05 November 2006

You can go home again. You just can't stay.

I am back in the little town I called my own until 5 years ago, when Mr Stapler lured me away.

He and I are just visiting for the weekend, a quick trip to see his folks, who are vacationing here. It's the kind of town you vacation in.

Yesterday morning I went to Farmer's Market and saw old friends and stood around and talked and laughed in the warm November sun, surrounded by piles of squashes and apples and fresh-baked whole-grain breads.

Then I went to my favorite cafe and had coffee and a waffle with the owner, one of the most charming people in the world. And other old friends and others wandered in and out and said hello or talked for a while...

Sigh. I remember that life. It seemed so warm and fun and simple, everyone I liked doing kind of the same thing on the same schedule. I didn't have to plan a social life, because life itself was social.

I made half the money I did now but I only lived 3 minutes from work, so it felt like my days were long and leisurely. I volunteered at the Performing Arts Center, so I got to see fabulous shows ALL THE TIME.

Sigh.

I know I idealize it. I lived in a rental house with 2 roommates, an insane landlady, and 30 year old carpets. I worked at a job that was as much tedium as creativity, for far less pay than I deserved.

And now I have a new life, and it isn't a bad life. Mr Stapler, seeing my folks every day, being able to have my own house where I can have a big yard for Goldie, a job that pays well (even though I still wank about not getting paid enough), fun freelance work...

Yet I can feel that strong pull by the past, even as I march into the future. Does that ever happen to you?

A couple of new things up over at Linkateria.

23 comments:

guinness girl said...

YES. My husband dragged me away from a city I loved, and the adjustment period has been rough, to say the least. Part of me wants to stubbornly forge on ahead here in the new city...while the other part of me wants to run back "home" with my tail between my legs. What keeps me moving forward, though, is the knowledge that nothing is perfect, it certainly wasn't perfect in the old town, and nothing is ever the same when you go back. Sigh. HUGS to you, Suebob.

QofS said...

All. The. Time.

And whenever I go back, I have this initial, emotional "oh how I miss this place!" and by the time I leave, I remember, very clearly, why I left.

Laurabob said...

When you go past Gaviota, I spy!

roo said...

Oh, yes.

There was a house in Somerville that was split up amongst five people-- my sister and I both lived there at different times. But looking back, the pace of life, the ease of socializing on a daily basis-- it was a little golden age.

SUEB0B said...

Laurabob - I DID spy LOL. And I got everything!

meno said...

My dad was in the military so we moved a lot. I gave up idealizing places after the 3rd or 4th move, because i realized that i was blaming all my problems on the new place. But it was really just me. Well, except for that place in the midwest, that sucked.

jonniker said...

I am the master of rolling through the past. Sometimes, actually, it lures me so romantically that I actually think I want to go there again for good.

Usually I get yanked in when I'm about to go through a major life change - like I need to reconcile where I was before I go more forward to where I'm going.

stampydurst said...

I had a similar sort of conundrum lately. As you may remember, I was hoping to go back to the Southeast where I grew up. Part of it was wanting to go somewhere where it actually got hot, where the water was warm enough to swim/waterski in, and where unsweetened tea, beans, and greens were always on the menu. But a bigger part of me just wanted to get away from here where the last couple years had really beaten me up.

Today, my friend and I took our dogs to the lagoon in Carlsbad to let them tear around and swim. We had lunch on the beach. I was to hot in a tank top and it's November. It really is quite beautiful here. I just needed some time to let the bullshit settle.

Plus, I make some damned good greens myself.

jennster said...

ALL.THE.TIME.
i miss la and southern california, but there is a small part of me that isn't quite ready to go back. but i miss it and long for it in other ways, all the time

Kvetch said...

I like your philosophy on this, your title. But really girlfriend I'm also here about the bursitis remedy you posted over at Mrs. Fortune's -- can you email me some info? Is that for real or are you just pulling this ol' gal's aching leg? ;-)

Holly Capote said...

Nah, I don't pine much for the past. I tend to be happy and present wherever I am.

Jenny said...

I can relate to this post so much it's scary.

Rhea said...

Wallowing in the past is a specialty of mine! I call myself a 'history buff'.

Maggie said...

"I didn't have to plan a social life, because life itself was social."

This is such a nice phrase. I can see where one would idealize a life like that. But yes, I think often we do this because it's more pleasant to recall only the warm fuzzy stuff as long as it existed. And maybe when the nostalgia hits us, we feel caught up because we relate the new-found positives of where we are with the old lovely memories and imagine a life of the two married together, thus cancelling out the negatives of the place we think we miss.

MsLittlePea said...

My very first apartment was a little one bedroom with a tiny kitchenette inside an old cottage less than a block away from the beach. The floors creaked and the walls made all kinds of funny noises at night because of the wind. I remember waking up early everyday for the first few weeks just to take my dogs for a splashy walk so I could watch the sunrise(and I am SOOO not a morning person). It was cute little hidden area full of coffee shops, seafood resteraunts, arty gifts shops and books stores-all within walking/bike distance where most the employees were my neighbors. I still have that sweet/sad feeling when I visit that town and pass by that house because the sun catcher and whindchimes I left there when I moved out 11years ago are still by the side window and the crooked mail box I painted happyfaces all over still hangs on the front deck. BUT it also had no heat in the winter and no washer/dryer and seldom hot water and a bathroom door that was always broken and scary electrical problems and the carpets were STANKY(not stinky-stanky!). The kitchen drawers and cabinets were always falling apart. My bike was stolen and anonymously returned about 3 times from the storage closet that had a broken lock too. The old coffee shop is now a Starbucks. Still though....I know what you mean.

Dana said...

Oh I miss Farmer's Markets. Ours closed in October. Sounds like a good trip, though!

one smarmy mama said...

Yep.

Lisa said...

Yes its great to visit a past life. Did you ever feel like progress was being made in the old town and felt sort of sad because THEY DID SO WITHOUT YOU? Or is that just me?

Christina said...

All the time.

Aaron and I often talk about how much we miss our small college town, that we lived in during the pre-baby days.

Life was so much simpler there.

Meg said...

Before I revised my site, everything was about how much I missed Seattle. I still do - I just can't write about it anymore, at least not unless I know it won't send me into a serious funk. For months, there were entire albums I couldn't play because they reminded me of places I lived or things I did...sigh...

schmutzie said...

That absolutely happens to me. About once a month or so my husband and I go back to my home city for the weekend, and I find it hard to be back here and thinking about there afterward. I know I idealize it now, but oh, sometimes I wish it were just around the corner and not so far away.

Stephanie A. said...

DAILY.

When I lived in Paris I felt much like you feel about your older place. The ART, the CULTURE, the CRAZIES ON THE METRO! I always felt like I was living in a Mentos commercial and I just adored it all. Like you, though, I know that if I moved back now my situation there would be very different in a 30 year old carpet kind of way. Maybe again in the future, though.

Izzy said...

All the time, friend. I've always got one foot in the idealized past and the other in an idealized future.

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