It’s right around the corner, hiding, waiting to yell “Boo!” as I pass by — this feeling of uneasiness. Creeping up. Like I’m out trick or treating, dressed as an Oregonian, but underneath I’m not. And I just want to get home because I’ve had enough and this costume isn’t fitting quite right.
When I feel like this I do things like check the weather in Lynchburg then Richmond. Search the MLS listings for a house I’d want to buy when we move back. If….and I need to stop because it’s torture.
It isn’t all the time like it used to be. But I miss my friends. I miss our families. I miss feeling like I knew what was going on. Now when a town or event is mentioned and I don’t know where it is or what it is I just smile and nod, instead of asking questions and looking it up later. I’m tired of the effort it all takes.
And it’s hard not to compare then and now. But I do. Silently. Because you can’t explain it and it’s rare that anyone even asks. It’s not their fault. I’ve been that person, and it’s hard to put yourself in a position of an outsider when you aren’t one.
It’s kind of like going to a sleep over. Things at your friend’s house are done a little differently and you have a great time. But it’s exhausting and you just can’t wait to get home.
I give Oregon a lot of credit. And I feel like I’m always complimenting it, but sometimes I know it’s empty praise. For the sake of others. I’m worried that although I don’t blame it for the sadness I sometimes feel, I’ll never really give it a fair shake.
So I stopped my little pity party and decorated for Halloween. It’s September but I don’t care. Last year I was robbed of my happy fall time and I could feel myself slipping into that same space. My favorite time of year was tainted by the fact I knew nobody and lived in a shoebox. This year I’m doing it right. The Halloween tree is up. Ghosts, goblins, and witches have come to visit. A spooky house is glowing once again.
And a funny thing happened on my way to fall…I started thinking about Abigail’s first trip to the pumpkin patch…carving a pumpkin to look like a certain special floofy newfy…trick or treating to our realtor’s house with a little strawberry in tow. (We had to show her off to somebody.) I had Newport memories. From last year! And it felt pretty damn good.
So happy fall, y’all!*
And for those back in Sweet Virginia. Family and Friends, I miss y’all like crazy. Still and always.
*Y’all = A word used by southerners that means “you all.” Try it. You’ll like it.