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Old 09-25-2007, 02:31 PM
 
24 posts, read 93,357 times
Reputation: 39

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(This is going to be a mere rant, an effort to conduct some badly-needed venting. Feel free to disregard.)

I'm originally from Texas, yet I moved to the D.C. metro area six years ago to stake my career with the Federal government.

Now, I absolutely love my job. But when I first arrived in this area, I noticed that I immediately felt ill at-ease. The people seemed cold and harsh, incredibly rude and selfish, everything was expensive and crowded, and traffic was relentless.

I naively presumed that I merely had to give the area enough time, to "make the best of it", and I'd find myself comfortable enough to consider this place home.

It's been six years, seven in July...and that hasn't happened at all. In fact, I've only found myself hating this place more and more. I love, love the work I get to do for a living, but there's the unfortunate consequence that by its nature, one can only pursue it living in this god-forsaken place.

I'm sick of spending a minimum of two hours on the road everyday, primed like a feral cat to be wary of reckless, irresponsible drivers. I'm sick of having entire weekend plans torpedoed by accidents shutting down highway arteries at random intervals.

I'm sick of spending even more time trying to scratch out a parking space wherever I go that doesn't charge gouging prices and that isn't a marathon's-length away from my ultimate destination.

I'm sick of the rude, childish, horribly self-absorbed people that seem to make up the overwhelming majority of those who live here.

I'm sick of the snobbery and cliquishness and the subdued racism that seems to pervade every "decent" neighborhood, and the overwhelming crime and apathy that overwhelm the rest. It amazed me, a Southerner, just how racist some parts of this area can be.

I'm sick of having to commute long distances because I can't afford the astronomical prices of living closer to where I actually work (and go to school).

I'm sick of renting, I'm sick of rents going up every single year. Additionally, I'm sick of paying such exorbitant amounts of my income to rent what amounts to a tiny hovel when similar expenditures would've landed me a *mansion* back home.

Worst of all, I loathe the fact that after nearly a decade in my profession, that I'M NOWHERE NEAR BEING AT A POINT WHERE I MAKE ENOUGH MONEY TO AFFORD A HOUSE! I've lived here long enough to know that there's no way in hell I can actually afford a *house*, much less a condo that isn't roach-infested, for myself and my family for the modest $350,000 we could afford.

So, my dilemma is the fact that although I love my job and can hardly imagine myself doing anything else...that I just *despise* living here so effing much, it causes me such endless stress and anger that it's even beginning to affect my overall health.

I don't know what to do; on the one hand, I can't see myself going back to Texas to the civilian sector making the faceless rich even richer (I admit that sounds a little anti-free enterprise of me, but it's not at all what I mean), stuck in nowhere towns where no one can point to places like Iraq on a map (nor care to). On the other hand, well, I've made it pretty clear what it is about this place I don't like.

Where the hell is it possible to live like a human being *and* have a family here when you're not making over $150,000/yr? Every time I thought I'd found an answer, I turned out to be horribly wrong.
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Old 09-25-2007, 08:29 PM
 
2,482 posts, read 8,379,030 times
Reputation: 1961
I think you need a hug.

And perhaps try moving to a new neighborhood. Not sure why you're having a 2 hour commute but perhaps try moving closer to where you work or something. Commute has been shown to make people grouchy.
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Old 09-25-2007, 09:07 PM
 
2,462 posts, read 8,435,293 times
Reputation: 996
Some people just don't like living in a major, expensive metropolitan area. You might be one of them. If you really can't afford to reduce your commute by moving closer to your job, and you don't think that you can improve your financial situation by getting a better job here, then you need to consider whether the job you love is worth making the rest of your life miserable.
Which doesn't mean that you need to go back to Texas. You mentioned attending school -- will your new degree or certification qualify you for a better position in the government? Have you considered seeking a position in the private sector in the DC area?
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Old 09-25-2007, 09:37 PM
 
564 posts, read 1,384,069 times
Reputation: 391
Well, you're not alone in what you're going through. I was born in DC and have lived my entire life in the DC area besides the 4 years I spent in college in Arizona. I hate the DC area with a burning passion. When I went to college, I didn't even consider any schools that were less than 1,000 miles away from here! I loved Arizona but alas after graduation the lure of a job sucked me back in to this area. Fortunately for me, my field does operate in other areas, and as soon as the opportunity arises, I'm moving away and never coming back. I know a lot of people that like it here, and that's fine, but I just can't understand it. It's so overcrowded and expensive and depressing. My fiancee has been here for 5 months and she already wants out really badly.

