I'm not good at change. It makes me itch. It makes me snack late at night. It keeps me up when I should be sleeping. It drives me to bake cookies, buy celebrity magazines at the grocery store, eat spoonfuls of Nutella at random, mindlessly watch back to back to back episodes of HGTV's Property Virgins, and indiscriminately shop online. Change is not a good color on me. It makes me less normal. Much less normal.
So far, I've survived the mind-numbing pack-a-thon, the stuffing of all our worldy goods into a POD and our two cars, the awkwardly sad goodbyes, the drive to our new piece of geography, and the attempt at making a temporary home with my parents'. I feel a bit shell-shocked and may need to be held at any moment. So, if you and I bump into each other at the grocery store or a gas station any time soon, prepare yourself, I may try to hug you.
The hardest part of all this transition is something I'm not sure I would have expected before the wheel of change started turning. I didn't expect coming back to my hometown to be so, well, weird.
It reminds me of the title of Thomas Wolfe's book You Can't Go Home Again. Maybe you read the cliffs notes for this in high school. I'm pretty sure I never read it or the cliffs notes. But, I keep thinking about that title and feeling like Thomas and I should have a coffee date. Having spent almost as many years away from home as I spent living here, I'm realizing that as familiar as this place is, it's not familiar at all anymore. I mean, since I left, they built a massive Wal-Mart and closed the drugstore where I worked my first job and they built two more Waffle Houses (with a mile between them) and there's a shiny new Walgreens' where the Ford dealership used to be. Oh, and Hardee's reopened for the third time (But will it be the last grand re-opening? Who can say.)
I know. I know. These are not even close to being significant changes. Obviously, two new Waffle Houses have no bearing on my life in any kind of real way. But, still, things feel different. And, probably most of all, I feel different. I'm not who I was when I left here sixteen years ago. I'm a completely revised version of myself since that day I drove out of town to college and never officially came back.
I realize this probably doesn't relate to where you are or what you're experiencing right now and hopefully you can cut me some slack here and let me openly journal on this public blog that should be about relatable stuff like holiday crafts and crockpot recipes. But, maybe, just maybe, there's somebody out there who's done this before: moved home after having been gone for years and years and found out that it feels incredibly weird and awkward to be back. If this is you, maybe you've got some pointers for me? I could use a ten-step plan and maybe a couple of counseling sessions if you're up for it.
So, here I am, trying to sort out the unsortable. I hope you'll forgive me if I sound distracted when you call or if when I send you an email, I mention what I had for dinner, or if that Facebook message I wrote on your wall is a tad bit needy. I need a little time to figure out what the new normal is.
Sigh. I have no final words of wisdom to leave you with here. And so, in an effort to end this post in a less brooding way, I'll leave you with a picture of Ryan Gosling (because I haven't taken a picture of anybody important in about a month and because this makes me laugh).
I've been to Target a few times lately. And I came out with some unexpected items. Maybe you can relate to me and Ryan about that?