It's become really difficult to get myself to write in here when I have so many other places I need to be writing. I'm half tempted to just start pasting in emails that I've sent to my mom and grandma so that I don't have to repeat everything I've been telling them.
I'm writing from Baltimore. The trip was fairly uneventful; even the cat traveled better than expected, without the kitty tranquilizers (I got a couple from the vet just in case). She stayed overnight in the room with us at an Econo-lodge in Ohio, too, without any trouble. The only casualty of moving has been a lamp with a glass-paned shade; two of the panes and two of the bulbs got broken (the third has since burnt out). I was able to super-glue the panes back together (though it's obvious where they cracked) and it seems to be holding just fine.
In lieu of my last post though, I am learning quickly -- mostly not from firsthand experience -- that the "good" and "bad" sections of Baltimore aren't so clearly defined as those of Saginaw. Each of the main neighborhoods seems almost to be an island of "good area" with a moat of "bad area" surrounding (though it still holds true that West Baltimore is to be avoided).
The city and my lack of acquaintances in it have both done wonders for my sense of autonomy though. I used to do things on my own fairly often in Saginaw (I hesitate to say "back home" now, because in a strange way it feels like I can't go back there, and so Baltimore is "home" now) -- I'd go to the mall, or the coffee shop, or the library, etc. But I'd never taken a city bus by myself, for example (actually, I never took a bus anywhere in Saginaw. Their public transportation system left a lot to be desired). And I've done a fair amount of exploring on my own here (though M, my roommate, has been tremendously helpful in showing me where things are). I've spent a lot more of time on my own, period. Especially the first couple weeks, before I met anyone. Being alone in a strange new place adds a whole other level to it all.
I've caught myself once or twice while reading friends' updates on facebook forgetting for just a split second that it isn't 5 or 10 minutes to get to the Saginaw mall or coffee shop now. The flight from here to there isn't especially long or expensive, but there's a lot more planning involved in a visit than before.
It's kind of hard sometimes to read updates and to know that their lives are carrying on without me -- game nights, bar nights, etc. But my life is carrying on without them, too. Sometimes I catch myself thinking that if I could just bring two or three of them with me... but I know that's unrealistic. I can only hope that despite the distance we can keep in touch, and maybe visit once in awhile.