…I depress the suburbs.
Walking with my daughter this morning I was overcome with a feeling of nausea at the suburbs around us.
It’s an old feeling so that means thoughts with momentum. And there are plenty of ways to justify my thoughts.
But the fact remains that I create my reality, and at the very least one might ask “if you don’t like the suburbs, why are you living there?”
Isn’t that kinda dumb?
Well yeah it is.
I heard a woman on an Abraham-Hicks video explaining that she lives in Boston but wants to live in California. That was the defining problem in her life.
The advice was to appreciate Boston first and then decide whether to move or not.
It’s good advice because you take your fault-finding mentality with you most places, and if she couldn’t be happy in Boston then there’s a good chance she wouldn’t be happy in California either.
I thought she was stupid, but I guess I’m stupid too 😅
Finding the positive
The suburbs are convenient because the population density draws in more shops, better roads, more attractions.
Then again, by that logic I’d be happier in the city centre, so why not move there?
Living in the hills is appealing because there’s more space, more nature, more freedom, more beauty.
The suburbs are like a middle-ground that gives people space without losing proximity to others, freedom without losing convenience.
Okay, so why do I really hate it?
I didn’t want to go too negative but sometimes describing how we feel gives clarity.
So for the sake of clarity: when I look at the suburbs I feel like life is small and meaningless. I see each little plot divvied up and built upon in varying degrees of same-old.
I feel the individuality of people circumscribed by standardisation. It’s like each block is a little box, and though they all look different, the differences are superficial.
Not to mention the architecture is frequently hideous.
When I walk by on a cold day I can only assume people spend all their time indoors or away from home, and I struggle to feel uplifted at the thought of their lives contained and defined by these ugly – and audaciously expensive – little allotments.
Bringing it home
Everything I just wrote says far more about me than it does about the suburbs. I mean, you could totally agree with me but just not care, right?
That’s because it’s not about other people and their houses, it’s about me and my thoughts.
These houses are like the one I grew up in. I’m a stone’s throw away from the suburb where I lived most of my life.
To me these suburbs represent a way of life bereft of idealism and joy; they represent acceptance of ugly convention at great personal cost and burden.
I don’t feel this way when I visit friends or relatives in their homes – it’s deeply personal. When I imagine strangers’ lives in these suburbs I project onto them my own thoughts and feelings.
So I am the one who feels as though my life is constrained and confined by the expectations and conventions of others. Yet no one ever told me where to live or what to do. I just inferred what was “normal” and made it into my own constraint.
I looked at what “everyone” was doing and railed against it. In Abraham-Hicks terms that’s a perfect way to get more of what I don’t like.
In the end I think I live in the suburbs because it’s what I’m used to. I think we chose to live here because it was familiar, and I felt that I could only break with the familiar if I was really sure of what I wanted.
Living in the suburbs is like a holding pattern in lieu of knowing where I really want to live.
But that itself is a form of resistance, raising the bar on how sure I needed to be of a decision that breaks from the norm.
Back then less bad wasn’t good enough for me. I was intensely all or nothing and with that attitude I was pretty much guaranteed to wind up with nothing.
I’m sorry, suburbs. You didn’t deserve so much hate. You never asked me to be here in the first place and it’s not your fault I stayed. We don’t need to like each other, and we really don’t need to live together anymore.
The beauty of knowing what you don’t want is, in A-H terms, that you know implicitly what you do want. You just need to stop focusing on the unwanted long enough to let the wanted in.