Two months ago today, I moved into my new apartment in Baltimore! I can't believe it's already been two months. Granted, the first two and a half weeks I was in Egypt and Jordan, but still- that's a good chunk of time here in what's becoming my new home.
Things are going pretty well, I have to say. It's not New York, and there are tons of things I miss, namely my friends, but I love that New York is still close by. I've already been back one weekend and had a blast visiting all my favorite places and catching up with friends. On the train back to Baltimore, though, I realized how tired I was from the weekend and felt content to be heading back to a less stressful version of my life in Charm City.
Not that I've exactly made things as easy for myself here as I could have. I LOVE my apartment, and there is not another place I'd want to live, but it is on the top floor of a four story walk up. That's 68 stairs to climb at least once each day- often more. I could have chosen a modern building that had an elevator, a trash chute, a dishwasher, etc., but I couldn't resist living in an old mansion from the 1840's with hardwood floors, high ceilings, and a terrace that overlooks the Washington Monument (Baltimore's, not DC's) and a beautiful park, not to mention that it is about three times the size of my old Manhattan studio).
I realize I'm taking a bit of a risk and banking that my meds will keep working (knock on wood). But I figure, what is the point of feeling better, for the most part, if I'm still going to live as if I was sick? For better or for worse, it's not my style.
My job is going really well, and I have to admit, I don't miss working in crisis-mode at all. In my old position, I was constantly putting out fires and my time was not my own. It's a strange but wonderful feeling to be engaged in what I'm doing but not swallowed up in it. All of my evenings and weekends are mine to do as I please. For the moment, I am reveling in all my free time by immersing myself in another new perk: cable.
Yesterday, I went to my first yoga class at a new studio- Charm City Yoga. The teacher was great, and though the class was pretty difficult, I felt up to the challenge and even better when I left. The studio reminded me a little of where I practiced in London, which made me feel happily nostalgic. I'm looking forward to going back soon.
Driving is still a little bit of a learning curve. I don't mind driving itself, except for when I don't know where I'm going (which is, um, most of the time), and the parking situation is a bit stressful. I am lucky to have a parking space with my building so I don't have to scavenge for one on the street, but in order to get to the space, I have to open the gates from hell. Even if I didn't have RA, these would be difficult for me to open and close- I practically have to use all of my body weight to get them moving. With the RA, it's definitely not a pleasant experience for my fingers, elbows or shoulders, and again, if my RA acts up or takes a turn for the worse, I have a feeling I'll have to forego the space. Thankfully though, I don't have to drive every day since I'm in walking distance of work and tons of cute little restaurants.
Speaking of which, there is good food to be had here. Obviously it's not the same culinary scene as New York, but I'm not in danger of going hungry. In fact, I just ate a scrumptious meal last night at the B & O American Brasserie that included one of the best desserts I've ever had (pumpkin bread pudding = hello, lover.)
I have begun the ordeal of finding a new medical team. Luckily, one of my new friends here has hooked me up with her rheumatologist, so the wheels are in motion, and I have an appointment in a few weeks. I'm betting I'll have to go through the pre-authorization process with my new insurance for Enbrel, joy of joys, but luckily, I have a few extra shots tucked away in my fridge since I skipped taking them while I was in the Middle East. I'm feeling well overall, though I have definitely been very tired all around. Having every part of my life be brand new is exhausting in a way. My trip also left me with a big energy deficit that I am still trying to overcome.
Over the next few months, I'm looking forward to exploring Baltimore and starting to carve out a little niche for myself here bit by bit. I might even start (gulp) trying to date again. We'll see.
PS: Don't forget to watch Next Iron Chef America tonight at 9pm on Food Network and root for Chef Seamus Mullen!