The Importance Of Being Earnest

Nothing quite reveals the character of a person like moving to a new city.

I've begun to see how I act differently, think in new ways. As I become more familiar with the layouts of roads and intersections, and the lingo of Boston suburbia, I also gain clarity of every day interactions and conversations. My insinuations and assumptions, learned in central Pennsylvania, have little sway here. Neither location is more genuine, nor more difficult; simply different.

A new living situations also breeds different expectations and daily routines. My mornings are more productive, my afternoons more laissez-faire. I've had more coffee in the past three weeks than I've had in my entire life. I'm perfectly content with that.

However, a brand new city, and the search to find oneself within it, also opens up countless avenues for discovery and illumination. There is a give and a take, an ebb and a flow, that accompanies all forms of change. As locations shift, so do attitudes and relationships. True priorities and predilections are backlit by the parking blinkers of a moving truck.

My boyfriend and I are searching for an apartment in the Brookline area, and so far, I've been incredibly impressed with our mutual willingness to discuss our options and to compromise. We walk down the sidewalks after a showing, exchanging our pros and cons lists like we're on an episode of "House Hunters," negotiating kitchen space and ceiling height preferences. Somehow, we've managed to look at more than twenty places, and have yet to seriously disagree on anything.

The same cannot be said for everyone in our circles and spheres of acquaintances, friends, and family. Moving to a new city not only reveals your true character — it also reveals the character of all those who surround you.

Life isn't always going to go smoothly, as much as I'd prefer it. There will be stressful conversations and tense evenings. There will be confused questions and ignored phone calls. Sometimes, a friend will explain why he or she is feeling a certain way; other times, reasons are left unsaid, or don't exist at all.

In the fresh atmosphere and subtle bustling of Boston, I've learned that predispositions, differences of opinions, and simple gut feelings can render any relationship to be tested or questioned. However, it is important to keep moving, both in a literal sense and a metaphysical one. Those friends or family who are meant to stay with you — they will come around.

As I'm sure we have all experienced, time and space must be aligned with one another: When you inevitably change direction and embark on a new course, you must grant others in your life the time to catch up with you, too.