Now, I guess the question is how much I’m willing to sacrifice to keep that contentment alive. I don’t particularly want to leave San Francisco. I could move somewhere else in the city, I guess, but rents are high all over. Fleeing to Oakland like most of the artists and writers I know would add another hour to my already grinding commute, and any farther than that would require me to just work remotely.
This time around, I can probably scrape together enough to cover the increase. What about the next time, though?
I’ve never minded doing the leaving, but I hate being left behind. This feels like being left behind by someone who isn’t actually going anywhere, which almost makes it worse.
When American suburbs first came into being, they were a way for the middle and upper classes to live apart from the crowded, often diseased scrum of local cities while still working in them. Now, it seems like the opposite is happening — living and renting in the biggest urban areas is starting to become a rich person’s privilege.
And like a lot of my peers are asking about New York or Los Angeles, I can’t help but wonder: is living in the middle of the action really worth a solid grand every 30 days?
At this point, it’s hard for me to imagine being anywhere else. That said, it’s amazing how persuasive a rapidly emptying bank account can be. I guess I’ll just have to wait and see.