Losing Your Cool: What Happens When You Leave The Big City Behind

Ready for the dumbest, most unimportant worry you'll hear all day?

I've recently began worrying that soon I'm going to lose my cool and won't be interesting anymore. Hear me out – 

Right now, we can say that I'm interesting because I'm an expat, or because I live in the big, shiny city of London. Before that, I was interesting because I lived in New York and had a cool job, and if that wasn't enough for you, well, I was also in a long distance relationship with a South African dude in London. Suckas.

But after over five years in New York plus a few years spent interning, and over two years in London, what happens when I make my way to a quieter, more normalish part of the world and become someone whose basic credentials aren't as noteworthy?

Dumb, right? So self centered. I know. 

As I've vaguely mentioned here before, my husband and I are planning on making our way to the States in the next several months – me at the end of the year to get us settled in North Carolina, him to follow a few months later.

We'll still be ourselves in every way, but we won't be able to say that we're both expats. We'll basically be just like you. (Unless you're a cool person, in which case we will no longer be like you.)

The thing is I'm not worried that I won't be interesting – I'll have the same thoughts, feelings, and insecurities (I think they're called quirks these days) but it's more about the places that I'm associated with. If I'm honest, until about a year ago I wouldn't have been able to deal with not living in a big international city. It was something that I always wanted to do and so I did it, and did it in two different countries. Somewhere along the way it became a part of who I was.

"Welp, back to New York," the broke girl said as she boarded the plane. "I'm just so busy up there, it's so cool and interesting."

One thing I will miss is that feeling of telling someone where you live and getting that instant, Instagram-esque boost to the ego. People are always impressed or at least interested, and quite frankly it makes you feel like a badass.

But I got over all of that this year because my husband and I realized the things that we really want (house, space, dog, affordable life, also Target) just don't exist in big, fat, sparkly cities – at least not for us. And that far outweighs any cool points I get from telling a stranger where I live. It plays no part in my actual, real happiness.

But that ego boost, is something that I'll miss, and I think a lot of city folk and expats know the feeling I'm talking about. Not being different anymore, and not being immediately impressive to the cashier at the drugstore.

But you know what? Who cares. I'll still be me, Derrick will still be Derrick, and we'll be much happier in a lot of ways. And guess what: That's much cooler than anything else.


Robin Reetz

I’m an expat currently living between London and North Carolina. I'm the Home & Living Editor at Clementine Daily, handle partnerships and more at DesignGood, and create content for folks like Teen Vogue. Also, I love independent designers. Find out more about me here: http://secondfloorflat.com/about-me/