February 4, 2009

on my current thoughts...

I'm presently in the town where I grew up, and I still somehow can't fight the part of me that feels like I'm "home". I've been in California for about five years now, and still, whenever I'm traveling back to Washington, I still think to myself, "I'm going home." Isn't that funny? I guess some things never change. No matter how long you're away. Hardly any of my family even lives here any more - only my sister, her husband, their son, and also my Grandma (who is a little outside of the main city). The town has changed, too. But still, when I'm here, driving through the streets that I still know by heart, I feel a sense of comfort and familiarity.

It's always difficult to go back to California after a visit here. Sometimes, a part of me tends to ask, "Well, then, why did you ever leave if this was such a lovely place?" But I know that my leaving was just another part of my story. It couldn't have ended up any other way. And if it had, I certainly wouldn't be, well, me.

I have an idea of what my life would be like, had I not left. Married to the boyfriend I left when I moved to California, we'd most likely have one child (and perhaps another on the way), we'd have a small home, we'd be happy enough together, despite how pissed off I'd be whenever he came home from a hunting trip (because, well, hunting makes me cry, and I never got over the fact that he loved it), I'd probably be working at either a restaurant somewhere or perhaps as a secretary, life would be fine. But I truly know, with every inch of my being, that I would always, always regret not taking a chance to do something life-changing and spontaneous when I had the chance. And that thought would have always been there. I know it.

So, that's all to say, I have no regrets. (Especially when I realize that meeting Jay was the single most wonderful thing about moving to California. Where would I be without him, anyway?) I just miss this place sometimes. It represents all the comfort and memories I have from when I was growing up. To me, it's perfect. It makes me feel safe, happy, comfortable. And because of that, I can't help but be incredibly wistful when I come to visit. I can't help but cry out, "Ohhh! I remember this street!" Or, "Ohhh! I ate at that Taco Bell all the time!" Or, "Ohhh! Please let it snow while I'm here!" Or, "Ohhh! Do you think I'm going to run into someone I recognize?" (It's funny, because I rehearse in my head, conversations I'd have with different people were I to run into them.)

I'm here for the next few days, and I'm just trying to soak it all in before I head back to California. I know I have an entire life built where we are now, but a completely irrational part of me always wants to kidnap my husband and move back here, where we could get simple, comfortable jobs and actually be able to afford a home before we hit thirty.

But I just need to remind myself that I have this habit of always romanticizing the "idea" of something, and the fact that things wouldn't be nearly as perfect as they are in my head. I, once again, need to get back into reality and just be content in the moment and stop crying to change and fix what isn't broken.

Otherwise, things here have been absolutely wonderful. Landon is the sweetest little baby I've ever seen - and I'm not just saying that just because he's my nephew. I guess that my only recollection of newborns involves a ridiculous amount of crying and neediness. But Landon? The only time I ever hear him cry is when he's getting his diaper changed. (And, apparently, in the middle of the night a few times, but I've been sleeping through that somehow.) He is a tiny, beautiful baby. He'll just lay there, looking around, perfectly content and calm. He even smiles. (Which absolutely melts my soul and makes me wish I could know what is going through his mind as the corner of his mouth tugs into a small smile.) I just want to scoop him up and never let him go.

I'm enjoying the time with my sister and her husband - they are amazing together. They both are lucky enough to have this time to spend with each other, too. (Her husband is enjoying his own "maternity leave"!) Just seeing them work together to start out Landon's life so perfectly makes me so inspired. They help out each other and understand each other...it's is so great to see. They are already such wonderful parents.

And I know that it's going to sound odd (because I'm sure that the general expectation is that I'm going to return home with some seriously intense baby fever) but I know that I'm so incredibly not ready to be a parent yet. I'm even a little surprised, because sometimes I find myself looking at what my sister has and I think, "If this is what newborns are all about, then sign me up!" But the other half of me is a bit more realistic. I know that I'm not yet ready for the responsibility, the one that lasts twenty-four hours a day. I'm not ready for the worry and pressure and (of course) wonderful blessing that is parenthood. It's a little ironic, because I think that I was more ready for parenthood when I first got married. Now, as I'm getting older, I'm less ready. I guess it could be that I know more about life; I'm a little less naive.

But, who knows. Things will happen when they're meant to happen. For now, I'm happy with the way things are. Like I said before, it's all a part of my story. And, of course, I know I'm not always the one writing it.

28 comments :

  1. I really enjoyed this post; mostly because I am in the same place right now (I'm serious, we're living parallel lives!).

    I just saw my new little baby sister over the weekend for the first time, & I was experiencing the same feelings as you. Not just about babies -- feeling deeply in awe about them, & thankful that I'm not ready yet -- but about being in my hometown. My dad is in the house that my sister & I grew up in, so being there always sparks up memories.

    While I don't have the same "I want to move back here!!" feelings as you -- my hometown is dusty & LAME! heehee =] -- I always feel very nostalgic. Like you, I point out the places I used to visit, the places that brought me so many memories. Like you, I wonder, "Will I run into someone I used to know?" Like you, I am reminiscing & getting all googly eyed. In the back of my mind, though, I know I am better off here with Jonathan.

