This article was intended to be published before her previous article, Do You Understand? We apologize for any confusion!
I know I’ve been gone, long gone. But I’m here. And for the first time in a long time, I’m happy, really happy!
Big news, we’ve sold our little ranch that we had bought, and moved into, right before I started writing for Life As A Human. I loved the ranch, loved the views, but really hated the solitude it brought. I really disliked the community that we were a “part of.” I use quotes because I never felt a part of it, the whole time we lived there. I was always a lurker, always held at an arm’s length. To be honest, I held them at a length too. But, that community just wasn’t a good fit for us, me specifically.
I was too “crunchy granola momma” as one community member put it, and I felt they were not enough. I experienced some of the worst treatment I’ve ever received in my adult years and what made it worse was people looked the other way.
I’m rambling. Perhaps, someday, I will tell those stories. But not today.
Today, I want to say that as lonely and as miserable as I was in that town, I’m that much happier and free in this town. In the other community, I’d be home alone, at the ranch, longing for children for Turtle to play with, longing for women to hang out with who got me, who grooved on the same things I did, who felt passionately about things, who accepted me for all my quirks, and passions that help make me, me. We moved back to the town where we went to college, and I have that. All of it.
Turtle made a friend, her best friend (says she) the very first day we moved in. The little girl’s mother embraced me, and we have been tight ever since. Both Turtle and I have friends up and down the street; I couldn’t be happier. They are all passionate about life, passionate about learning, expanding, growing. One of my friends, who has a two and a half-year old, is working on her SECOND PH. D. My jaw dropped when she told me this.
I can ride my bike everywhere, I can go to the farmers market twice a week! I can buy all the organic food I want. Everywhere I turn there is an art museum to visit. This town loves children, and I want the children’s librarian to get a gold medal because children and their literary joy seem to be her passion.
Everyone smiles here! And waves! I had lived here a week, and all the neighbors who don’t have children stopped on the street to say hello. I’m waving at people in the street I don’t even know! See, if you don’t “know” me by now, I’m a very gregarious person, and I love people. I don’t care who you were three years ago, I just want to meet you now, and get to know you now. If you were a drunk three years ago, but you are sober or trying to stay sober now, that is what I care about. The person who I am sitting, standing with in this moment. And I want people to be happy, to be passionate, because I’ve seen far too many people become unhappy because they were not passionate about something.
My neighbors, the people in my neighborhood, are passionate, happy people. They care about the now. They care about the tomorrow. They genuinely care about me, about Turtle. They are excited about the women and children’s groups I run, they want to hear about my art, my writing. Here, there are no boxes to step into. I was never a box dweller.
In our old community, I was becoming unpassionate, a sour soul, someone who was grumpy and mean. I did not like that. I refused to become that. That is not me.
So we moved.
This happy, vivacious flittery woman, this, is me.
And this is me, learning to live with the new LAAH 1,000 word restriction! Haa ha~!
All photos by Mary Black Bonnet