I’m not what anyone would consider to be a man full of conviction. I’m not passionate about everything. It actually takes a lot to get my attention. Not because I don’t notice things, but because I dismiss much of the world as being of no interest to me. I don’t make any effort to recycle. I don’t go to rallies to try and change the world. I don’t even like activists and feel they are naive idealists. Hell, I’ve only recently started to vote. Most anyone who knows me or even just reads what I write here would probably agree with those statements to some degree. Most people don’t have accurate self-knowledge so I have to assume the same is true of me.
I don’t mention these things so much as a self-serving existentialism – although that probably wouldn’t be out of character either. I mention it because for someone like me to become so disgusted and disenfranchised with the way this city, state and federal government is going takes a lot. But they’ve worn me down. I don’t mean to say that I’m all anti-American or anything. I just no longer want my taxes to finance the things the government is doing, I no longer want to participate in any of it, and mostly, I just don’t want to be associated with this place anymore. Not believing that things here can be changed by one, sad little man of no consequence with a penchant for profanity, it doesn’t leave a lot of decision making. So, in short, I’m outta here as soon as I can work out the details.
It started harmlessly enough when I realized I don’t know how much longer I can stay here with things the way they are. So I figured instead of snapping and doing something stupid I should start thinking things through so I’m at least mentally prepared. So I started thinking about where I want to go. Savannah, Charleston and Austin were obvious first considerations since they seem to have some of the same things I used to love about New Orleans. But they didn’t seem different enough to satisfy my heart. I thought of Chicago and especially New York. Those are difficult moves to make as far as general cost of living and distance. Plus, Chicago is really just too cold for me. Which basically leaves New York and I was fine with that for a week or so. I had actually looked at apartments and seriously thought of just staying there when I ended up there during my hurrication. That would get me out of the city and state that had so disappointed me.
Then I thought, ‘Hell, with all the effort its going to take to move to New York I could move to Europe with just a little more effort. For some reason that really got me excited. I guess I never really got clear of that refugee feeling from the months and months after the storm. The though of spending the rest of my life in this country, on top of probably being fairly short if things continue the way they’re going, just seems a sad proposition. Plus, maybe this way I’m freeing up a job for a Mexican – bonus! People have always said in response to any criticism of the USA that if you don’t like it then get out. Well, I don’t like it here and that may be pretty good advice.
Everyone always acts like its a simple thing to just move to another country and leave the Americas behind but in my little bit of research it doesn’t appear to be that easy. The situation isn’t helped with the world fear of terrorism and the general dislike, distrust, and disdain for America right now. There’s a lot working against me actually. Here’s a quick list:
- Don’t have a passport
- Don’t speak anything other than English
- I’ve never been abroad
- Didn’t graduate from college
The list goes on and I’m sure there’s stuff I’m not even aware of that’s going to work against me.
But there are a couple of things working in my favor…another quick list:
- Don’t have a criminal record
- Have mad technology skills
- I’m one of the coolest people I know
Ok, the last thing is more a sign that I need to get out more.
So after giving it much thought, I’ve decided I’m going to try and move to Paris within about 2 years. That should give me time to get everything worked out with the house, my job may be ending around that time, and I should be able to get all the paperwork done by then and hopefully visit a few times, make some friends there, etc. I’m checking with the “powers that be” to see if I can cross post to the Paris Metroblog Site through this whole process. It looks like they only have one writer some hot chic named Naomi who’s actually from the U.S. so maybe she has some insight to help me get this done.
There’s still unanswered questions. There’s still uncertainty. I don’t have all the answers. There’s a chance that France just has no use for me and I’ll not be able to go. In a really practical sense I don’t have much to offer the French people. But I’ll do whatever I have to to make this happen. The French lessons start shortly and I should be able to get by initially with what I can learn in two years without embarrassing myself too bad.
Look, the fact is I’ve always been a fan of the idea that if things aren’t working out after a reasonable effort has been made and there aren’t any very compellingreasons to stick it out, then go somewhere else. It’s how I ended up in New Orleans and apparently how I’ll leave. And when I think about where else I want to live, no place in the U.S. really seems that attractive. And I don’t want to do anything too detrimental to myself so I’m allowing time to get everything together. I would imagine I’m going to get very little support in this forum for my decision – hell how is that different than anything else? We’ve all been collectively alone down here for going on two years. Maybe it’s time we all stand up, get both balls in one hand and do what we think is best regardless of everyone and everything else. There’s always a million reasons not to do something like this and rarely a good reason to. People get too comfortable and don’t want to make bold decisions. In our case here maybe we’re too scared. But I can assure you that people all over this city are having the same thoughts and asking the same questions. They may arrive at different conclusions, but it’s no less scary not matter what you decide to do. It seems the situation forces decisions and the government increasingly seems sure our decision is going to be to do nothing. That we’re going to sit here just like we did at the Superdome, the Convention Center, and all this time waiting for crime to be fixed, Road Home to help people, the Mayor to actually do something, the traffic lights to actually work, and the protection against the same thing happening again this year…..well, if I have to make a decision then mine is to not wait any longer than I need to. Honestly, I would leave tomorrow if I didn’t think that would really work out badly for me personally. From now on I’m here for me – out of necessity – not love, obligation or hope.
I may regret this in the coming years, it’s true that’s a possibility. But I fail to see how I cold regret it more than doing nothing at all.