It’s Monday, and oddly enough I don’t have a case of the Mondays.
I spent the weekend saying goodbye to one of my best friends as she prepared to move to D.C. to infiltrate and overthrow the government (I think that’s what she said…). Usually, I spend my mornings debating on how much coffee is appropriate and listening to my guilty pleasure (pain?) NPR in a half awake state on my way to work. Why I still listen to it confounds even me…I guess I feel the need to stay up to date on how current events are effectively spun into pro-state propaganda. Maybe I prefer NPR because they are so damn subtle about it, making them highly efficient. It’s admirable in an evil genius kind of way.
Anyway, I traded that cringe inducing drivel for some tunes. Specifically, a live set by Lotus that I attended nearly four years ago. The nostalgia that arises out of these old recordings can be overwhelming and as I was jamming out I reflected on the point I was at during that time in my life as it related to my friend’s life changing move.
I was a nomad at the time, yearning for adventure with my biggest fear being tied down to my home town. I took every chance to escape and travel to new places as any new place was exceedingly better than little Pensacola, and during this time I transformed greatly and positively. But, I can’t help noticing that these adventures were fueled by extreme resentment for the city I came from, and honestly, that’s no way to live.
Everyone had probably experienced disdain for their hometown at one point or another in their life, and maybe some even feel trapped by it. I felt particularly suffocated for a long time here, but lately I have been becoming more at home in my home town, as strange as that sounds.
The years leading up to my travels were spent with a belief that I would not be here very long, that I would move out of this black hole town and on to something greater and more meaningful. The feeling that there was more to be offered by the mysterious other places I visited was pervasive and made me evasive of making long term commitments here.
I am now realizing that I had been missing out on the meaning all around me, and that by putting down the city that raised me for so long, I had blinded myself to the similarities you’ll find anywhere else where humans are coexisting. It’s easy to assume that the grass is greener on the other side, but that’s often an indication that you are not properly caring for your own lawn.
Of course, inadequate lawn care is not always the case, but for me it was. I had failed to cultivate the soil and undeniable roots in my own life, opting for greener pastures elsewhere. Finally, with reluctance but acceptance I declare that I am feeling pretty humbled by “getting stuck” here. Dare I say that I may even feel comfortable with where I am at now in life? Now, I always like to keep opportunities open and if I do end up moving away that will be all fine and dandy, but focusing on what I can do while I am here is becoming increasingly fulfilling.
Every now and then I still get the itch to travel, and will be going all the way up to New Hampshire in a couple of weeks to see family and attend Porcupine Freedom Festival to fulfill my wanderlust. We also have a road trip planned for out West in December, so I’ll be good. A couple trips a year is looking more preferable to driving hours every weekend to get away from a place that, when honestly assessed, isn’t so terribly bad. You know, it has its corruption and silliness like all other cities, but at least it’s the sociopaths I am familiar with as opposed to having to figure out new ones.
Instead of taking every moment to get away, I have gradually learned moderation. My sanity and wallet have thanked me for this realization that maybe, just maybe, settling in this old town wouldn’t be the absolute worst thing ever. Then again, last time I thought I was comfortable in a singular state of being I met my husband, so it’s funny how life works out sometimes. Or maybe against the advice of my elders, I am just getting old. *shoulder shrug bounces*
I wish the best to my best friend as she chases (and fulfills!) her dreams to change the world, Lord knows she has a clearer destination in mind than I did years ago, but for now I’m done with trying to escape. That is not to ascribe that urge to her, but rather a personal reality I had to accept.
As it turns out, I am living my dreams in a more real sense than ever before and serendipity has taught me that it is achievable under conditions you would least expect and in places you never dreamed you would end up. People refer to Pensacola as a black hole, but it only sucks your soul as much as you let it, and I refuse to let myself perceive it in that way because it turns out that my perception of this place being soul sucking was the largest factor feeding my neurosis about it.
So, it’s a rainy Monday, I am highly caffeinated, and the once terrifying reality that I may be in Pensacola for a very long time is now almost comforting.