Moving from one part of the country to another is not that simple. Some make it look effortless and treat it like an adventure while people like me struggle at times with what we left behind. Don’t get me wrong, I really like where I am living and love and adore the people who have become part of my framily (see previous post about definition http://lspostyn.wordpress.com/2013/03/04/a-tale-of-my-two-cities/), it’s just that lately I’ve had this feeling of being ‘in-between” lives and have the tendency of looking in my rear view mirror.
It became apparent during my most recent trip back to New York over the holidays. To date, I’ve managed to travel back to New York 7 times in a year and a half. I definitely feel I’ve gotten my dose of the frenetic pace that New York offers and by the time the trip is over I can honestly say that I am ready to return to North Carolina. This past trip, I was that crazy person trying to schedule every minute of every day, squeezing the most out of a 5 day visit, cramming visits, parties, shopping and family time that I barely slept and came back to North Carolina feeling completely exhausted. It might seem excessive trying to fit so much into so little but it is important for me to maintain those connections with my New York life; the connections that took me a lifetime to forge. Besides, I will always be a New Yorker in my head. But, my New York brain has had a bit of an attitude adjustment.
When visiting New York last month, a harsh dose of reality set in. While I still feel at home when I go “home” to visit, it just isn’t the same – it’s no longer like I left it. It’s really that simple. Grasping that truth has been a bit of a challenge to say the least. And as I write this, I’m not sad about it, just realistic as this is where my life is now. Life goes on in Huntington, now it’s just without me, and, I guess I’m OK with that. It took a year and half for me to be able to say that without getting overly emotional. Alright, I am a bit of a slow learner! As I drove around my old stomping grounds, weaving into my former neighborhood, it felt as if I never left, yet, I also felt weird about being there, like I was intruding. It was a strange feeling to stand a few feet away from my old house, a place where my husband and I started our life together, brought our son home from the hospital for the very first time, had countless renovations and sunk ever spare dollar we had into upgrading that money pit. I looked at that house, the physical structure, and felt nothing. I was actually surprised by my reaction and thought I would want to ring the bell and ask to see the inside. The feeling of being part of that neighborhood is what I still miss and love, including my friends who live next door, around the corner and down a few streets. It was so familiar and comforting like no time has passed, but it did and so have my feelings. Visiting with the friends that I love so dearly, was like nothing has changed but, we both know that the weekly visits or daily phone calls just don’t exist anymore and that is what happens when you move on and their lives continue without you. I had to come to terms with the fact that life doesn’t come to a screeching halt because I’m in the same zip code and by them not dropping everything to see me doesn’t mean that they don’t love me anymore.
Now that I moved away from my hometown and majority of my family, I have to rely on their kindness and hospitality. While I am sure they are thrilled to have me, I do require a great deal of attention while there – like airport pickups/drop offs, a nice comfortable bed, transportation, food and most certainly entertainment. The decision for me to move out of Huntington was difficult but knowing that I still had my family in the area made the decision much more bearable as I had it in the back of my head that it would be the place I would go back to, time and again. I could always go home. I can equate it to the likes of my 15 year old self telling my parents I was running away just to aggravate them (think bitchy teenager) and then suddenly change my mind by dinner time because I was hungry and I really wanted to be home. It is almost the same but not really. I do feel hungry for Huntington on a regular basis but it isn’t that easy anymore. The drive to Long Island from Raleigh can suck the life out of you, the flights are cost prohibitive and I no longer have that “safe house” much to my disappointment. Shortly after I moved away, my parents uprooted themselves out of Huntington. I know it’s childish and selfish that my parents’ plans were different from the one I imagined in my head but it still doesn’t change the fact that it is now terribly inconvenient for me to run around town as if I still lived there. That was my back up plan. With all the planning that I do, (and those that know me, know that is what I do for a living) this is that something I didn’t plan for and I’m becoming more comfortable with that. Who says you can’t teach semi-old dog new tricks?
So, my definition of The In Between is a sensation of not feeling as connected to a previous life and gradually becoming entrenched in the new one. I still experience those pangs of regret and being homesick, however, those pangs in question are becoming fewer and now far between.
I think this picture describes why I can be a moody blue.