You write this from the new table in the dining room of your mother’s house. It’s still your house, but you’ve been slowly disengaging. You always are, always have. You’re leaving – or working at it. You have been for a while. Technically, years. From the day your family uprooted and landed in your sleepy southern town, you’ve vowed to leave. To go back to where things weren’t as uncomfortable or ugly or trying.
Now you are going back. Counting pennies and pricing rentals, banking on your cushioning FOF to help you in this impending crunch. And this is big. Like Mondo Burger big. You’re not just moving out, you’re moving away. From every thing and everyone you’ve known for fourteen years. To a city you haven’t seen since one of the last times the Spurs won the championship. No, not that time, the other one. Nope, before then. It’s been a while, okay.
And lately you’ve been beating yourself up, feeling so damn ungrateful. Things are okay here. Not fine, not great, but okay. Manageable. Nothing you can’t handle. You have steady work with people who appreciate you, and that’s nice. You’ve got experience and are gaining more every day. Living at home is more economically feasible and your mom likes you here – even if you never leave your “cave”.
Why move? Why uproot unless absolutely necessary? …did you ever root, or simply thrived where potted?
Think about it. Every move in your twenty five years has been necessity. Because Uncle Sam said so. Because your father is too much. Because he’s better now. Because why not give him one more chance? Because college. Because that college didn’t work out so well for you. Because your then-step-father corners you in the dark of the dining room and you’ll be damned if it ever happens again. Because your then-best friend is having issues with her then-fiancé and you really don’t have much of a place there. But your cat does…
Where’s the fire, love? Where’s the urgency? What is your rush?
And that’s just it. You haven’t been in a rush. You’ve been putting this off. Telling yourself when you’re ready then you’ll go. Spoiler alert: you’ll never be ready. Not to your own liking. You’re both a perfectionist and a slacker. Do it right or don’t do it at all. It’s the not doing it at all that has you stuck in neutral. It has you biding your time and making other people comfortable and never using that energy to do what you want, where you want.
It’s cabin fever – if the cabin is the bible belt, the town that gave you a well enough education and well meaning loved ones, the place that’ll always seem like it exists in a vacuum and every few months you just need to come up for air.
And it’s never just that town. Problems are problems, no matter the geography. You know this is fact, have seen it in action. It’s the laundry list of people, places, and things. Mindsets and lack of forward momentum. It’s how you’re never satisfied, may never be, but you’ll keeping finding things to sate you in the meantime. It’s your biological clock – despite your day to day shift in whether or not you even want kids. Or marriage.
But you want to try. And you can’t try there. You’ve tried.
So you’re focused on updated resumes and cheap but not too cheap apartments and okay, that job’s not what you want for a career but it’ll pay the bills. If you get it. And guess what, this “new” place will be just as uncomfortable and ugly and trying as its predecessor. Maybe some different challenges, maybe some of the same. That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t go. Doesn’t mean you should wait. You’ve been waiting, and if you wait anymore you’ll wake up dead.
Didn’t you say you’d never die there? If you keep wavering between the devil you know and the devil you don’t, the one you know will become one you no longer recognize.
C’mon. You’ve done the college thing, the dropout thing, the college graduate thing. The holding onto the old crush and moving on from the old crush…crushes. You’ve done the acting thing and the directing thing. You’ve written the novel, you’re rewriting the novel. It’s time to do the living thing.
It’s okay to say goodbye. It’s okay to want to.