Well, it’s happening…something I NEVER thought would happen.
I miss home. AND I find myself wishing for cooler weather. What’s happening to me??
First of all, I’ve NEVER been “that person” who enjoys cold weather & wishes away the warmth. But my third year of living in southern Alabama & I’m so over this unbearable heat. I’m actually jealous of those back home in KY experiencing low-60’s temps. I would love that right about now.
Secondly, I have lived away from home for almost 10 years now. Distance is not a new adjustment for me. Granted, this is the furthest I’ve lived from home but I really don’t believe that is the sole reason for my sudden home-sick feelings.
When I was away at college, I never counted down the days (or even looked forward to, really) to upcoming breaks in the semester to visit home again. In fact, it kind of made me sad to leave campus & make the trek homeward. I loved my college town/experience that much. I even stayed away from home during the summers. I only went home for the traditional holidays of Thanksgiving & Christmas, & I think only one spring break week. Not once did I experience a feeling of home-sickness. Moving day after graduation was one of the saddest days for me. I remember pulling away from my little college apartment with mine & my parents vehicles packed up feeling such a sense of sadness to be leaving this place.
Even when Carl & I moved to a MUCH smaller town after graduation where I went to graduate school, I felt an immediate sense of belonging, if that makes sense. I found a job, I met wonderful people, I had my routines with certain friends; I felt a connection. At the time, I thought I despised that little town in the middle of nowheresville, KY but another move made me see it totally different.
700+ miles south & I’m learning what it truly means to be “born & bred” somewhere. Carl & I are yet again in a very small town, working at a small college (student body of less than 6,000) with even less to do socially. We have no malls, no Target/Publix/Kroger, etc., a very limited amount of “restaurants,” at least an hour drive in every direction to a “bigger city” with these things, & only recently did this town approve of selling draft beer…yes, this might be where the movie Footloose was based.
I don’t mean to sound so hateful of this place, but the longer I am here the more aware of small town politics I am becoming. This is truly a town where ‘everybody knows everybody’ because they were born here & spend their entire lives here. Which is fine. If ones family is all in a certain spot & that’s all you’ve ever known, why leave? But for an outsider to try to come into one of these towns, it’s near impossible.
I’ve never been some place where I have felt truly awkward & like I do not fit in. It’s hard for me to describe, never having experienced this before, but the longer I am here the more I know this is not a place I want to stay.
Ask anyone who knows me & they will tell you I am no social butterfly. I love spending time at home, & at most times, by myself. But I feel I am still young enough to where I want to have the opportunity to experience new things, meet new people, attend different events/gatherings.
My husband knows all these things & since May he has been on the job hunt for new opportunities. The most recent & most prospective being an opportunity back in our home state, a mere 130 miles from our home town; at a bigger school & 7 miles from a much larger city. We were excited to learn of this opportunity & hoped hugely that this would be his ticket to a better job, but it again fell through & he was not offered the position. I was disappointed, but mostly for him. I think he really wanted this job more than I wanted to move. The positions we are both currently in came relatively easy & now facing this difficult transition into other things is proving harder than I think we both anticipated.
My short phone conversation with my mom the other day had me (sarcastically) laughing when she kept asking me what’s new & I responded with ‘Nothing. I live in a small town with nothing to do so every day is like Groundhog’s Day.’
I know I should be thankful to be working & appreciative of the warmer climate (as my mother so often likes to remind me), but I am just feeling anxious & ready for something new. If I was where I were meant to be, I would feel settled—right?