Archive for the ‘ Moving ’ Category

Homesickness…

So the power did eventually come back on in the wee hours of the morning. I’m not sure what time exactly because between daylight savings and me frantically pouring through the final chapters of Divergent, I had lost all sense of time and passed out as soon as it was done. The fact that I actually managed to finish an entire novel in a day without internet or power is probably pretty telling? But I’m going to chalk it up to it being a) really good, b) a young adult novel and therefore a pretty easy (BUT STILL GREAT) read, and c) it had been a long time since I’ve sat and been absorbed in a book. People compare it to Hunger Games, cause it’s definitely another dystopian future where a teenage girl protagonist is the key to you know, disturbing the disturbing dystopian “peace”, but outside of that it was different enough that I still really enjoyed it. And I liked Tris better than Katniss although they’re both more stone-cold than your average teenage girl main character. That had me questioning Katniss’s character (not as a good character but moreso as someone relatable), but it didn’t so much with Tris. Both characters acknowledge and question their unfeeling choices and I appreciate that, and certainly don’t need my protags to be touchy-feely. I am though, so it does affect the way I personally relate and see them in the story, as those traits will with any character from any book for me. Either way, I find it interesting if/when people pick apart insensitive (female) protagonists, as they’re so used to being able to relate to the person that when one is kind of a jerk, or cold, or ferocious, or unfeeling, there’s this instinct to recoil from the story as a whole. I know some people who have that problem with the main character in Orange is the New Black. I think it makes going through the journey with them less comfortable, but when you’re talking about dystopia, (or a prison, in OitNB) that’s kind of the idea? So I try to embrace it. And with Divergent, it was easy, I think overall Tris struck a bit better balance for me than Katniss ever did. Though we’ll have to see about the next couple books.

Uh, okay, there are many people who actually study this stuff that can word it all way better than I can, so I’ll leave it at that.

In other news, I Skype my parents tomorrow. Like I begun to say in my first entry of the month, it’s so bizarre being homesick. Not for the place, but for my parents. I’m not used to it. I never understood the people who went home every weekend for months my Freshman year of college. My mom said they used to call those people the “suitcases” back when she was at school out east, and that she, like I did, ended up forming my friendships with the people that stuck around instead, many out-of-staters, but some just people who didn’t feel it necessary to drive home even if it was only a couple hours away rather than a flight cross-country like mine was.

I remember, my first time away from home without my immediate family was a trip to Florida, to my grandparents, but I went with my cousins’ family instead of my own. I was having a great time, Granny and Grandpa had a pool and Florida was still an amazing utopia of beaches, sun, palm trees, and dolphins to me at the time, but I remember one night I had decided that I was Sad. I must have been crying or something, because my aunt sat down next to me and held my hand and was appropriately sympathetic-looking. She asked me if I was homesick. “Do you miss your mom?” Sniffle. Yeaaah. “Do you miss your dad?” Yeeeah. Big frown. “Do you miss your dog?” Yeeah. Because my aunt understood how dogs were equal parts of the family. And finally: “Do you miss your brother?” And that got me to laugh through my tears and I said “No!” Because brothers were annoying, especially little ones, and we were never ever supposed to admit that we loved them because gross, brothers, and he was supposed to do the same because gross, big sisters.

And then I was okay. And I have never remembered being homesick once in my life after that. Not at school patrol camp where we did actual camping things and were outdoorsy and I apparently had a blast even though when my mom came to pick me up I had a raging case of pink eye. I wasn’t when I went to any of my out-of-state music and band camps like the proud nerd that I was. I wasn’t when I went to Mexico with my grandmother and spent my days watching whales and snorkeling and feeling like I was in heaven. I spent a great deal of time at friend’s houses with no problem, and then when I moved to college, calling my parents was usually due to some sort of upset, or I avoided it because I knew that mom would just give me a list of things to do that I had either likely forgotten to do or knew I hadn’t touched yet so I didn’t want to be scolded about.

