one of the magical things about pittsburgh

Spring here is so gorgeous. Yesterday I went to drop off my car to have the wheels aligned and a tire replaced and walked to the bus stop to come to school and it was sunny, beautiful, mild, and the crocuses were blooming like gangbusters!

On the way I realized what it is that I love most about pittsburgh:

Pittsburgh made it easy for me to live my life the way I want to live it.

I’m still reading Affluenza slowly, and I am in the last section which talks about CURING affluenza. In the introduction to the Voluntary Simplicity Movement introduction it says

To conquer [affluenza], most of us need to know we’re not all by ourselves in the battle. We need support from others who are fighting the disease as well. Every addiction nowadays seems to have support groups for its victims, and conquering affluenza, the addictive virus, may require them even more, because there isn’t any social pressure out there to stop consuming — just the opposite.

Before I moved to Pittsburgh I was rushing around, working very hard, and usually spending nearly 10 hours a day in the office doing thankless tasks. I DID buy things to make up for that, and to make up for the things I wasn’t able to do. If you look at all of the crafty projects I bought and didn’t get a chance to do, or all the books I bought and didn’t read, you’ll see my trying to purchase my way into the lifestyle I wanted. So when I moved to Pittsburgh I was able to focus on what I wanted to do. I was able to come to terms with how I wanted live more simply, to restrict my spending, to focus on reading but to use the library, to share my meals with people in their homes. I was able to develop that here. And through some fluke of beautiful fate, I met people in Pittsburgh who were doing the same things: people who were becoming more frugal, and who were interested in sharing time with each other instead of with a job. I found out that a lot of my other internet/real life friends were also struggling with the same types of questions and issues. I was lucky to find the type of community that accepted as facts the things I did: that it was worth it to buy organic milk. That CSAs are valuable endeavors,

So really, even though Pittsburgh has a thousand reasons why it’s easy for me to live the way I want to live (the libraries, the public transportation, the scalability of the city, the way I can ride my bike places, the innovative environmental graduate degrees, the many MANY free cultural events) you all were a big part of that too. And through the miracle of the internets, I get to bring you all with me to NJ. This move will be ok. There are a million things I’ll miss about living here but at least I feel confident in my ability to keep on living well in NJ when I get there.

[[added on 5/27 — and Pennsylvania is great too: when you’re using an online form and have to fill in your state, if you hit P pennsylvania is usually the only one. For NJ there’s several keystrokes to get to the state abbreviation!]]