Monday, June 09, 2014

Wendy from the block. But which block?

I often miss my family.

I had what felt to me like an idyllic childhood.  Many people I know give me a confused look at the idea of a life spent moving around the world - with the requisite changes of schools every three or four years - as idyllic, but it really was amazing.  I have an extremely close relationship with my parents and my brothers, and with so many of the friends I made growing up, including college and law school.

The problem is, most of them are on the East Coast, and I'm in Colorado.

I have soooo many close friends, from all of my various stages of life, who live in either the DC area, Charlottesville, Virginia, or Richmond, Virginia.  My parents are in northern Virginia, as are a number of my closest high school and college friends.  Plus my brothers are just up the coast, in New York and New Hampshire.  Easy train or plane rides.

I would love to live closer to my parents.  I would love for my children to live closer to my parents, who adore my kids and spoil them beyond all sense, in the wonderful way that grandparents do.  It would be amazing to have my close high school and college friends - people who are incredibly important to me and whom I really adore -- be a real presence in my life, instead of seeing them once a year when I go home for Thanksgiving, or at infrequent reunions, which leave me an emotional mess.

I think about moving back there.  I've thought about it for years.

But increasingly, I have a hard time with the idea of leaving Colorado.  I really, really love it here.

I love the climate, the intense beauty of the physical setting (and the ease with which we can take advantage of it), the proximity to the mountains and the abundance of activities like hiking, skiing, biking, and camping. The culture and the vibe of Denver.  My neighborhood.  My job.

This past weekend my neighbors arranged a block party.  There was amazing barbecue, kegs of beer, a bouncy house that the kids jumped in for seven hours, games of cornhole.  Music that takes me back to college and law school - the Grateful Dead, Widespread Panic, bluegrass, older stuff like The Band.

It kind of made me feel like I was back in Charlottesville.  We used to hang out like that during second semester of my 4th year - we'd go to Chris Greene Lake and sunbathe, listen to music, play music, toss a frisbee.  There was no bouncy house because there were no kids, but other than that, the vibe was remarkably similar.  People of different ages and backgrounds, all just happy to be together.

It felt so incredible, and incredibly familiar.

But do I keep that feeling by staying here, or by going back to what still feels like home?

The one negative byproduct of my upbringing, and one that I think a lot of "third culture kids" feel, is a difficulty with ever putting down roots anywhere.  We always feel the need to move on.  We're always looking forward to that new place, that new adventure.  Even places that we like -- there's a sense of, "yeah, this place is great, but there's new stuff to see and do!  Time to move on."

So is this my natural wanderlust talking, always seeking out change?

As well as I can usually read myself, I'm having a hell of a time figuring it out.

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