Posted by: LucidMystery | September 23, 2008

Life in PA

Pittsburgh view-from-incline sm.jpg

Well my faithful readers, it’s only taken…lemme count…a bunch…of months since I wrote last, but I felt that you needed an update on life in the ‘Burgh and things are going for me. I thought I would open up by telling you some fun facts about the City of Steel:

-Pittsburgh has no less than 446 bridges (google it). The city straddles the formation of the Ohio river by the Allegheny and Monongahela rivers, so you pretty much have to go over water wherever you go; just make sure you clarify when someone tells you “go down the road by the water and then go over the bridge.” Yeah that doesn’t cut, Mr. Citgo Employee.

-Southside is not somewhere you want to be at night. Strength in numbers may or may not help you, so follow these guidlines: don’t get out of your car, don’t roll down your windows, don’t trust the “helpless” old lady, and if you think someone is watching you…they are.

-The Carnegie Museum of Natural History is pretty fabulous and has one of the largest collections of dino bones in the country! It also has a huge crystals and minerals exhibit. Very pretty!

-Whoever designed Pittsburgh’s roads was either legitimately insane or on crack. Why are Schenley Ave and Schenley Ave Extension five miles apart? Why can you never reach the same street from both directions of 376? Why has this road changed names 6 times in 2 miles? And my personal fave-EVERYTHING is one-way!

-Steelers fans are pretty much as intense as Buckeye fans. If you feel the urge to say “Go Browns” on a game day, I would encourage you to be armed with at least a taser.

-Grocery stores are small and the Targets are busy.

-If you don’t drive within .078 seconds of a light turning green, you will be honked at. And the drivers always assume you didn’t hear them for the first six seconds, so they keep blaring just to be sure.

-I live in walking distance of a Chipotle, two Starbucks, and a Panera…the universe makes sense 🙂


I can joke all I want, but overall, Pittsburgh isn’t a bad city. The faculty at my school are all very friendly and actually want to hang out with us grad students; the rest of the grad students in my department are all pretty nice. I can even get used to the guy who always hangs out in front of Lulu’s Noodles asking for money.

In spite of all that, most of whoever is reading this has probably heard my ranting and/or crying about how much I want to go back home (two of you heard it last night). And it’s true, I miss all my OC folks so much that I don’t know what to do with myself on Tuesday or Thursday nights, and I wouldn’t even mind dealing with flooding Dr. Lehman’s office again if it meant I was still a senior (yes…even with my thesis still hanging over my head.)

You know what though, joy isn’t supposed to be based on external factors. Yeah, I miss everything I can think of at home, but is it really so bad here? No it’s not. My big thing right now is quoting that uber-cheesy bumper sticker phrase “Don’t cry becuase it’s over, smile because it happened.” I still have all my friends and family; it just takes me a little longer to get to them when I want to visit. My four years at Otterbein were a gift; I don’t need to be greedy.

The biggest point I need to remember though is that I know God wants me here. I don’t know why yet, but somehow every door opened right to where I am now. That alone should tell me that I’m safe; I’m in God’s plan, and He won’t leave me here to deal with all this change on my own. I’m even pretty sure I was forewarned by multiple sources that becoming Dr. Wheeler was going to be a challenge-I guess I just only ever assumed my research was  going to be the rockiness. But hey, I’m a tough chick. I may have spent 96% of my life living within five minutes of a cornfield, but I can adjust when called to.

To sum this up, life in Pittsburgh is going to rock! Up until this point, I haven’t let it be any fun because whatever is here just isn’t the same is as at home. Well, the Westerville brand of fun isn’t all there is. It was great while I was there, and I can go back for a reminder whenever I want, but there’s so much out here that I just need to find it all! I need to get out there and meet people, eat at the over-priced Hard Rock Cafe, discover the city’s hidden treasures, and most importantly, I need to be happy wherever I am. Because I’m the only one who can decide that.

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