Once upon a time I knew this girl who went from being Mennonite, to goth, back to Mennonite, to messianic Christian, to Muslim and to, you guessed it, atheist. Last I heard she was also bi-sexual and an anarchist.
I’ve laughed at her antics a lot through the years. She is a complete nut. And open about it too. No fear over worrying what people might think of her constant changing. Like that’s she’s crazy. Because she is. And she just owns it. Or doesn’t know it. Either way, she’s happy. So, whatever. More power to her.
No, that wasn’t autobiographical. This isn’t about me. But, I do admit to being searcher. I once went on this kick of wanting to be Amish like ten years ago. I know, everyone says they want to be Amish. But I was so sure I really did. I read this book all about Amish life and I just knew it was for me. Eventually, I made Amish friends and realized they weren’t all that impressive. Just people who shopped at the same shops I did. Except they went home to gas lights instead of electric. And they didn’t own TVs. Which I guess is good–but I like TV. I mean a reasonable amount, anyhow. I like having it as an option, at least.
I spent a good year of my life pining over the idea of moving to Pennsylvania. When my husband actually got a job offer there I was thrilled. I had these ideals of how life would be so calm and nice in the middle of nowheresville. But, I have never been so lonely in all my life. And cold! It snows like very other minute in Lancaster county winters. And when it isn’t snowing, it’s threatening to. I sat looking out the window one day and I just cried. It was so ugly. Just winter deadness for miles around. The feeling of being alone was replaced with the realization of being isolated. By the time spring came I had a few screws loose. I didn’t realize I wasn’t an introverted as I had assumed. Honestly I’m kinda extroverted by nature. But I had this idea in my head at the time that being extroverted was like a bad quality. I don’t know. I can be neurotic like that I suppose. And so I was trying really hard to be an introvert.
When his job ended, I was so happy to move that I couldn’t stand it. So we got a cabin in the woods of central Va (a dream I fashioned after watching all 7 seasons of The Walton’s) right near the lake. It was so fucking beautiful, I can’t even explain. Just gorgeous. And we did have a good bit of happiness there. But, our stay was short because work there dried up for my husband and there was no longer a justifiable reason to live there. So, we moved again and landed back in our home state. And though it isn’t where I want to be, I admit it isn’t as bad as I thought it was when I was pining away for Pennsylvania.
I’m not saying our dreams aren’t worth investing in. I mean the grass is quite literally greener in Pennsylvania. It’s beautiful and lush. But, it’s still just grass.
Growing up means understanding the differences between ideals and reality. The ideal is how much better life will be when, if, because… The reality is that you can’t find yourself by running away anymore than you can by burying your head in the sand. Once the newness wears off, you’re stuck with the same old you, but in a new place. And if it’s the you who you don’t like, then it’s the you that you must change. Or , I suppose, learn to live with. Or love, if you’re that sort.