December 15, 2010

waiting, wanting, searching, finding

So as I sit on a long plane ride to Hawaii watching Eat Pray Love for the second time in a week (occupational hazard), drinking too much cheap wine because I'm in first class, I'm struck by the underlying themes of the movie: waiting, wanting, searching, finding, being unsatisfied in your life. Julia dumped her soon to be ex-husband because of his perpetual searching/waiting and then her new boyfriend accused her of the same thing. Bernie has accused me of this as well, but I think there is a big difference between being open to different possibilities and being unhappy.

We lived for 8 years in the burbs. We looked downtown first but with real estate being at a high, and our price range being low, we settled in the burbs. It was a great house, new, big. We had issues with our house that could potentially be (financially) devastating. Knowing this started to make me hate the house because I just knew the issues that were lurking, in the basement no less. The area had nothing for us, and with the house issues I wanted out. Bernie didn't. But he entertained the idea and if I ventured a guess, I would say he couldn't be happier in our new house. It's perfect. The location is perfect. Every day I feel lucky to live there next to City Park in our 105 year old house. Learning some of the history earlier this year made it even more special. We rented our old house so we don't have to sell at a loss. We are lucky. I could live in this house forever and be happy. But just like when we were in the burbs, I think how cool it might be one day to live in the lofts a few blocks down, or what about a farm where we could have animals and a big garden, or Manhattan, or Paris? The world is ours for the taking. Nothing holding us back.

I grew up in a small town where people were born, they lived, and they died. Few left. These are good people mind you, smart people, my people. But I always felt like I didn't quite belong. Especially after I graduated college. Like because I went to college I was now an outsider. In my town, in my family, I felt different. Me and my best friend back in Algonac could not be more different, but in a good way. What is great about us, is that our differences are amusing to each other. On paper, we shouldn't be friends but she is my history and my family and she gets a kick out of my non-traditional path and vice versa.

I went 600 miles away to college and came back to Algonac when I graduated. I drove the 50 miles each way to GM for work as was the norm. My family was so proud. I had a dream job. I made more my first year at GM then my dad did after working his ass off for 35 years as a roofer. I could have lived in the house I was born in for the rest of my life, driving 100 miles a day, and that would have been "normal." I remember the look on my Dad's face when I said I was quitting my job, and moving to Denver to live with Bernie, and didn't have another job (I didn't know it then but I wouldn't for an entire year!). It's not that he was disappointed, he was shocked. I was living the dream, or his dream for me, working at the best company in the world that (at the time) set it's employees up for a comfortable life. But then I quit. Eventually I got a job, again at one of the biggest companies in the world, and I do miss living on the water, and my friends and family but taking the road less traveled has served me well each and every time. So, I don't think exploring or seeking out something different is an indication of unhappiness, it's being open to the opportunity to learn and grow.

Dammit, where is all this pesky introspection coming from lately?

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