Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Sigh of relief and sheepish realization

*This ended up being a much longer post than I intended. Thanks for getting through the whole thing, if you do.*

First of all, huge sigh of relief...we now own only one house! We discussed it on the way home and decided that the way we did things ended up working out for the best. If we'd waited to move and husband had commuted, we'd still be stuck in a tiny house in a suburb in which I no longer wanted to live.

And now, for a little sheepish realization.

While we were hanging out in the town of Large Midwestern Big 10 University, I realized something that I never thought possible. Driving past the stadium (on a football Saturday, what kind of a dumbass am I?), through campus, past the building of my favorite job, shopping at the brand new Whole Foods Market, I had a discomforting feeling.

I was homesick.

Discomfort was the flavor of the day, because quite honestly, I didn't want to admit it. I had hounded my husband about moving elsewhere, as we were both really tired of the sardine suburb we lived in and no longer wanted the long commutes. I wanted better schools for my child, and a larger yard for her to play in. I wanted to be home before 6:30 at night.

We moved to our first house from an apartment in the town of LMB10U (see above) because at the time, I was in grad school and only making a part time secretarial salary. The suburb we moved to had houses we could afford, whereas LMB10U did not - I mean, we couldn't even afford a crackhouse there. Our mortgage payment was only $150 more than our rent was. But we were only 30 minutes away, and my in-laws were there so there were plenty of reasons to go back.

Husband tried to find a job near there, but without finding a job at the University, there weren't that many opportunities for someone with his work's kind of a specialized field.

Then came the posting for West Michigan. He applied, got the job, and we packed it up and moved to Beverly. We were back in "my" territory. Back where my maiden name is recognizable to most people. Back where my Dutch heritage is celebrated. Back nearer to my family, but with a good buffer zone. My husband loves our house. He loves where we live. He loves our yard, and the fact that he's justified in having a riding mower.

I, on the other hand, am sort of miserable.

I am different than a lot of these people. My whole view on life is different now, after spending 10 years of my life in what I think of as "granola city". I am waaaaaay more liberal than I used to be. While my religious views haven't changed greatly from that of my childhood (that and my husband is the same denomination as me, so there's no contention in that regard), my way of practicing is extremely different than around here. (No, I'm not Wiccan.) People around here are incredibly conservative, some won't even mow their lawn on Sunday. They go to church twice a week. I'm lucky if I get to service once every couple of months. I feel like my dry, somewhat asinine sense of humor isn't appreciated. I feel like the fact that I work out of the home is looked down upon, like I don't care about my kid enough to stay home (there are a ton of homeschoolers out here, and way more SAHMs than not).

I feel more at home with the granola people. The liberal, melting pot mix of people feels more like home to me. I want to live there again; to hear the planes with the advertising banners overhead on football Saturdays. To see the Goodyear Blimp flying overhead on big game days. To complain about the traffic for the annual summer art fair, but go anyway. To drag husband to shows at the Purple Rose Theatre. To be within an hour of most excellent malls. To be near my friends.

There is always a possibility for husband to move back. His job can be based out of that area, although it would still be a commute. I can get a job most anywhere, although it might not be my dream setting. I found myself looking at the real estate ads this Sunday, mentioning probably too many times (subtlety is not my forte) how inexpensive houses are out there right now.

What the hell am I doing to myself? *slap slap* I guess I'm just one of those people for whom "the grass is always greener...." was written. I'll get over it eventually.

But I'm still homesick.


Tuli said...

When I'm tailgaiting at S's condo (which is a rental but who cares if the tenants get pissed, it's HOMECOMING) which is about 150 yards from the corner of Stadium and Main, watching the BIG tailgate happening across the street at PiHigh, listening to the planes fly overhead and watching for the Blimp, I'll think of you and wish I was on the West side with you. Because while it's fun, the people, OMG the sheer number of people!, drive me a bit loony.

And? My nephew's birthday party is right in the middle of our tailgating plans. So I have to DRIVE AWAY from the stadium, then BACK TOWARDS IT. Gah! And Ack!

So riddle me this: When, oh when, do I get to drink beer on Saturday?!?


Coal Miner's Granddaughter said...

I was homesick for many years for my hometown in West Virginia. But now? After 4 years of college and a subsequent 14 years as a working adult? I'm a full-on Georgia girl. With a little bit of hillbilly and I can't imagine living in West Virginia ever again.

But I still do get nostalgic.

Kathryn said...

Yes, indeed. The grass is always greener. It happens to all of us.

Do you live close to the city that you can maybe take more daytrips or weekend trips there? Would that help?

And try not to assume that just because people are different from you they are judging you. Maybe those are your feelings, but it may not be true. ??? Know what I mean? You may be really surprised at the friendships you forge.

I would wait on it for a while. And if you still feel the way you are feeling now then start looking at your options. :)