I moved from Brooklyn to Maplewood, NJ after having kids.  I am not alone in this transition – it feels like everyone I meet here came for the same reasons.  More space, the schools, family lifestyle, blah blah blah.  The typical reasons people move to the suburbs.

Sometimes it feels like everyone around me loves it here.  For those of you that aren’t familiar with it, Maplewood is this little, liberal hub in the suburbs.  It’s a “thing”.  The NY Times wrote an article about it called “If Brooklyn was a suburb”.  People started calling it Brooklyn West (puke).   People hashtag #boburbs (meaning better off burbs).

Sometimes, I feel so alone.

And sometimes, I meet some likeminded people – who are like “What the fuck am I doing here?” Or maybe, I discover something/ a place/ a moment, that feels “normal”.

That’s what this blog is about.  My new normal.

And building a community that shares some of these feelings.  As we are all just trying to figure it out.

So this is not intending to bash New Jersey.  I just think the name ihatenj is funny.  And it speaks to New Jersey’s bad rap.  And its the opposite of I heart NY.

I just want this to be more of an exploration of my conflicted feelings about living here, especially when I’m a mom of two young kids, where reality is often isolating – and my new normal feels bizarre anyway.  And a conversation about different people’s experiences about moving to the suburbs, or a place where it feels strange.  I don’t know.

So this blog is intending to speak to:

…. things that make me feel “normal”

… places that are exciting and just plain good (not just “good for here”)

… an exploration into feelings associated with living in a place you are conflicted about

… things in general that make me feel better

… a space for people to present their experiences/feelings going thru these transitions

… a space for people to not feel so alone

And this entire list may change at any time.

Ciao. Lauren.