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Tuesday, December 14, 2004
Chapter the Third: In which the Protagonist realizes she is Content.
I have more pictures of the New York Trip, but maybe I'll save those for later.

Sunday morning, riding home on the train, Meg and I were both pretty quiet, possibly because we were still exhausted. I was going over in my mind all we had seen and done. The crowds were really amazing. I know it can't always be quite that crowded, but isn't there something like 5 million people living on that tiny island?

Then driving home from the train station, I was really aware, for some reason, of all the little personal landmarks I developed from living in the same general area for 26 years——this is the road I learned to drive on; that's the store where I bought my prom dress——and I found myself smiling.

It used to drive me crazy. My first job after I graduated from college was at a bookstore. I remember sitting at our holiday dinner listening to two more-than-middle-aged women talking about their high-school friends, and realizing that both of them had lived within a 10 mile radius of their high-school for their entire lives. It seemed like a death sentence! I wanted to be out there, I wanted to see things, I wanted to live in a flat in London, a studio in New York City, a townhouse in SanFranciso.

A few months later I was living in Texas with my brother and then on my own: exploring the city of Austin, finding a real job, getting myself into mounds of credit card debt. I was pretty much "out there." Very homesick at first, quite miserable in fact...but out there. Things got a lot easier, but the longer I lived there the more sure I was that eventually I would go home. It was more than homesickness, it was knowing where I belonged. I wasn't unhappy during my 2 years in Texas, I just knew it wasn't where I was supposed to be. My father dying was the main factor in my actually moving back to Pennsylvania. I hated to think of my mother all alone out there, and in all honesty, during that time I think I needed to be with her as much as she needed me.

Now I've been living back in PA for 4 years. I love it here. I like knowing what deer, foxes, raccoons, and possums really look like (even if they're mostly dead in the middle of the road). I like being close to friends I've known for most of my life. I like having an aerial map of most of Eastern Pennsylvania in my head. I like sleeping in my old bed on the weekends and then going out to breakfast with my mom. I don't mind not being street smart, because I know what the air smells like just before it's going to snow.

There are still things I want to do, of course. I'd still love to work for a publishing house in London. I want to see as much of the world as I can. I always want to be learning. Those two months that I lived in Glastonbury, even if the love has gone out of them and the memories hurt right now, were still two of the best months of my life. But what I realized when I spent a weekend in crowded Manhattan is that while I might end up living somewhere else for years, I know where my home is.
posted by LoRi~fLoWer
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3 Comments:
  • At 9:23 PM, Blogger Writer said…

    It sounds like you had a great time in NYC, and went at the right time of year too. I love that city, but hate that every Starbuck’s is ALWAYS packed and coffee/tea costs minimum $10. I think being able to visit a place, enjoy it, and then come back home when you’re ready is the best thing in the world (I write this from my home, I mean hotel room of 3 months in Va). I’m totally happy to be out on my own (finally!), but will admit I do find myself missing home sometimes. Odd how that happens.

     
  • At 3:38 PM, Blogger Gary said…

    That's a pretty good state to get into though. I think I'd take contentment over an amazingly well paid job every single time :-)

     
  • At 4:11 PM, Blogger LoRi~fLoWer said…

    I miss you, Writer, when are you coming home again? Are you staying home through New Years? We have to get together with Meg and have a girly fest!

    Gary: Very true, although I wouldn't mind having both!

     
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