I have mostly been doing a lot of mental processing (which sounds lazy, and maybe it is) and a good bit of job applying (and then job not-getting). I think I would rather share with you some of the mental processing.
But first, I have to stop and say how disappointed I am in the weather. In the last few days, it has snowed in every place I have lived, except here. Nice going, D.C. Thanks.
I went to Georgia for a week. I arrived in the midst of some really unfortunate circumstances that I’m not going to go into right now. I’m just going to share a few thoughts that I had about roots, change, and cities.
First, cities. Without realizing it, I’ve become accustomed to significant population density. Not Mumbai or Beijing population density, but enough population density that there are a lot of people everywhere you go and public transportation is not only viable but really convenient considering how bad traffic is. I took the estimable MARTA train in Atlanta from the airport, and even inside the Perimeter (that means we were technically in downtown) it wound slowly past block after block of abandoned-looking building. Once I got a car, driving was a breeze, because there were so few drivers. We went to see The Hobbit at 8 PM on a Thursday night and were the only people in the theater. These phenomena used to be normal to me…now they are odd and echo-ey. Which brings me to my next reflection.
I spent some time in both the city I grew up in and the city we moved to when I was in high school. I went to our house, empty and cold, and rummaged around the storeroom looking for some missing books. It’s a really nice house, with a lot of really lovely memories. Most of the people I encountered had strong, unabashed Southern accents (as it should be). I was reminded how much I love not only my friends there (few though y’all are, you are more precious than gold) but the region itself; slow, balmy, friendly, mountain-surrounded N. GA. Struck by the contrast between N. GA and D.C., N. GA and Cardiff, I remembered why N. GA is and always will be a part of what made me and where I am really from. But I also remembered why I don’t live there anymore; why, at this point in my life, slow, balmy, and friendly are not what I need or desire. If I could pick up that house, with its screened porch, pick up the lopsided little mountain I grew up on, pick up my friends and sweet tea and good grits, and have them with me everywhere, I would absolutely do it. Because, even though I crave change and excitement and newness, what makes change difficult for me is the things I have to leave behind.
My poor computer is blowing out hot air like a politician. So I think I will turn it off and maybe do some of that overdue reading.