    This is a really long comment (sorry!) but I just had to tell you that, once again, you & I are at the same place right now. Isn't that strange?

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  2. I so understand how you feel when you go home. Our lives would be SO MUCH easier if we were in the same city as my parents. But, everytime I do come back to Portland I remember how it feels to accomplish something on your own, and it's all worth it. Easy is definitely not the best way, though sometimes is seems like it!:)

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  3. Hi, I came over from Katelin's blog, just to "check you out" ;) and now I am kind of intrigued and have been following your blog the last couple of days.

    It's funny how apricot tea pointed out that you're living similar lives, because mine is pretty similar to yours as well. I just came home from a 3 weeks visit in Germany (where I am from) to see my family over Christmas AND spend time with my sister and her new little baby girl.
    I also feel the exact same way about my hometown in Germany and wonder sometimes what it would be like to move back there.
    But then again, I have this whole new life with my hubby set up here in CA, so I am not sure moving back to Germany will happen anytime soon ;)

    I am enjoying your blog!

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  4. So weird...I was going to do a post simliar to this (about home.)

    I still refer to Florida as "home" and Kyle and I will say things like "your house" and "my house." I don't think it will ever stop because Florida is our home. It always will be. It's going to be really hard to get me to come back up here once I visit home (esp. in winter like we're planning this year!)

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  5. I'm originally from California and I feel the same way every time I return -- it's Home and that will never change, for one, and, secondly, I feel such a sense of relief when I'm back there that I wonder if I shouldn't just pick up and move back.

    Plus, all of my best friends are still there and I miss them terribly. There are so many amazing things about where I live now, including the boy I met a couple years ago (similar to you). But I can't help but consider California to be my Real Home.

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  6. aw this is such a sweet post. new babies definitely bring out the best in everyone i believe, as does going home. going home will always have an affect on us we can never really change and it's quite alright with me.

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  7. Oh goodness. You are such a sweetheart. I'm suuuper glad to hear you're enjoying time with your sister. And the baby (actually, the whole family) sounds WAY too cute.

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  8. I only moved out of my hometown a few months ago and granted its not states away just different areas away whenever I go to visit I still feel like I'm going home. I always wondering about running into people, seeing familiar sites, etc. I so desperately want to move out of state for a least a year but I will always consider PA my home.

    What a wonderful post. Your writing is beautiful. :)

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  9. Beautifully written, and I definitely relate to this. In fact I has a post that’s was very much like this set to publish today that I pulled at the last minute! Mister is older than me, two weeks ago his friends had their first baby – she’s the first child who belongs to one of our friends. It was a huge reality check – as amazing and wonderful as it is, it was suddenly *much* more real that Yes! We could reproduce!! And that’s awesome – but so is life as it is now.

    The puppies are a huge, massive, and sometimes overwhelming responsibility. I can’t imagine what having a child would be like. I know that I’ll find out one day, but not just yet.

    I’m so glad that your sister and her family are all safe & happy, and it’s nice that your ideal place is one you can visit. For so many people it's just "somewhere else", which I think it a lot scarier because it's so open ended.

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  10. What a great post! :-) I do the same thing in my life. Matt is constantly reminding me that our life together is not going to be everything that I "fantasize" it being. How do we stop that though? haha!

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  11. loved this post kerri- especially the last 3 lines. you really spoke to me there.
    i'm so happy for your sister to be a new mommy and for you to be an aunty!

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  12. "It's funny, because I rehearse in my head, conversations I'd have with different people were I to run into them." I just found your blog and had to comment because I so do this too!

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  13. I feel the SAME way about my hometown. On one hand, I could have never stayed in Tennessee and made anything of myself, and I do LOVE California. On the other, I cry every time I leave Nashville. What's that all about anyway??

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  14. I love reading all of your posts, but mostly this one. Maybe because it's about here and Kristin, I hope to see you while you are here.

    P.S. I think you will make a wonderful mommy!

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  15. I know exactly what you mean. I left my tiny town in Louisiana to go to college in California. I didn't know anyone here or have any family. It was a risky move, and my future would probably have been similar to yours in Washington. Except substitute fishing for hunting lol. But I'm so glad I did it, and I'm so glad I've become the person that I am. I couldn't imagine it any other way, but it does make it hard to go home. My sisters have all stayed in Louisiana, and I feel guilty for leaving my family sometimes.

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  16. This is so wonderful! I love that you have positive loving people who are parents in your life. I can't wait until there are babies in my family!

    My parents only live a couple hours away from me, but that will always be home. There is something fundamentally nurturing about turning into the driveway of the house where I grew up. I doubt I'll ever outgrow that.

