I think long term. I'm not so much a planner, though, as a wonderer. Planning I kinda suck at. I wonder what my life would be like, could be like, if I go one way as opposed to the other. This is normal, yes?
Six years ago, I made a choice to live in New York. I probably could have gone anywhere else, including back home to Pennsylvania, but at the time New York was the only place I could be. It was more than the only place that I wanted to be, it was just it. Not including my very brief stint considering graduate school for teaching theatre, I didn't even consider living anywhere else. Why would I? My boyfriend was here, and we had decided to move in together, and DUH! it was New York! Everything, and everyone, I wanted was here. And I was very happy. I was going to get a job in Manhattan! Where I would dress smartly and I would have books - oodles of them! - and read New York Magazine.
I did a lot of those things for a while, particularly the being happy part. That may have been my favorite.
Now I'm 28, going on 58 as my brother says, and I've settled into a comforting routine of daily life. I get up, go to work, do work, come home, eat dinner, watch TV and go to sleep. Lather, rinse, repeat. My life isn't all that different from anyone else's living anywhere else. Last night I was at dinner with Stone Cold Steve Austin (yes and yes) and he asked me what I do here on the weekends. New York isn't that different from any other city. I go to Target. I go to the movies. I occasionally go out to dinner with friends. And I like it that way. Sometimes I indulge in a Broadway show (I was grateful to attend "Last Fall" last Friday with my good friend and it was phenomenal) or shopping in a non-Target store, but I wander around my neighborhood aimlessly or planet myself on the couch to watch DVDs, too.
I have two stepbrothers who are both younger by a few years who own property or on their way to doing so. I cannot compare myself to them in most ways (I want to save the trees while one cuts them down), but I do have this idea in my head that despite being younger, they are more grown up than I because they own things. Cars, homes, dogs. But I don't own these things because I chose to live here, and they chose to be in Pennsylvania. Choosing to live in New York City usually means choosing to put typical adult things like buying a home on hold - either until you make six figures and maintain that, or until you leave.
I used to say that if I moved back home after college or since that I have a good idea who I would marry. It's based on very little evidence, of course. It's not my high school math teacher, sadly, although I probably would have tried to date him when I became a reasonable age to do so. I have this picture in my head of what my life could be, and it seems relatively pleasant from the outside. Then I try to reconcile that life with my current one - which I happen to really like day-to-day - and I just get confused.
I like to think about these alterna-lives, but I don't want them. Like is even a strong word. I am intrigued by them. Owning a home and having a baby and picking out paint colors intrigues me. But if I had all of those things, I wouldn't have had dinner with Steve Austin last night. And that was super.