Well, it has been quite some time since I last posted. Let's say about 6 months, and it was on the eve of my graduation. Fast-forward 6 months and I am now settling into the tiny but incredibly cute town of Manlius, NY.
I am very much enjoying my new location! Moving into my own apartment has been fantastically fun. Setting up my kitchen, living room, etc. has been even more exciting. I've been able to do/cook/listen to whatever I want without disturbing anyone else.
It has also been fun to get out and explore the town for a little bit. After a grueling 12 hours drive from Bolingbrook, IL to Syracuse, NY, I managed to convince myself that I had missed my exit just before getting to my final destination. This realization prompted me to take the next exit, which, in turn, ended with a nerve-wracking 15 minute drive through the dark streets of Syracuse, all while Gangnam Style was playing on the radio (which in itself was an odd experience). It was a...memorable way to arrive in the place I plan to call home for the near future.
The next few days passed by fairly quickly. I jumped into my new job, working with yarn (a dream come true!!!), and visited a few locations that would prove to be most helpful. Specifically, supermarkets.
Friday came, and with a cup of tea to send me on my way, I made the short trek to Manlius, NY to sign the lease for my apartment. This was rather thrilling and terrifying at the same time. I am 22. I have never lived on my own, unless you count Germany. I am not from this town, or state, and I have no clue what I should and should not do when signing a lease. Fortunately, the manager was incredibly sweet and I was signed with keys in hand in no time. That was the easy part. Next came the actually moving.
Observation 1: Moving
Packing and loading up a car can be very misleading. One has time to add to a pile of goods meant for transportation to the new living location. This pile can be shifted into the transportation vehicle at the owners behest. The door to the house, through which the owner must exit and enter to move said goods, can be propped open so that the owner may easily descend, or ascend, the two steps into the house whenever needed. Simple.
Upon arrival at the new apartment, many issues with moving became apparent. There were 3 doors through which I had to pass before I could deposit my belongings on the floor of my apartment. 2 of these doors required a key. There was also a set of stairs that I needed to climb in order to get to said apartment. A plan of action had to be put in place. The apartment door would remain unlocked leaving on the entrance door to be dealt with with a key. Unpacking would occur throughout the unloading process so that my poor arms could have a break. Snacks and water would be readily available when a small burst of energy was needed. The floor was available for quick breaks before heading down for yet another load of goods. This plan worked quite well, although the well-being of my upper-left arm was sacrificed for the rest of the day.
Observation 2: Driving
Then there was the matter of driving around Manlius at night. While the town has cute holiday decorations (I say holiday because for every christmas tree, there is a menorah), they do not offer any aid when attempting to locate streets listed under your directions. The streets also prove to be more foe than friend due to the lack of a left-turn signal. Yes, one may turn left in Manlius, however, one will not receive a friendly green arrow with which to do so. Instead, one must patiently wait/creep forward, until there is enough of a break in cars, or a yellow light, that will allow you to turn left. Of course the left turn could have been avoided had the driver known where they were going the first place. Perhaps said driver will try a new method of transportation widely known as "walking" seeing as the town of Manlius has an area of only 1.78 square miles.
Fortunately, Manlius has become much more manageable in recent days.
The same can be said about the originally terrifying drive to The Best Job Ever. The Best Job Ever is 15 minutes away from my apartment in Manlius. The drive is basically a straight shot west on 173 (Seneca). Simple, check. Terrifying, check. For a girl living in the region famous for its rolling hills and jagged, death-defying mountain roads, otherwise known as the Midwest, for the past 15 years, the change to driving in actually hills with actual fast speed limits was a different experience. Yes, I was born in Pennsylvania...but I never drove there. I left when I was 6. Driving from Manlius to Syracuse was, therefore, an incredibly uncomfortable experience.
The wonderful state of New York has these things called hills. These hills have roads upon which people drive. These roads have a habit of going up-up-up before stopping and seeming to drop off. Yes, the before cresting a hill, it looks like one will simply continue on only to plummet to their deaths far below. Of course, this is not the case and the road continues on down the hill before it starts to climb again. The first 3 times on 173 resulted in sore hands and white knuckles. After that, it became increasingly obvious that if there was going to be a sudden drop to one's death, or an s-curve, that state of New York would place these brilliant, blinking, bright, yellow signs that would at least alert the driver. This is made the commute to The Best Job Ever much easier.
Observation 3: Free Time Activities
So that brings us to the matter of things to do when alone in Manlius. One may drive around town for 30 minutes attempting to locate the grocery store. One may locate the other entrance/exit to the apartment complex. One may cook dinner for one's self while singing at a level just loud enough to echo but not disturb the neighbors. One may also find time to partake in activities such as hand-washing dishes. As it turns out, the last activity can make one feel quite accomplished. Of course, there are classic activities to fall back on, such as knitting. In fact, one can be quite accomplished in this area as well. There is also the matter of painting one's nails, which I intend to do after I leave the library.
One may also contemplate what to do with the amount of free time in the new location. This was the activity I chose to partake in for a good part of last night and this morning. The options were: walk to the library; drive to the library so that a stop can be made to buy cheese; drive to the small mall; drive to the large mall. Driving to the library won out, of course.
That brings me just about to the end of my entry pertaining to the first days in the new location. They have been fun, scary and always quite the adventure. After leaving the library, I intend to go make myself a delicious lunch and curl up with some knitting, manicuring or Lord of the Rings...we shall see.