20-Something Life in The City vs. The Burbs

It’s Sunday morning, and I roll out of bed after a much-needed full night of rest and stare out my window. One roommate is up, clanking around the kitchen, but otherwise, there is just a slight breeze that can be heard through the windows and silence.

It’s all too tempting to remain in my bed another hour longer as there really isn’t anything to jump out of bed to do. In order to get anywhere, I have to drive at least 10 minutes away. To get to the city, it’s an hour drive give or take. So, while I’d love to head to Golden Gate Park for a run, instead, I lie in bed, and imagine what it would be like to live in the city.

When I moved out to the Bay Area in 2005, I always assumed I’d end up in San Francisco. But, instead, I’ve managed to live just about everywhere within an hour radius around the city and never in it.

There’s a part of me that feels like I need to experience city life now, before I get “old” and have a family and a reason to trap myself in the ‘burbs. Right now, there’s a piece of satisfaction with life I’m missing, and I think that has a large part to do with not living in the city. I want to be able to go to a figure drawing open session on Tuesday night… or Thurs night. And make new friends that are my age who like to go out and do… things.

Right now, I’m in a coffee shop in San Francisco near the Lower Haight, and the energy here is so city Sunday. Soft music plays, people are talking, reading, enjoying the day. Through the glass in front of me are four women, probably in their early 30s, enjoying a relaxing lunch, the SF version of Sex & the City (more hoodies, ponytails, but probably similar conversation.) And I want that… I want a life outside of work and watching reruns at my boyfriend’s house.

July 1 I have the opportunity to move… I can either stay close to work, or… maybe it’s the right time to make the move to the city. It would mean an hour-long commute to work, and more expensive rent, but it could also mean finding the missing link between my life today and my happiness.

What do you think? Do you live in a city or suburbs? Does living in a city help one be happy and feel more connected in her 20s/30s?

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3 comments

  1. I live in the 'Burbs and love it (although I'd like to move from my subdivision to an "older" part of town). Why do I love it? The abundance of parks, short commute, bars that don't allow smoking and a big back yard for my two dogs to run around in.

    Age has nothing to do with it. Its about having home/work/play all in one area.

  2. gem says:

    I live in the city and I wouldn't trade it for anything. Granted, I live in NYC, which is not the same as living in SF, so I can't really speak to that particular move for you, so perhaps everything I'm going to say in the next paragraph is not applicable…

    But I do think it's strange that you'd be moving further from your job. That commute is really going to kill you after awhile, and you won't want to go out and do all the things that you thought you were going to do once you'd moved to the city. You're going to get home and not even want to think about moving from the couch. Also, moving to the city doesn't automatically make you live that Sex and the City lifestyle. Your new city apartment will not come with four best friends. That whole having friends your age thing can happen where ever you are, and honestly, I didn't meet my friends because I live in the city, I met them because I like having a lot of friends. I had a lot of friends when I lived in suburbia too. It's just my personality to collect friends like Pokemon, and maybe that's not your personality. Which is not a bad thing, but the point is that if you want the Sex and the City lifestyle, you have to be the Sex and the City type.

  3. Briana Ford says:

    I used to feel the exact same way! Every time I went into the city, it was just give me this…light! This burning passion to live there! But when I get home, in quiet Buena Park, I'm happy I live here. It seems like way too much upkeep to live the city life.

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