I guess you have to look at which gives you more satisfaction in your life -- liking what you do, or the quality of life outside of work. If you have kids or a spouse or plan on it, I'd say screw my own priorities and do what I thought was best for my family first. Is there any way you could move somewhere you like better and do something similar to or at least in the realm of what you do here?
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Old 09-25-2007, 10:57 PM
 
Location: In exile, plotting my coup
2,408 posts, read 13,837,208 times
Reputation: 1858
I too want to just give you a hug.

Honestly, I would recommend leaving the DC area. I think this one statement says it all:

Quote:
So, my dilemma is the fact that although I love my job and can hardly imagine myself doing anything else...that I just *despise* living here so effing much, it causes me such endless stress and anger that it's even beginning to affect my overall health.
When an aspect of your life reaches beyond temporary dissatisfaction and turns into outright misery, it's time to make a change. That change in this case will have to involve a move. There doesn't even seem to be much of an option to me. What other option is there? Many of these things you loathe about the DC area are simply just not going to change. As such, could you really fathom spending the rest of your life in this area contending with them, with the costs and the commutes and the people? I doubt it.

I think the best thing to do is not to look at like a situation where you either have to stay in DC or go back to job B in a small town in Texas. There are so many other options out there that will permit a greater compromise between your wants in a community and the type of jobs available. Perhaps start thinking of alternatives; maybe of a way of going into business for yourself that somehow is related to your current job?

I also have to say that if interested in staying in the area, for 350K, you actually can buy a very nice condo in a safe community in the majority of the DC area, including in places that are far less than a two hour commute from downtown. A friend of mine bought a beautiful two bedroom, two bathroom condo (not sure if that's the size you'd be looking for) for 290K in Reston.
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Old 09-25-2007, 11:12 PM
 
Location: NE Washington,DC
54 posts, read 147,149 times
Reputation: 26
I believe alot of people develop your mindset after a few years of being here. The way I'm headed, in 4 years i'll be crying that same song. I haven't been here 2 years and I'm ready to move back to Louisiana. I experience your frustrations daily so as alot of ppl on this board. I know what 350k can get you in TX which can't compare to anything here for that same dollar figure. Do the best thing for you and your family is all that I can say.
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Old 09-25-2007, 11:23 PM
 
217 posts, read 723,591 times
Reputation: 103
HA-HA!
The "I hate DC" rant you can hear every night at any given time.
The city itself is like a balloon that inflates and deflates every day due to the majority of the population being daily commuters going to work. The actual population of the district is but a speck of sand compared to the masses drawn to work downtown.
DC is sad when compared to other large communities such as San Antonio in the fact that any festival, celebration or other activities. San Antonio has some happening going on weekly; one would be dizzy trying to keep up with it all.
The DC area has very few events - Renaissance Festival at this time - the entire metro area seemingly needs to finds it's way there so that it is overcrowded and no a pleasant experience.
Everyone in this 100 mile circu****ence is on the go at 100 mph and the distances are outrageous when compared to a mid western city. As a result, we dislike each other for being in our way, impeding our paths.
I will never understand the housing prices.
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Old 09-25-2007, 11:41 PM
 
1,463 posts, read 5,929,278 times
Reputation: 936
Listen to me....I felt the way after the same time period and took a job located in Michigan. Let me tell you after visiting all these marvelous cities in the U.S. DC is the place to be. You need to step away and realize the gold mine you sit on. Universities, strong economy regardless of recessions, smart goal oriented people, alot to do between NY and Charlottesville. The region is great and it took me living in a cultural dump and visiting all these other places I thought I would like to learn that DC is the best place especially for me.....


