I Can See It

7 Jul

Note: Part of this is a recycled entry from an old blog, but it’s been heavy on my mind lately.

You have no idea how many times I’ve thought about leaving.  Boxing up my life, packing it in a U-Haul and leaving everything that’s made me who I am.  I can picture it so easily.

I can see myself in California.  Geeking out at movie premieres, adopting a laid-back surfer attitude.  Trips to Santa Monica, Disney Land, the Jelly Belly Outlet store.

I can see myself in Maine.  A house on the beach with the cold and rolling grey-green waves.  Ordering a hamburger at a sea food restaurant because, let’s face it, I’m never going to like lobster.

I can see myself in North Carolina.  A small, forgotten and quiet town.  A house near the coast with a front porch, a swing and endless supplies of Sweet Tea.

I can see myself in Georgia.  Touring and dreaming of giant plantation houses.  Adopting a thick Southern drawl.  Pretending that the South won the war, that men still stand up when a woman enters a room, and that meals with too many forks still exist.

I can see myself in France.  Trying (and failing) to speak French like a native.  Trying (and failing) to dispel the rumor that Americans are stupid.  Strolls to a local cafe.  Ordering a hamburger at a fancy restaurant because, let’s face it, I’m never going to like escargot.

I can see myself in Greece.  Teaching English.  Spending my summers volunteering at archaeological excavations.  Vacations to the islands, soaking in the culture.

But the place that I see myself the most is Connecticut.  It charmed me, once, and the East Coast magic is strong.  Taking the train into the city to catch a Broadway Show.  The Starbucks (ohhh, the sheer number of Starbucks, or is it Starbuckses?).  The old farm houses.  The history.  Spending my evenings watching Jack play in the surf while taking in this view:

I love Minnesota. I love my home, I love my family, I love my friends, and I love this place. There’s something about the stillness of the lakes on hot summer mornings. There’s something about the crisp fall air that fills both your lungs and your spirit. There’s even something about the endless winter and the camaraderie of pushing a neighbor’s car up his icy and thick-with-snow driveway. Minnesota has caught me, tied me and bound me. But that doesn’t mean that I don’t get restless.


7 Responses to “I Can See It”

  1. Ali July 7, 2011 at 2:42 pm #

    Love this post, completely and without apology. I get that kind of restlessness, sometimes, too.

    If I may, let me reassure you of a few things. One, escargot is disgusting. Not even Johnny Depp could convince me to eat that. *shudders* You can only adopt a laid back surfer attitude if you dye your hair blonde. Again. *evil grin* Sweet tea is awesome (I can teach you how to make it. It’s easy.) Gentlemen in the south DO stand up whenever a lady gets up from the table (I can think of a few I know personally). Greece will always remind me of Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants.

    Wanderlust is a funny thing. Sometimes, I feel the way you do. Other times, I’d really like to just take a long vacation to some of these places. I never did adopt a Southern drawl, but I did catch myself say “Y’all” a few times.

    Great post. Very thought-provoking and eloquently put.

    • Andrea July 7, 2011 at 7:39 pm #

      See, I bet Johnny Depp could convince me to eat just about anything. But the blonde hair thing? I tried that once and it was AWFUL, so I guess California’s out. *grin* And, I would love to learn how to make Sweet Tea. What amuses me the most out of this list is that of all the places I imagine myself living, I’ve only ever visited two of them. If I spent some serious time in some of these places (Georgia, for example) I might feel very differently. Maybe you’re right about the vacations. Maybe I’m just really in need of some new scenery and a sense of exploration and adventure. But, sometimes I think that if Dan said “Let’s do it,” I’d be packing tomorrow. I have a feeling though that even if I left, it would only be temporary. No matter where I go, I think Minnesota will always be home.

  2. Deborah the Closet Monster July 7, 2011 at 2:46 pm #

    Oh, how I relate to the sentiments you’ve captured so eloquently here! My restessness has been tempered since I returned to Los Angeles, but part of me will always wonder what life might be like if I were living it somewhere else . . . and then somewhere else after that . . .

    • Andrea July 7, 2011 at 7:41 pm #

      Thanks for commenting and liking my post! I have friends who do the live here for awhile, then live here for awhile thing. I’ve never understood how to do that. Maybe my sense of commitment to my family and friends is too strong? Or maybe I’m just scared? Whatever it is holding me here, I’m not sure if it’ll ever go away. I guess we’ll have to wait and see!

  3. Bridget July 8, 2011 at 3:39 pm #

    Leaving is so strange but I’m glad I did. I miss my family [a lot] and my Minnesota friends but I feel so at home out here. I didn’t leave intending to do the “bounce around” thing but we’ve been here for almost a year and a half now and we’re already thinking about moving, interestingly enough, to Maine or Portsmouth, NH. I had always dreamed about growing old and raising a family in the north woods of Minnesota with the lakes nearby, shaded under a canopy of trees, trekking through the snow to my children’s bus stop. When we went to Maine for a friend’s wedding, I realized that it had always been the southern coastal region of that state I had been dreaming of. Not lakes but the cool Atlantic Ocean where my husband can learn how to surf and my children can clamber over the rocky shore. Where we can board up our windows and bring in our porch furniture in preparation for a nor’easter, where we can enjoy winters the way I remember them. We’re setting aside money now, which is difficult when you live anywhere near NYC, but will be so worth it when my feet touch the beach again.

    • Andrea July 18, 2011 at 2:04 pm #

      I’m just warning you now that if you move to Maine, you might have Dan and I on your doorstep to visit. Sarah, Plain and Tall made me fall in love with Maine. It’d be nice to actually visit there. Do you mind if I ask what made you take the leap and move to NY?

      • Bridget July 18, 2011 at 8:04 pm #

        Primarily hope for finding a publishing job but, since that hasn’t worked out and I’m already in love with the east coast, I just can’t go back so I may as well go north. You, Dan, and Jack are always welcome to come visit us whether we’re in Maine or still in New York.

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