I’m sort of on my way back to State College. I say sort of because I’m currently pulled over at a rest stop just off I-84. I’m still technically in New York, and I wonder why I’m so torn about returning home. Then I get a revelation, which is really why I’ve pulled over.
I still consider New York my home.
How the hell did this happen? I’ve spent the first half of my life on the go (seriously, have you never wondered about my online moniker?), moving every couple of years to new places, new countries, new experiences. I loved that life. I miss that life. I was independent and stubborn and determined to make my own way despite any odds. New York was a critical part of that independence and I haven’t forgotten that, apparently. I am somehow reminded of it every single time I re-enter this state.
But I have over 20 years invested in a life that exists in Pennsylvania. It is a good life. It is not the most exciting life, it is not even a terribly interesting life, but it is a life full of love and acceptance and value. I have kids. I have a spouse. I have a home. I have a job. And yet I an having fantasies of telling my life to come to me while I stay in New York. We can work this out, right?
Of course not. I understand this is a fantasy. But it is also a critical slap in the face of, and at clear odds with, my current reality.
Don’t misunderstand this post. I can assure you, gentle readers, that I won’t be dropping everything and walking away. (Yes please, I still really need my job and will be there Monday, thank you very much.) I think, however, what it is is a signal of the beginning of a shift in my personal priorities. While many of my coworkers and friends are focusing on creating families, I am at the other end, watching grown children stepping into lives of their own as they move on to their own new places and new experiences. Which means, after years of foregoing personal priorities and focusing on others, that the time is rapidly closing in where my own preferences, my personal needs, my real desires can reassert themselves. And this reluctance to return to a slower pace of life is the beginning of the not-so-subtle reassertion of parts of me which have been set aside for quite some time.
Will they relocate me? I think it’s a safe bet that’s a given, when the time comes. I seem to fit in a faster pace of life; my stride and my heart quickens when I’m back in a more urban location. I’m comfortable navigating larger cities, and jump at any opportunity to do so. While I still have an obligation to see this stage of my life to a natural conclusion, it is beginning to become clear to me that my subconscious has very definite plans for moving on. I would be lying to both you and myself if I didn’t admit that excites me and quickens my heart. It’s enough to make me pull over along the way to stop and reflect on the very insistent urges I’m feeling which refuse to be ignored. It seems that I’m ready to get on with my journey.
But it’s been an important rest stop.