't been all that bad. In fact, this is turning out to be a great experience for me and if I look at how my life was a year ago today, I'd have to say that I have absolutely nothing to complain about.

So, with this fresh new perspective (admittedly something akin to, 'hey it could be worse') I decided to be healthy and positive and grabbed one of the dogs to go for a walk. My house is less than a half mile from Main street, but as cold as it's been I've mainly stuck to sitting within a five-foot radius of the wood stove for the last week. Now, with the sun out and the bitter chill gone from the air, it was kind of nice to be outdoors. I might have even had a post-freak out skip in my step. Soon Sage-the-dog and I found ourselves window shopping in the busy and eclectic downtown area, happily accepting smiles and friendly greetings from the locals and making mental notes of cute cafes to stop in the next time I needed an espresso. This was kind of fun. I even smiled. Bozeman, to my surprise, was actually a cute town filled with very friendly people. Who knew?

And now as I sit here with my tea and three sleeping dogs at my feet watching snow-covered hills turn pink from the light of the sunset, I really do feel that things here might just be all right. Well, really--why not? Things could be worse.

No comments: