As a newly minted Pittsburgher, exploring the city is the past-time and settling in is the new norm.
I'd been wanting to move for a couple years before I decided it was something that absolutely had to be done: I couldn't deny myself my dream anymore. It made sense for my career going forward (more opportunities) and it made sense on many personal levels too (overall lack of Democratic representation in KY, the layout of the city in comparison to my birthplace, taking a chance on myself, an excuse to move in with my long term S.O.).
My father felt the need to warn me, repeatedly, that living in a place is not the same as visiting, as if I didn't know that. He said it looked great from the outside but it wasn't.
It took an article in the New York Times to prove that Pittsburgh had in fact changed from the smog-filled city it once was. I thought it was sad it took a national newspaper for him to believe me.
The past month has been about writing many cover letters, video interviews and call interviews. That driving-18-miles-out interview to hear that the position was already filled. The three hour wait at the DMV for a Pennsylvania license, later realizing I had caught a gross cold which made me sleep away the daytime.
But I feel at peace here, somehow. Living with my S.O. and my guppies and thriving flowering plants. My savings might be trickling away, but I just started a tutoring gig.
My father was right in that essentially all places are fundamentally shelters and that I'll have the same basic problems. But he's in his 80s and he also got it wrong.
He's forgotten what it means to follow - and live - the dream.