Down with Inertia. Sometimes.

I hope to be out of this tiny, ancient apartment by Christmas this year.

I have been here more than two and a half years. Most people stay in this ancient building no more than six months to a year. It is sort of an in-between situations type of building, so I have been here longer than most tenants.

I moved in here as a sort of last minute solution to a problem. My brother lived here before me, and he worked it out with the landlord; if I moved in right away, the rent would stay the same for me as it was for my brother. I wasn’t quite ready, but I accepted, thinking that in a year or so, my finances would improve enough to afford something better.

My finances didn’t improve, sadly, and still have not. Neither has the apartment. If anything, some of the difficulties are even worse now than they used to be. I won’t bore you with the particulars in that regard, but suffice to say if I listed the problems here, you’d wonder why I didn’t move out long ago.

The answer to that legitimate question is what makes this topic worthy of this blog. I have not moved out yet because like with many things, I have been Too XYZ to do so.

I have had it in my head that I have not earned the right to move out. I hate the idea of being labeled a flibbertigibbet who runs around living in 12 places a year, so a large part of me has figured that if this place has a roof to keep the rain out, and a heater to keep me warm in the winter, with running water to wash in, I have no right to live anywhere else until I am rich enough to live anywhere. I know it seems weird, but that is how my head works. And since my finances did not improve, I felt obligated to stay here. Even if I could find a place that is the exact same financial burden, I felt I had to stay here until I could make more money. That wasting the time and energy I have been given on moving out, when staying here is still safe, was somehow a sin.

Put more simply, inertia is keeping me in place.

But in recent months, not only have certain things about living here gotten worse, things in my mind have changed as well. I have begun to believe, or at least force myself to believe, that sometimes change for the sake of change is good, when it comes to venues.

We need not treat venues like people.  They have no feelings. We don’t have to treat them with particular consideration. They don’t care if you stay in them, or leave. They don’t care if you are good or bad. They are buildings. It is I that have the feelings, and if mine are not operating at optimum levels because of where I live, I deserve to try something else. Shifting around doesn’t require a special invitation or permission. It just requires it being possible, and it is possible, if I don’t try to live outside of my humble means in my next apartment.

Nor do I have to justify myself to others. Two and a half years in a less than ideal place should inoculate me from being seen as flippant with my life. Yet even if they do see me as a flibbertigibbet, I shouldn’t let that matter. If I can legally, and safely, and responsibly change my venue, I should. Simple as that. Sometimes being somewhere just wears out its usefulness in our lives. Though I am Too XYZ to always feel justified in making a change to benefit my comfort, the place someone lives and spends the lion’s share of their time should not be a place of misery. It may not be perfect, and I may not be able to afford luxury, but the law of averages indicates I should be able to at least find something better for me. And in so doing maybe somebody who would find this place perfect for their needs could move in.

Comfort and peace matter, even if it requires a bit of an extra pain in the ass to obtain them.

Have you ever let illogical inertia keep you from doing something, no matter how minor, that would make you feel more at ease with life?


  1. I'd probably still be living at my grandma's house if a certain situation/revelation had never happened. This moment made me realize that I absolutely could not live there anymore. My parents wanted me to move back home, but they may as well have cut off my right arm. My independence meant so much to me that I threw myself head-first into finding a new place to live. And that is how I found myself living in the Jersey City Heights with roommates. There have been times when I wasn't sure that I could afford being on my own, but once you commit to something, you find ways to make it work.

  2. Yes, that is a good point I didn't totally cover here. That once you finally do commit to a change, you can find ways to make it happen. Sometimes we surprise ourselves with our own ingenuity and resourcefulness.

    For example, there is a decent chance I could live in nearby West Virginia, because it is less expensive there. I could probably have a better place and spend about the same amount. I resist leaving Maryland somewhat because it is so much a part of me, but if I am willing, that is one example of finding a way to make something work with what I have available.

  3. I have been looking for a word to describe my inability to “stay put” in an apartment for years! I'm a flibbertigibbet – even if I'm not sure how to pronounce it. I like finding new places to live because I learn more about what really makes me comfortable. Anyway, flibbertigibbet – I love it!

    Illogical inertia had me completely convinced that I had to have a civil service job for the longest time. Now, I realize I really excel in small companies and start-up atmospheres since I've been able to shed the civil service idea that was for so long emblazoned in my mind.

  4. Megan…

    Having a certain kind of job, because you feel you are “supposed” to is another excellent example of inertia. I actually was guilty of that one too, for a while. I felt for a long time I had to be in government work because that is what I thought I was built for. It never worked out, and finally I realized it wasn't for me, and it was okay that it wasn't.

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