A small-town newspaper, propped in the blue folds of Appalachian hills as they flattened toward the Piedmont, ran my life for one year, one month and nine days.
So I was there for a year, and then there was this three- or four-week whirlwind of applications and interviews and calls, and a whole new life swallowed me up. I was covering Valentine’s Day weddings at city hall when I got the offer; I had to duck outside and keep my voice down. Then everything that was about my life, suddenly wasn’t.
It is so strange to miss something when you were anxious to leave it. Even stranger to miss something when you don’t want it back.
But I do miss it. I don’t miss the constant, low-level longing for city noise, or the job, or the shallow things, like driving 30 minutes for Starbucks.
But I do miss the people who surrounded me, and I wish I’d accepted more invitations, walled myself off less. I miss the possibilities, all the things I could’ve done. In a town that small, I should’ve made it to everything. Instead, I tried a fraction, and spent the rest of the time in my apartment or up the mountain in Boone, wishing for something — somewhere — else.
So I’m writing my advice to someone else in a similar situation, or maybe to myself, in this one:
Savor it. Whatever it is. Wear yourself out with experiences; exhaust every possibility. Be afraid, but don’t let the fear consume everything.
Whatever this is, you only get to do it once.
This is exactly how I feel about Boone… Everytime I’m in a new place I have big plans to get involved and accept more invitations, etc. But then I just get myself cooped up inside and become a homebody again. Not that that’s always a bad thing. But I have been much more purposeful about our move to Raleigh and have found that we’ve gotten a pretty good balance so far with doing things with people and forming relationships and having fun while at the same time not overdoing it and ALWAYS having plans. It’s been the beginning of what “settling down” must be. I want to take full advantage of where I’m at right now. Working from home, yet not keeping completely to myself which is natural for me. Thanks for this post and making me think about this more!
Meghan Frick said:
I feel the same way! It’s the first time (since Boone, maybe) I haven’t been thinking about where I can go NEXT, what I can do NEXT…instead I’m thinking about building connections and traditions that can have staying power, here. Grateful for your thoughtful comments!