*Warning --if you live in my ward and read my blog, you may want to just ignore what I'm going to say, or not read it. This has nothing to do with you personally (I don't think? I mean, half the time, I have no idea who reads my blog!), and I'm not really looking for answers with this one --I know I could start a play group or do something pro-active. I also know how much I love Provo. See, I know the answers. I just need to get my feelings out.
I read a really great post today about moving, homes, and hearts --and it struck me hard right between the eyeballs. Not really a revelation about my current situation per se...just, well --it really hit a nerve. It hit something I hadn't thought of in a while (meaning a few months?).
Here's the post.
Anyway, my thoughts have been thus:
I don't know if we're supposed to stay in Utah much longer.
But then again --I don't know if we're supposed to ever leave, either.
See, the thing is, if I had my choice, we would experience many places. We would live back East, near Seattle, a few years in the South (Tennessee is gorgeous!), England for a year or two, maybe Texas for a while --and eventually get back to the Bay Area (San Francisco). I think this is why I was so devastated last year when the answer was not to take the Boston job, but to go back to Provo.
I mean, I want to do what the Lord wants me to do. I want to be where He wants me to be. And if that means I live the rest of my life here in good ol' Provo, then so be it. I will do it. And I will be happy about it, too!
I really think I could.
But then I look at myself and my life and the things I learned living away for a year, and I yearn for more. Before leaving for the Bay Area, I don't think I truly understood "ward family" in the way it was supposed to be understood (I'll explain more of that in a minute). I didn't appreciate sacrifice for things which I take for granted here (such a strong LDS community, support for big families, easy access to LDS stores, etc.). I also wouldn't have made the friends I did who belong to other Faiths --because right here where I live, there really aren't people of other faiths, you know?
But I think the worst part for me has to do with my friends (thus the warning above). I really felt comfortable with all of my friends here in Provo (particularly our ward), but after I moved they actually went on with their lives!
Can you believe it? (please note the sarcasm)
When I moved back, they had moved on, and I think for them it was kind of...awkward that I was back in the ward. I had changed, you know. Changed quite a bit:
*I was suffering from Depression, which got worse when I moved back (apparently, even with all my proclamations of wanting to move away and try new things, change does not sit well with my brain).
*I had lived in "the mission field", and therefore my perceptions were greatly altered.
*I had friends in the Bay Area from all different faiths and cultures --and I loved it!
*I couldn't understand why everyone had to do everything with their families in Utah --we have no family in Provo (I mean, we do have family in Utah, but not down the street), and we had very little family in the Bay Area. The difference is striking: In the Bay Area, whether you have family living down the street or not, your ward becomes your family. You take vacations with your friends. You have friends over for everything, and you share your lives with each other. There is no awkwardness, there is no apology --you hang out with each other! In Utah? At least in Utah Valley? You don't hang out with your ward. Why would you? You see them every day. They are your neighbors, school-mates, etc. So, you hang out with your family. You never have friends over for Sunday dinner --you invite your family. You never take vacations with your friends --it's family. Friends are casual; family is forever (please note: this is a generalization and my overall experience --I know that isn't how it is for everyone in all of Utah).
Anyway, so I came back different, and in a way, I felt ignored. But maybe it was me? I'm not sure if I turned everyone off (maybe I did it subconsciously on purpose?!) and I really don't think they have chosen to ignore me! I think it had to do with three things:
1. They moved on, remember?
2. They have their families.
3. I'm different (is there an echo in here?)
I guess I just never noticed it before --this difference between "there" and "here." And me "there" and "here."
And now that I know it, which place do you think I actually prefer?
Seriously, as much as California scared the crap out of me with the hostile neighbors ("You belong in a cult!"), rude, rude, rude comments about my children ("you know what causes that, right?"), awful DMV laws, and the expenses, I still loved it. Adored it, really.
But gosh darn it! I was all set to be happy here in Provo.
And then I saw Lindsay and Emily at Women's Conference (friends from the Bay Area).
And Janelle was at my Las Vegas Birthday weekend (friend from the Bay Area).
And we hung out with my brother and SIL in San Francisco a few weekends back.
And my friend Michelle moved to Connecticut (still sad over that one).
And Brandon is leaving for San Francisco again today (school).
And I want to cry. Because I want to go home! But what if I am home? Am I? And if I am, I should just be happy about it, right?
That, dear reader, is the ultimate question...
Do you feel like this? Displaced? Trying to be happier than happy (and succeeding 98% of the time!), but then longing for somewhere else? Something else?