Now I can’t wait to Skype them tomorrow, just to tell them how Halloween was this week. I lived at home with them for two years after college and thought my dad or I was going to snap and strangle the other, but being at home for the majority of the time since Ross died has been okay. My friends have been amazing at staying in touch via WoW and Skype and IM, but when my parents told our grief counselor that it would be odd getting used to me being gone when I went to work 2 hours away all summer, I was a little baffled, because it wasn’t like we spent all our time together. They were at work for most of the day, I was up late chatting with my friends with a headset on for the evenings. But it was nice. I’m not saying I would want to live with them again, and that road trip still pushed us to want to strangle each other on occasion, but that’s family for me. It’s nice being so much closer to them. Sometimes I feel like I abandoned them, moving so far away only a year after we lost Ross, but they have never once made me feel like I should feel bad for not being someone who gets homesick. They couldn’t wait for Ross or I to go abroad, like they did. They supported my Seattle plans from day 1, even if they also expressed their concerns. Half my dad’s tribute to Ross at the service was about how he was so glad that Ross got to see different countries and experience things that were new and exciting, and I remember that whenever I worry that I should feel worse for leaving them. I know part of my mom’s excitement about it is a show for my sake. She doesn’t realise that I’ve been able to recognise her ‘let’s be excited for the kids (or the customers)’ voice for years now, but I appreciate it, nonetheless. The dedication in Divergent was to Veronica Roth’s mother, saying “To my mother, who gave me the moment when Beatrice realizes how strong her mother is and wonders how she missed it for so long.” I feel like I’ve had a hundred of those revelations since October last year and it really hits you sometimes. Maybe that’s what I miss most lately. Or maybe there’s the part of me that just hated seeing my dad wonder if Ross knew how much he loved him and hoping that he’ll never have to wonder that again.

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My Kingdom for a working outlet…

It figures that as soon as I commit to something online, the next day we have an all-day power outage. Apparently it had been going in and out all morning and completely went out around 11am. Faaaabulous. So, instead of wasting my Saturday being online and or working on my Dragon Age II Bastard play-through, I picked up my copy of Divergent and hunkered down on the couch. I’ve been meaning to read it since the road trip out here, but since my days without internet were cut shorter than I had anticipated (for which I thanked many dieties I don’t actually believe in) I didn’t end up touching it until now. It was a bit bizarre sitting and reading as the already cloudy day got darker, and by the time I busted out a flashlight to read by, I didn’t know what time it was. We don’t have any battery-operated clocks in the place yet, and my phone was dead, so all I knew is that I’d started reading around 3:00pm, and now it had been dark for probably(?) an hour.

It wasn’t until I ventured out into the strangely sky-lit dark orange of my condo parking lot and got into my car that I found it was 7:30. Excellent, four hours well spent on a good book – but now it was time to get to a place with food, power, and wireless so I could post this. But of course, it’s a Saturday night and I was not the only one thinking this way. After ordering food that was promptly forgotten about by the staff at Panera I found the outlet I was excited to claim had the ground prongs broken off in both sockets. No wonder that table had been so blissfully empty. But, at least since the staff forgot about my food, I decided to get it to go and save it for later – and they have me a free cupcake, then proceeded looking for another place. After a few calls around on my plugged in, barely 1% charged phonein the car, I found a restaurant that had a table AND an outlet and no wait at 8:15pm on a Saturday night. Score. I will gladly pay the 13 dollars for your overpriced burger and bottomless fries when you are the only place that would reserve such a thing for me.

So after a hardy meal, Chris has joined me here and in return for me charging his phone with my laptop he is waiting patiently for me to get my daily blog in. He spent the afternoon getting some hours in at work where there WAS power. Now I believe we will return home to level our Pathfinder characters by the light of a fire in our fireplace (that I have wrongfully scoffed at being from a place that gets well below zero). The power company’s only update at the moment is that King county has the most outages of anywhere, and that they were down to 55,000 customers affects (from 90,000 at the storm’s peak).  I wish them the best in getting it fixed, and now that my phone is charged, I don’t have to hog the lamp to continue reading. Divergent is good. If you liked the Hunger Games, read it.

NaBloPoMo + New digs

ImageSo, in an effort to resurrect this blog from where it’s fallen quiet due to a whole slew of things, I’ve joined NaBloPoMo which I’ve done once in the past and it was really fun. Plus I should have plenty to write about now, right? It’s strange looking at my last entry, wherein I’d just returned from visiting Seattle. Now I’m there, officially moved in for the better part of two months.

I came out at the end of August to attend PAX Prime 2013, as well as stay with a friend and begin my job/apartment hunt. It was pretty fun, although being three hours behind the East Coast took some getting used to. The weather’s been fantastic for as much as everyone immediately raises their eyebrows and goes “Oooh, Washington. Rainy.” as if they are giving me the inside scoop on a place I must know nothing about to want to live there. Well, that, or it’s just the only thing everyone knows about Washington and therefore is the default response. Smalltalk 101 stuff. But it’s been beautiful, and only just now as we head into November am I really seeing a rainy sort of trend. Even so, I don’t mind. My mom was worried the grey skies and drizzly weather would make it hard for me to shake off depression when it gets ahold of me. She’s been very pro-sunlight ever since I went on anti-depressants back in college, reminding me how much being indoors all the time can scientifically make you feel worse. I’m sure there’s truth to it, but the way my mom reminds me of it like she reminds me to make my bed or something kind of makes me laugh.

