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Taylor Swift has a song called “Welcome To New York” on her album 1989. It’s a catchy tune. I bet when she wrote that song she was reminiscing about when she first bought an apartment in the city. It talks about living life in the Big Apple and how everything is possible there. It’s a song about hope and the idea that a change of scenery can really, truly change your life.
I’m not here to tell you that moving somewhere new ISN’T going to change your perspective on shit, but I am going to tell you that you’re a fool if you think every single one of your problems can be solved by packing your things into a U-Haul and moving to a sprawling metropolis.
I always laugh when people tell me that they’re moving to a different city to “start fresh.” I don’t tell them that they’re an idiot to their face, but you can be rest assured that I am thinking it. Your life cannot, and should not, be decided for you by a listicle that you read at your dead-end job called “Top Cities For Millennials To Move To.”
It must be a chip hardwired into stupid people of this earth. I don’t know if this is an inherently American thing to do or not but it sure seems like it. This belief that moving to a new city is going to give you a spiritual reawakening that you wouldn’t otherwise experience in your current climate.
This isn’t a millennial issue, either. This is an issue that has plagued stupid people for generations. They say things like “I just think [insert popular destination for twenty-somethings here] is where I really need to be right now. I just need to find myself, ya know?” And I don’t know.
I don’t understand this line of thinking. But I nod along anyways because I don’t want to tell them the truth. I don’t want to say what my brain is screaming for me to say. And what my brain is telling me to say is that no one can defeat depression, anxiety, or an existential void by moving to a new city.
That’s not how it works. Problems follow you wherever you go, and no amount of skyscrapers or gentrified neighborhoods with hip coffee shops is going to change that. I know people who go through a breakup or find themselves in a rut at work and just up and move to a new, completely random city under the guise that everything will just work itself out because they’re somewhere new.
Have I heard of people succeeding and really enjoying their new surroundings when they do up and move? Yeah, absolutely. But far too often I see people moving somewhere for the wrong reasons.
Your problems in life take time to solve. Taking shortcuts (i.e. moving to a different city) is never the answer. It’s a quick fix for something that requires much more than a new zip code. Maybe calling someone stupid for trying to rid themselves of the past is a little harsh, but I think we’re severely lacking in the “harsh truths” department these days.
Spending thousands of dollars to move somewhere new just to tell your friends that you’re moving somewhere new is not worth it. There are just so many other ways to get yourself out of a rut. Dye your hair, buy a crazy outfit, or have a stupid one night stand with someone you met at a bar.
Do anything other than try to move to New York or Los Angeles because you think that’s what you’re supposed to do. Stupid people do that. You’re not stupid, though. You’re just in a rut, and you’re going to remain in that rut whether you change locations or not..