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  17. geesh, such a beautiful, honest post. there's something so wonderful about being back where you were raised, where you feel like you belong. you are so brave to ever leave that...i never could go very far. it's funny though, as you get married, & start a family of your own, how that becomes your home. it was never about the place to begin with, only the people. :)i like how at the end, you mentioned how you're not the one always writing the story...so good for me to remember that.

    oh, and i totally plan out certain conversations with people i might run into, too! so funny :)

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  18. I have kind of had the same experience with my baby fever. Baby Maddie was the cutest thing ever, and I love her to pieces. But maaaan, I am not ready to be a mom. Moms shouldn't work until eight at night. And I'm still relatively young, and I don't feel ready, financially or even just mentally. My 101 List does not have start trying for kids on it for a reason. There are a lot of things I'd rather do first (most of the things on my list). Most importantly to travel. I always used to hate on that excuse. Like hello you can still travel with kids. But really? Can you? Can you still afford it, or take the time for it? I don't know. Especially since I want to be able to afford to send my kids to private schools and have a house that's big enough for us all. Too many doubts are rolling around in my head at the moment, which is something I never expected. But at least I know how I actually feel now, and I have plenty of time to push it off into the future since I'm still so young.

    Blerg, what a ramble. haha! But anyways have fun soaking up all your nephew and Washington time this week!! Then you can come home to So Cal and defrost in the warm weather ;)

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  19. I completely understand your thoughts. I often wonder where I would be now if I hadn't moved (as a child) to another state. I would not have met Jason, or the wonderful friends I have now or anything that is happening in my life.
    Sometimes it's the little things in life that we do that can change the course.

    I am glad you are having fun with your little nephew. It's such a precious time so make the most of it =)

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  20. hi, got here through Olive Oyl and just had to comment...

    when i was younger i felt the same exact way about babies. my sister had a baby and i was a bit disconcerted that i was like "yah, not so much for me right now".

    a few years later, i unexpectedly got a HUGE case of baby fever, overnight. i was like a bazillion degrees hotter than the sun. 3 kids later and another one on the way...

    i selfishly can't wait for you to have a baby so i can see the cute creations you would make for it. sewing little creations for my babies has been so special and rewarding. until then, enjoy being foot-loose-and-fancy-free!

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  21. I know what you mean about the whole going back home thing, no matter how long you've been away. It really is always "home". And I believe it's because we spent the majority of our lives making memories with those people, in that place. Those memories don't go away, and they almost act as an anchor to that place, if that makes sense? It's completely normal for you to feel that way, and I know you know that already, I'm just sayin. :) And you know, you're making more great memories like that with Jay right now, and for the past 5 years. If you were to move away from Cali right now, and then go back and visit it 5 years later, think of all the things you could pick out that you two did together! <3

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  22. I always thought I'd wait for years to have a baby when my hubby and I got married... fear, worry, a desire to travel, and infertility all played a roll in me telling everyone I wasn't ready. But unexpectadly, 10 months after we said "I do..." that little pink line showed up on a test and our life was spun into a whirlwind of "oh my gosh" and "what the crap are we going to do now?!"

    it has been nearly two years to the date since I took that test, and although there have been a few times that I thought "how would our life have been different if we wouldn't have gotten prego..." more often than not I think "wow, what an amazing gift my little one is!"

    I think it is almost better that it was a "surprise" (i hate to use the word accident!). That way, I can't really have the "what if's..." because I feel like God truly meant this to be! Now it is the question of "what if" for #2. Should we try? Not try? Travel first? I'm secretly hoping for another "surprise" so I won't have to worry about all these questions! :)

    Oh, and I TOTALLY know what you mean about the feelings of moving home... I only live like 20 miles away from my hometown, but it feels like a million miles. I miss the quiet farm life, the four stop lights, and the knowledge that I can sleep with my doors unlocked and the only fear I have is that a neighbor will stop by while I'm in my pj's to borrow a cup of sugar. But is it meant for me to go back there? We shall see...

    Great post! I could totally identify with so much of what you said!

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  23. What the heck? No pictures? Buzzkill! LOL, sounds like you are having a wonderful visit!

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  24. I feel the same way each time I go back to the midwest. And I've been in Cali for 15 years now! Am seriously wanting to move back, so the kiddo can be near family - especially his grandparents.

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  25. You can take the girl out of Washington, but you can't take Washington out of the girl (from one Washingtonian to another). :) I'm glad you took the risk of getting out of your comfort zone to try something new - I did the same thing, and met my beau in the process. It's amazing to think of how different life would be if we never took these chances that so deeply impact our day-to-day routines now.

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  26. The cutest baby ever! What an adorable smile...

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  27. I feel the exact same way when I go back to my hometown in Kansas. I lived there until I was 19 and moved to another Kansas town to finish college. I love to go back and see the places I remember, drive the streets I know like the back of my hand and run into people I haven't seen in ages. Then I remember there is a reason why I left, there isn't much for me there anymore. The town in only about 45,000 people and I wished for something more. Having those memories is something beautiful and I hope to never forget them.

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  28. This is a wonderful post and I totally relate. I moved far from home when I was 18 which means I have now been away for 5 years (with the exception of summers during college).

    I've always loved my hometown/Iowa. Obsessed, really. I don't know why. Most people are dying to escape and never do. I escaped but feel so at home every time I go back. I'm a nostalgic mofo (like, about everything).

    Oh, and babies? I've kind of wanted one since I was 13. (Which was about 7 years before I had ever had sex, hahaha.) My boyfriend is terrified! Haha.

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