This love-hate relationship has worn thin. I have nothing to prove by living here, by putting my kids through its private schools or public schools, by shelling out more than 6k in property taxes--and for what? For nothing. For parking tickets on Saturdays and condoms on the sidewalk and access to free farmers markets and festivals on the green that are available to suburbanites and New Haveners alike.
I'm burnt out. I'm sick of the smallness and the silly drama and the pathetically small social scene. I have been consistently retreating for more than a year, sliding into my own world with but a few, choice friends and my amazing children. I want to be deeply drinking in fresh air and planting flowers. I can do that elsewhere and not be taxed to death for it.
I'm sick of the hipsters. The aging hipsters. The hipster parents who so desperately need their children to be an extension of their own, enormous egos bloated with the hot air of low self-esteem. I'm so sick of the Yale vs Townie nonsense, the hateful Craigslist postings about the city and its people. I'm so sick of the push and pull in the city's politics, social service agencies, and nonprofits. I'll volunteer. I'll contribute. But I don't really trust anyone with the power to make decisions.
And no matter how much I love this town, for all of its parks and food and hot spots and secret hideaways and open markets and quiet corners and summer beat and rich history and its East Rock and West Rock and all the stories in between, I no longer know if this is where I want to put down roots for the rest of my life.
Last night I sat in Heide's notinNewHaven living room, chowing on green tea ice cream and talking about the big and small things in life, love, work, parenthood. I heard the frogs, the peepers, singing their spring chorus from the huge patch of skunk cabbage on Heide's property. It was a break from my usual routine. It gave me perspective. It gave me a quiet night with a girlfriend. It gave me a chance to have some time alone in my car on the ride home and realize that my gut is a lot smarter than my head.
I don't need to live in New Haven to love--or hate--New Haven.
I think it might be time to exit the vortex. And I might buy a kayak on my way out.