So, y’all get to come along with me as I go on a little adventure. As you know, I’ve been struggling a bit with what to write each day. It sounds simple to just write every day, but it actually takes a lot of mental power. So, I noticed on my WordPress homepage that another blog was hosting a Writing 101 “class” or something like it in which they would post a question every day and the task was simply to respond to that posting. So, that’s what I’m going to do for a few days, now, unless something else earth-shattering takes hold and I feel like I have to share it.
Today, choose a place to which you’d like to be transported if you could — and tell us the backstory. How does this specific location affect you? Is it somewhere you’ve been, luring you with the power of nostalgia, or a place you’re aching to explore for the first time?
Well, this question could not have come on a better day. I left work today around 5:15. A little later than I normally do because my superiors and I were discussing my future with this super tiny company. Let me also say, that I call it “work”, though it’s just an internship and I’m not paid for any of my work. They’ve been doing their best to get me at least a little bit of money and they are very aware that I’m actively searching for a full time position that would pay me well. This is all a long, drawn out way of me saying that today they basically bumped me up to a part time position. Emphasis on the part time. But, essentially, every time I’m coming in to work for them, I’m making a little bit of money. Emphasis on the little bit. But, I’m incredibly grateful. I love the environment there and the people I work with and it’s been a wonderful transition period with them.
The entire day, though, I was also texting my friends, who are scattered across the country. My best, best friends can be found in New York, Nashville, and Milwaukee. None of them are immediately with me in Los Angeles. Yes, one of my best friends from childhood lives here and she knows how thankful I am to her and our friendship, but we have a mutual understanding that our best friends, the people we tell all of our secrets to, the people who share all of our inside jokes, and the ones that are first on our call list when we get engaged happen to not be physically near us. That’s actually brought us closer. We are stand in best, best friends while also being best friends. (Yes, it’s a girl thing to rank your friends like this. It is not a reflection of how wonderfully your friends treat you, but it is a reflection of the people who have sat on a couch with you and cried for hours.)
So, I have a bit of wanderlust throughout the day. I know I’m where I’m supposed to be, and I do honestly like Los Angeles, but I also wish it were filled with the people I love most dear. I would give anything to be able to jump on a plane to New York and have a burger and shake at Shake Shack and run around the city I always thought I’d end up in with one of my best friends. I would love to be in Milwaukee where I was born and raised and get to hang out with the girls that made it out of high school with me, no matter how awful I was to them. There’s nothing quite like that eight and a half hour drive from Milwaukee to Nashville where my heart lies–Nashville is the place where I grew up and it is the place I became who I am and it is also the place that has so many of my best friends who are dealing with their own wanderlust right now.
Yes, my desire to be elsewhere is completely reliant on nostalgia. I fully realize that if I ever go back to any of my homes, it will never be the same. I am grown up now, though I don’t always feel like it. My friends are grown up, though they don’t always want to feel that way. And those places have grown up. The local video store has been closed in Milwaukee for over half my life now. New York doesn’t have the same crisp air it did when I first went there when I was a small child. Nashville won’t have those experiences and that apartment complex will have new residents and just everything will be different.
This does not mean that these places are bad now, but part of growing up is realizing that people and places have also grown up without you and it is not their job to revert back to the way that they were when you first knew them.
So, along with nostalgia, I guess I have a desire to see these places again. To explore these places with fresh eyes, but with the same familiar faces that have helped me paint my bright future. Because that is what my future is at this point–it is bright, it is full of hope, and it is certainly filled with new homes and new friends and new experiences.