The housing prices?? Blame it on the lawyers, politicians, consultants, high degree professionals, tech jobs, and strong entrepeneurial community...
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Old 09-26-2007, 01:49 AM
 
Location: Los Angeles
5,796 posts, read 14,088,567 times
Reputation: 6378
I'm glad I left when I did. Life is too short to stay and be unhappy. Move on.
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Old 09-26-2007, 06:33 AM
 
Location: Baltimore, MD
897 posts, read 2,349,862 times
Reputation: 187
Quote:
Originally Posted by somnambulist View Post
(This is going to be a mere rant, an effort to conduct some badly-needed venting. Feel free to disregard.)

I'm originally from Texas, yet I moved to the D.C. metro area six years ago to stake my career with the Federal government.

Now, I absolutely love my job. But when I first arrived in this area, I noticed that I immediately felt ill at-ease. The people seemed cold and harsh, incredibly rude and selfish, everything was expensive and crowded, and traffic was relentless.

I naively presumed that I merely had to give the area enough time, to "make the best of it", and I'd find myself comfortable enough to consider this place home.

It's been six years, seven in July...and that hasn't happened at all. In fact, I've only found myself hating this place more and more. I love, love the work I get to do for a living, but there's the unfortunate consequence that by its nature, one can only pursue it living in this god-forsaken place.

I'm sick of spending a minimum of two hours on the road everyday, primed like a feral cat to be wary of reckless, irresponsible drivers. I'm sick of having entire weekend plans torpedoed by accidents shutting down highway arteries at random intervals.

I'm sick of spending even more time trying to scratch out a parking space wherever I go that doesn't charge gouging prices and that isn't a marathon's-length away from my ultimate destination.

I'm sick of the rude, childish, horribly self-absorbed people that seem to make up the overwhelming majority of those who live here.

I'm sick of the snobbery and cliquishness and the subdued racism that seems to pervade every "decent" neighborhood, and the overwhelming crime and apathy that overwhelm the rest. It amazed me, a Southerner, just how racist some parts of this area can be.

I'm sick of having to commute long distances because I can't afford the astronomical prices of living closer to where I actually work (and go to school).

I'm sick of renting, I'm sick of rents going up every single year. Additionally, I'm sick of paying such exorbitant amounts of my income to rent what amounts to a tiny hovel when similar expenditures would've landed me a *mansion* back home.

Worst of all, I loathe the fact that after nearly a decade in my profession, that I'M NOWHERE NEAR BEING AT A POINT WHERE I MAKE ENOUGH MONEY TO AFFORD A HOUSE! I've lived here long enough to know that there's no way in hell I can actually afford a *house*, much less a condo that isn't roach-infested, for myself and my family for the modest $350,000 we could afford.

So, my dilemma is the fact that although I love my job and can hardly imagine myself doing anything else...that I just *despise* living here so effing much, it causes me such endless stress and anger that it's even beginning to affect my overall health.

I don't know what to do; on the one hand, I can't see myself going back to Texas to the civilian sector making the faceless rich even richer (I admit that sounds a little anti-free enterprise of me, but it's not at all what I mean), stuck in nowhere towns where no one can point to places like Iraq on a map (nor care to). On the other hand, well, I've made it pretty clear what it is about this place I don't like.

Where the hell is it possible to live like a human being *and* have a family here when you're not making over $150,000/yr? Every time I thought I'd found an answer, I turned out to be horribly wrong.
Hey if you think D.c is bad try nyc. Most people do not make even close enough to buy a home in nyc. Second you can move close to work if you think about it. Figure out how much gas you are paying a year and the value of your time. Once you figure that out compare it to a place that is closer to work. I bet you will find out that it may only be a couple hundred dollars more a year. But the plus side is you will have more time which is highly valued.Housing price will drop in a matter of a couple of years.
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