I wrote "On Life in New Jersey, Honestly" in September, when I was having a really difficult time adjusting to living here. But somewhere along the way, in the last few months, something changed. It was subtle, at first, but it happened.
As I drove to D.C. at the end of November, I found myself running low
on gas. As I approached the Delaware state line, I thought to myself,
"It sure is cold out. I should get gas before I leave New Jersey so I don't have to get out of my car." And that's exactly what I did.
in New Jersey, my car's brakes are getting a workout (because the
drivers here are still crazy & I'm still not), & my left turn
signal is atrophying from lack of use. I occasionally still miss my
jughandle, which sends me a mile or so out of my way before I can turn
around, but on the streets I frequent most, I know exactly where to turn
right so that I may then turn left.
Nathan & I
recently tried out the Bagel Station, a Red Bank "bagelry & java
house" that a local recommended as being the best in town. We went early
on a weekday on a day he had off, before I started work. Faced with a looming menu board full of breakfast options, I made my decision: "Can I get pork roll & cheese on a sesame bagel?" Not bacon, not sausage, but pork roll. Not for a blog experiment but just because I wanted it.
Little things, but they add up to something big: I'm getting used to life in New Jersey. I sometimes say, "The worst part about living in New Jersey is telling people you live in New Jersey" - which means that the place itself isn't as bad as the reputation it has.
It's OK here. I'm OK here. And life is good.