Cydney and I completed another Lake Worth Street Painting Festival–our eighth! It was incredibly hot but also a lot of fun, as always.
The trip, as a whole, was just fantastic. Perfect weather, great conversations, great vegan food! On Sunday, the penultimate day of vacation, I was feeling a bit blue about leaving. I have only great memories of living here–I met Spence here, my dad was still alive and visited twice, I received my MFA, I met some of my closest friends. We left only because we had to, not because we wanted to. Spence took a buyout and was offered another job in the Midwest and so we left. We had often talked of moving to New England, but when we left, we did so because there was no other option, which left a bad taste in my mouth. And we moved to the Midwest, a place where I grew up and had no interest in returning to. I cried when we were there for Spence’s job interview. I cried when I arrived at our rental home.
And of course, it was all fine. Illinois was not bright and sunny all the time but it had its charms. It was short drive to mom and I visited often. I met a couple of my best friends there. And the job I eventually took gave me the experience I needed to take the job I have now, a job I love.
We finally live in New England, but all those years I imagined living here, I was imagining the cities or Fairfield County, with all the activity and diversity that comes along with those places. Instead, we live in an exquisitely beautiful place in Vermont–quite rural. Not a lot of diversity. Sometimes it’s hard to leave the house because it’s so cold. When I return to So. Flo., and I’m surrounded by brown and black and white faces, and I’m swimming in languages I don’t even recognize, and it’s too nice to stay inside, so I’m easily exceeding my 10,000 step goal, and the people are dressed to kill, and stylish women of a certain age have dyed their hair a glorious lavender…I can’t help but be heartsick about leaving it behind.
However, I also know perspective changes once you live in a place. Soon the heat becomes oppressive; the crowds of people will become a burden rather than a joy; the the expensive nature of the place becomes its own limitation. Vacationing is one thing; residing another.
This morning I awoke at 4:30am, ready to be on my way. I can’t wait to be with Spence and the dogs again and to get my routine back. For now, I live in a beautiful, rural area surrounded by mountains. It shouldn’t be taken for granted. And people may not be dressing to kill, but that won’t keep me from trying. Maybe I’ll consider lavender hair, too. (And summers in this area are beyond perfect…so there is that.)