Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Greener Grass

I'm not asking for advice. I'm just thinking out loud.

Mr. E and I first lived together in a tiny apartment in Ann Arbor Michigan.
The first year was rough.
Michigan made me miserable.

The sun never shone. I hated my job. (In retrospect, it was a terrible terrible job.) I was fatter than I've ever been and I hated being fat. I hated living in the Midwest. The pill made me crazy. And when I sent mail my return address made me depressed.

I did not, in the slightest, appreciate my wood floors or that I could walk to Starbucks. I did not realize that not everyone can just saunter down to a farmer's market or a junk shop full of remarkable used furniture or a world famous deli or a food co op whenever they feel like sauntering. I stewed in my misery over the place we lived and I was convinced we needed to be elsewhere. Not just elsewhere. Somewhere better.

Then Mr. E got a job in Lincoln and despite a rocky start because the idea of living in NEBRASKA so horrified me, that was the two years I proved I could, if I had to, live anywhere. Even though it was in Nebraska, I loved my job. And thirty miles of paths meandered past our house and I learned to run on those flat smooth green covered paths. I wasn't fat anymore. I could still walk to coffee or the grocery store and I lived right next to a crazy store filled with my favorite kind of junk.

I still felt horrified whenever I sent anyone mail. I cried whenever we returned home to NEBRASKA from a trip. We visited New York and I had to force myself to tell people where we were living. I yearned for California.

Now we're here and I'm not sure how this can be but I'm still not happy. I adore my child. I adore my husband. I like sending mail. I feel proud that we live in one of the universally acknowledged best places on earth. (At least in my mind).

And yet. I can't walk anywhere except to another subdivision. I don't know anyone. Our house falls down around me and I feel like I could sum up my life in a history of the crappy closets I have known in rental houses that are always in the end not my own. I'm growing tired of the scrappy lawn filled with dog poop that I don't want to sit in. My sketchy neighbor has been idling his motorcycle for hours. I might be a little bit depressed. Taking a shower every day isn't turning out to be as important as I thought it was. I can't remember when I last changed the sheets and I also can't really remember why that matters.

I do love California. I do want to learn to be happy in the moment. I don't always want to be wanting. I do know that this all takes time. That I am very very lucky. That this is how the suburbs are. That I said anywhere in California would be better than Nebraska. That I claim I can only live in old houses and so this is my doing. That people would kill to have my problems. That I take my blessings for granted. That if I want a fancy house I should go back to work. And there are many other cliches I am also aware of. But I can't help it. I sit in the sun I yearned for for so very long and I dream of this:


bazu said...

Hey, there's nothing wrong with you- you have wanderlust! Join the club. I always appreciate where I live, but I always yearn for the next place, too. I think it's so good for kids to be raised in many different places- it gives them loads of perspective, understanding, and sophistication.

Chris H said...

Boo hoo, we have the same dreams when it comes to walk in wardrobes!

Trixie said...

I have wanderlust too. And a fair amount of depression mixed in for good measure. I think it has to do with feeling like we COULD be doing more. If only. I don't know. I wish I had an answer b/c then I wouldn't be where I am now. I love VT. I always wanted to return. And at the same time I keep thinking...ok, now what.