I am sitting in my townhouse on a Saturday night. My beau is out of town on business, friends are scattered about in different parts of the city, and I am home this evening finishing my extensive feathering of my nest.
How can this really be my life?
Just four years ago, I was traipsing around Newport, RI. Eight years prior to this time, I sauntered around West LA with weekends which were booked with parties, festivals, and other events.
I have lived in five states within nine years. My life has been the very story of upheaval and yet, I would have been more than happy to keep wagon training onto the next stop.
Now, I am back in the Midwest and there are days when the gremlins of narrow-mindedness which grips this area seems to much to bear. On these particular days, I remember why I fled this part of the country.
However, all it takes is a few hours hanging out with my niece to erase the notion of the gremlins of narrow-mindedness which seems to thrive here.
The first date is a quick appetizer which turns into a 3 hour session of chatting and laughing.
The second date takes awhile to materialize because of family obligations on my end. To his credit, he is very understanding about the chaos that is my life right now. We end up going to lunch, serenading each other in the aisles of a record shop, and then puttering around a chain bookstore. Neither one of us wanted the date to end.
The next few months are a haze of museum trips, dining out, long car drives, movies, and concerts. For the first time in four years, I focus on building a life here in the Midwest. Those feelings of failure which I subconsciously associate with moving back to Kansas are evaporating by the moment.
I am learning that memories are only snapshots in time. These snapshots are prone to fading or being cast aside. Especially, when new people are brought into the fold. This is the danger of letting nostalgia take over my wheel of good judgement.
I live in a place which seems to discourage outliers and game-changing of any kind. It is becoming more and more difficult to stay here on an emotional level. Alas, there are certain responsibilities which require that I stay here at least for another year or so.
Earlier this summer, I expanded my social circle to include other fellow gypsy souls whom have also spent many years living outside of the Midwest. This helps me to stay grounded in who I am without pandering to the entrenched social mores which seem to guide the masses here.
People love their cars here and cannot fathom the concept of actually using public transportation. Granted, public transportation here is not great. Which is surprising to me, since the KCMO area is not exactly super small.
Nevertheless, I still desire to rent a dwelling located near a bus line. Even as a car owner, there are times in which I just want to hop on a bus and watch the city go by. Apparently, Monday through Friday in Johnson County, this will not pose a problem. Alas, on Saturdays and Sundays there is no bus service to be found here.
I have toured a few apartments here and all of them have the standard issue beige wall to wall carpeting, blinds covering the windows, an unexciting views of suburban thoroughfares.
There are also places in the area with the requisite hardwood floors and gorgeous views but, they are way out of my price range. After pounding the pavement for a couple of weeks, I settle on a large 2 bedroom, 2 bath apartment with a balcony in a suburb that borders the Kansas City metro area.
I am reticent about my future here. I still think that another place is calling for me to return.
I am taking a mini-vacation from this series tonight to organize and rearrange furniture. This week has been an amalgamation of driving, working, and running tons of errands. I will return tomorrow with another installment.
I am feeling nostalgic for the Enchanted Seaport. I miss the fresh seafood and the heady scent of the ocean. I long for the impromptu potlucks of my Navy family and the history lessons delivered via my local crew of friends.
The vapors of nostalgia seem to follow me from one city to the next. Just a couple of years ago, I sat in my quaint kitchen reminiscing for the desert scenery and mountain breezes of my previous city, Santa Fe, New Mexico. Time and new experiences will help to ease me into my new reality of life in Kansas.