At the end of September, I hadn’t found a job (and still haven’t) but I did manage to grab a cozy 2-bedroom with my friend Chris over in Redmond. It’s on the “East Side” – that is, of Seattle, and of Lake Washington, and it’s much more suburbany than living in the city, but it’s 2 minutes from where Chris works and I like not HAVING to go into the city for everything. Traffic out here is ridiculous (and don’t even get me started on their street signage). So I flew home, spent 2 weeks saying  couple goodbyes and packing up the stuff from my old apartment to ship it out west. Then, Mom, Dad and I piled into the Prius that belonged to my grandfather, then my brother, and now me, to make the 3 day road trip.

That road trip could encompass a fair few entries all on its own, and I don’t feel like rehashing it at the moment, but despite a rocky start and a satisfying conclusion, I’ll say this: I’ve never actually cried when saying goodbye to my parents before. I’ve never been homesick. I’ve gone across the country to college for four years, not batted an eye missing the occasional holiday, not really cared if my parents and just happen not to chat for a month at a time. But there were some tears this time. I signed a lease. We know I’m out here for a year, if not (hopefully) longer, and that would have never THAT big a deal until we lost Ross.

I’d hoped to write more tonight, but Chris and I ended up FINALLY going grocery shopping to stock the fridge and cupboards after being in our place for a month and mostly just grabbing snacks and eating out, and then we watched the first couple episodes of Sleepy Hollow, but since I was out until midnight last night for Halloween, as per usual didn’t actually fall asleep until early this morning, and woke up at a decent hour thanks to a friend I hadn’t chatted with in awhile texting me (not being sarcastic, btw, seriously, so glad they texted) – I am exhausted. And being exhausted at 11pm for the first time since being on the road for 10 hours a day with my parents feels great. It was a year since we lost Ross on October 8th, and I did not want to go through this month again. But at least by the end I had a reason to smile about what was previously one of my favorite times of year

Now let’s hope I remember to write again tomorrow.

Silver linings feel pretty transparent…

So, Tuesday afternoon I returned from spending six days in Seattle, Washington. The place I’m looking to move to next fall. Being there and looking at the different areas with my friend Chris, who I’ll be getting a place with, really helped it sink in. We looked at a fair few apartment complexes, some way out of our price range, some more affordable. The leasing offices all suggested we call them in Mid-July to see what will be opening up, Chris and I discussed what we did and didn’t like about what we were seeing inside the apartments we were looking at, and I even applied for a job, cause it was one I was qualified for and the due date was Monday so why not.

It finally feels real. And for the most part that’s great. Really, really great. There are so many things I could blab on and on about that are so great and the idea of them makes me feel happy. But some apprehensions reared their heads while I was there too, that I don’t think I really knew how to put into words until I got home and went to counseling yesterday.

I’m scared to do something that I feel like will change my life for the better so much, something that may not have happened for an extremely long time if at all, if Ross hadn’t died. Right now, I’d give anything to have my brother back, I’d gladly stay miserable and in school for years if it meant that Ross hadn’t died and I therefore hadn’t had the epiphany that I was so unhappy there, or because we were all too raw and too scared of not being honest with one another that I confessed to my parents that I hadn’t paid fall’s tuition yet in the hopes that I’d find a way to withdraw before I did. And that I had withdrawn at the last minute the semester before and essentially spent all spring wasting their money.

I hadn’t ever planned to tell my parents yet. If Ross hadn’t died, I don’t know that I would have.

I guess I’m scared of moving to Seattle and being happier and moving on with my life because I don’t want to ever get to the point where I look back and say that I wouldn’t change anything. I’d be unhappy my whole life if it meant I had Ross back and he could live his. And maybe I was seriously considering withdrawing and working for a year in River Falls and then moving out to Seattle anyway. In fact, I logged back on to Care.com to update my profile and saw that the last I’d logged was October 8th. That is literally what I was doing when I got my mom’s text: looking for jobs that would let me take time off school. But then I think about stuff like meeting someone I want to marry, or getting a dream job – stuff that is supposed to be so good that you wouldn’t change your life at risk of not getting to that point, and I just don’t want it.

I think that’s why I have trouble when people still try to talk about the good that’s come from it. It’s nothing against the good that I’ve found amongst all of it – it’s still precious to me and I’m more grateful than I can ever say for the way my friends have supported me and I’ve felt closer to all of them than I have in a long time. I’ve made some new friends, I’ve gotten closer to my parents, I’ve started to turn my life in a direction I feel like I’m okay with…

But I just can’t quite look at it that way yet. I’m not offended when anyone suggests thinking of the good things, but… it feels hypocritical for me to turn around and tell others the same, so I don’t. Like the boy who lost his brother last week, or the people who lost loved ones on Monday. They deserve their time to be so bitter and so angry and so hurt…

Maybe I’ll get there eventually. And the bitterness has ebbed a lot, for the most part, for which I’m glad. Problem is I’m just as scared of actually reaching to that point of ‘acceptance’ as I am of forever feeling so awful every day.