It is my six-month anniversary of living in Utah, so of course I am spending five days in San Francisco. I enjoy irony, and also I didn’t really think about it, when I was booking my trip. Now that I’ve thought of it, and about it, I am mildly disappointed I didn’t stay home and shoot off some fireworks or something and go woo-hoo! and make everyone celebrate, probably by kicking my ass at Mario Kart for Wii. Mostly, however, I am okay with not being there, because it’s where I’m heading back, at the end of this week. It’s home, and I’ll be happy to return, and I would say something gross and twee like every day is a celebration! except then I’d expect you all to come to my house and beat me with sticks.
I don’t want to tick off the months anymore. Ticking off the months is exactly what I expected to do when I moved to Utah. It was a trial thing, only for a little while, only to write a book and work on getting a freelance career up and running and being closer than two states away to the guy I was dating and seeing if it would work out, and then I was out of there. Because, I mean, Utah, am I right? I was never planning on staying for longer than I had to. I wasn’t sure what the next step would be, outside of “not be here anymore,” but I was sure there was a next step.
There are many next steps–I have spent the last six months being very
tentative about setting down roots (is that how the expression goes?).
Digging in. Sinking my teeth in and tearing off a chunk. I have slowly
become a part of E’s life, and it has been all kinds of wonderful, and
I’ve been very lucky in this group of people that broke open the ranks
and surrounded me. Either like a herd of protective buffalo on the
plains when there is a predator nearby, or like a paddling machine. Either
or. Mostly both, and usually at the same time.
It’s been such a help, and everything I could have asked for, arriving
scared and feeling lonely and not 100 percent sure I was doing
the right thing and being in this weird new place. At least the weird
new people on loan to me, they were everything that is good and
welcoming. But they are E’s people, and it is E’s life, and they’ve
never made me feel like a hanger-on, but I know that it’s still time
that I head out and get my own life. That would have terrified me into
gibbering six months ago when I was still shell-shocked and homesick;
it would have made me vaguely nauseated just a few months ago. It sounds
damn fine to me, now. Like I’ve recovered from a long convalescence and
I am ready to get up off my ass and start training for a marathon.
Maybe a 5K. Maybe I’ll just walk it. But you know what I mean.
It has been anything but perfect and fancy-free and blissful–homesickness and serious depression and worry and trying to adjust to a whole new climate, and feeling so lonely and isolated. In the middle of that, trying to tend to a new relationship, set up a house, not die of the cold. Slowly, things have improved. Too slowly, sometimes. Things still aren’t the most perfect, but, in the end, it balances out to the fact that I’m happy to be here, six months in.
I would have thought that by now
that I’d be counting the days until I got to leave. I’ve made some big
decisions in my life, taken some ridiculous chances. This was one of
the biggest and the most ridiculous. Things could have gone horribly
awry–I am perfectly aware that when another person is involved, in a
big move like this, things could get ugly and go wrong in so many awful
ways. It was probably stupid that I shrugged and did it anyway. I am so
glad I shrugged and did it anyway. Like those other insane leaps of
faith I haven taken in my life, I can look back and say I’m glad I did
it. However it turns out at the very, very end, I am glad I did it, and
I’d do it again.