Sunday, March 2, 2014

Things I Miss

When it came to contemplating the move, as we did so intensely for such a prolonged period of time, I really thought that I had anticipated everything.  I thought it all through from start to finish.  Nevermind the fact that I'd never done this before; I was going to think of everything so that there would be no surprises.

I don't like surprises.

Well, except maybe flowers.  Or jewelry.  Or celebrations in my honor?!

Oh... ahem.  Sorry.

Apparently, my thinking-of-everything didn't work worth a hoot at all.  Look what happened with the house, and the daycare, and a bunch of other little stuff.  Overall though, I think we rolled with the punches pretty well.  And as much as I know it's obnoxious to pat one on one's own back, I am actually really proud of how I handled most of this move.  I am a creature of stability and routine and I don't like surprises (except, well, you know)... and I tend to get really off-kilter fairly easily when those things get disturbed.  For the most part, I think I held it together fairly well, with the exception of a few brief dark periods that I now realize were just little fits of "I hate change" oozing out.

Now that we've been here for several months, new routines are developing nicely, and a level of comfort is returning, I'm starting to realize that there are things that I miss that I never could have anticipated.

For example, I miss my favorite radio station from back home!  Sure, I can hear the same music anywhere, but I miss the DJ's so much, particularly the morning ones.  I guess I took them for granted before, with their perfect mix of news, weather, and funny banter.  The DJ's on the two similar genre stations here are... meh.  You know, whatever, they're fine, but they aren't the ones I'm used to.  Thankfully I have an iHeartRadio app on my phone that allows me to listen in, but it's just not practical to do it every morning.

I've also learned that for the past thirty-(mumble) years, I have taken for granted the fact that everywhere I would go back home, I would see at least one familiar face, and often a whole bunch of familiar faces.  Because I'd always had that, it never occurred to me that I might miss it.  In fact, it used to irritate me.  I remember telling hubby during the pre-move frenzy, "won't it be nice to go grocery shopping and not see a single person we know?!"

And as much as I do enjoy that sometimes, other times it kinda bums me out.  Everything is new for me lately.  New job, new company, new house, new city, new school for the boy, new traffic patterns, new neighbors, new routines, new schedule, new doctors, new grocery store... and it turns out I really miss... familiarity.  A few times I've seen people from back home at work (some people in our industry tend to travel between here and there a lot to work), I've been so excited to see them.  I'm embarrassed to admit that I've apparently taken to hugging people I normally would not randomly hug.  One guy I've known for 15 years, but have never been friends with per se, rather just a customer of mine, surprised me at work the other day and before I knew what happened, I had actually thrown an arm around him.  Oops.

I miss our coffee ladies back home.  I miss the cashiers at my favorite grocery store.  (Heck, I miss knowing where everything is!)  I miss the comfort of knowing that if I needed help with something, even just some company, I could call any one of dozens of people and they'd be there in ten minutes or less.  I do have some awesome relatives in the new city and I know they'd do the same, but even they seem... new.  I miss Aidan's pediatrician and the comfort of knowing she's there if I need her.

I miss places with special meanings from my past.  Like the house I grew up in, the hospital where Aidan was born and my friends and relatives had their babies, the place hubby and I had our first kiss, even the place where I whacked a sea gull with my 1985 Toyota Camry when I was 21.  (Long and funny story... I am an animal lover for sure, but I still maintain I was just cleansing the gene pool of a terribly idiotic bird.)

Most of all, I miss my friends and family.  Especially my parents.  I hate feeling like I ditched them.  They were supportive - they always are - but they were also honest that they were sad.  I hate that.  I remember calling my dad one night shortly before the decision was made.  I was fighting tears and told him I didn't know if I could leave them like that (as they don't really have anyone else nearby to help with things, or if something happens).  The self-inflicted guilt was pretty intense.

You know what my dad said to me?

"Honey, if you stay here because of us, then we are keeping you here, and that's not okay.  You have your own life and your own family and you need to do what is best for you now.  We'll be just fine."

I lost the fight with the tears!  That is typical of them - encouraging me even when it could be to their own detriment in some way.  That made me feel both better about our decision and worse for taking Aidan away from them (and them from him).

But the decision was made shortly thereafter and we've tried not to look back.  I once heard that your car has a big windshield and a small rear view mirror because you are supposed to spend most of your time looking forward, not back.  I've never been extremely good at that, but I'm working on it.

I think what's keeping me going through the rest of this time frame full of realizing what I miss... is making plans to go back to visit all those people, places and things.  In less than three months I should be back home for a few days.  I'm a little nervous that it will make me more homesick, but mostly I'm really excited to get back to that familiarity, even if only briefly.

Maybe I'll go grocery shopping while I'm there, just so I can bump into a half dozen old friends.