I have a secret. My secret is I’m whole and in two different places. My secret is I feel alone but am surrounded by people. My secret is I feel like I am being forced to responsible for things I shouldn’t have to be, and the realization of that, makes me feel guilty.
I just returned home from a three week vacation…home. I love where I live now, I have been happy here and for seven years now I have called this place home. But I have to be honest when I say that Quincy will always be home. I think my heart belongs there. I cannot lie and say that I have not been toying with the idea of going back…for good. I feel loved there, appreciated there, whole there. I feel like I am loved for simply being me and not for what I can do for someone. I feel valued…and missed. I had such a hard time leaving there this time. Maybe because I spent so much more time there than I normally have been able too. Perhaps it was the added time that caused me to get reattached to the history, the grace, the comfort and normalcy of its limits. The familiarity of it brought such a sense of peace that I was almost shocked. I drove the streets, sat in the parks, watched the sun set over the water of the Mississippi. I smelled the sweet smell of soy beans in the air and felt the crisp fall breezes that tossed the leaves haphazardly. I sat and actually got to enjoy the company of my grandparents. I was hugged by people with such vigor, that I felt they didn’t want to let go. I didn’t want to let go.
Some may read this and think, wow, her decision should be easy. It seems it should be, but it’s not. I know the saying goes, “you can never go home”. I know that if I moved back there, it wouldn’t be the same. Sure, people were excited to see me; they haven’t seen me in a year or better. But if I move there, I know life will go on. Will I be disappointed when it dawns on me that life goes on whether I am there or not? And will I be happy? Do I even know what would make me happy? I thought changing jobs would make me happy. It did, for awhile. I thought moving into my own apartment would. It did, for awhile. Going to school, getting a boyfriend. Again, only for awhile. Would a change of address really make any difference at all? Or…would it mean everything? It seems such a drastic and risky change to ultimately find out I wouldn’t be happy there either. I have to take into consideration that things will not be the same there. They just can’t be. That’s a part of life. And also that I will deeply miss a group of people here I have come to love as family. They have just as much value as the ones in Illinois. Eventually, I would long for them too. Perhaps moving would only postpone my feelings of loneliness, and redirect my sense of loss.
I think this is all just another example of why I need to learn to be happy where I am; to appreciate the blessings that are in my life and stop worrying so much. But how do I do that??? It’s easier said than done, but here goes nothing. I just want to be happy, for once.
To those of you had the supreme pleasure of seeing while I was home, thank you for being an irreplaceable part of my life. To those of you I got to come back to, thank you for being so, so worth it. I love you all.