Middlemost

I have been struggling a bit with my move to Oklahoma. Not so much that I’m unrelentingly depressed or unable to get on with life here in my new town, but because all of it is still so foreign to me. I find my inability to navigate the interstate system or even the goddamn aisles of the grocery store to be so fantastically frustrating (seriously, it’s okay to put cans of beans in the same aisle as cans of corn!). A few weekends ago, I had my first big emotional collapse, although I don’t know that it was really all that big. It lasted only a couple of days and eventually lifted like a fog, but during that time it was somewhat rough. Only a few days before this hit me, I was so proud of myself for having felt like I had finally cut the cord from Florida, that I had allowed myself to become unattached. I still call it home but now I feel like it’s okay not to be there in order to do so. But afterward, I had nothing, nowhere, to attach to.

Time is a monster when it wants to be, robbing us of those pivotal moments in life when we suddenly get it! Those moments are so short-lived and easy to forget, but they are really, really awesome when they happen. And I want one of those oh-so-badly right now! Maybe it’ll happen when I can walk into the grocery store and know exactly where to find the ricotta cheese (no, it’s not where you think it is), or when I can hop onto the Kilpatrick Turnpike without worrying about whether I have enough change to get through the toll booth (so far, I’ve always been able to avoid the turnpike by driving all the way around it or, as the locals call it, going the long way), or even when I can manage to get to the Oklahoma City Zoo or the Science Museum without having to punch the address into the GPS. Whenever I remember that the numbered streets run east and west, I come across a road that bucks the system by running east and west but has an actual name.  I mean, c’mon!

My friend Liz, Matt, and I talked about this for a short while not too long ago, about my need to attach to things, to places. Am I in limbo? Is this what is happening to me? It is very similar to being lost, knowing where you’ve come from and knowing where you need to get to, but for the moment I am so, so lost and probably because I haven’t attached. Honestly, I am not a clingy person. At least not in the traditional sense when one imagines a jealous girlfriend or a small child attached to the legs of his overwhelmed mother. That is not me at all. I guess I like to feel like I belong to something, to someplace. That I am essentially a part of its fabric, whether or not it has even had a chance to get to know me. Because, realistically, this is how I feel about you, Oklahoma City. You are a part of me now and I barely even know you at all.

Rest assured, we are working on this. So here are a few photos of things that for me mean home. It is one of the places in Oklahoma I am becoming quite attached to :

sea oat look-alike

nice light

IMGP5218

delicious grilled okra

hiding gnome

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8 thoughts on “Middlemost

  1. Sweetheart, I’ve lived in my city almost continually since 1986, and I still can’t find things in the grocery store (that are also never found in a place that makes sense). I do understand what you mean – it’s happened to me in reverse. Now, when I go back to the place I called Home for the first half of my life, it’s the place that feels a little foreign. Some things are exactly the same, but each trip shrinks that number and I feel like I don’t belong there anymore, despite the bulk of my family being right where I left them. All the rest will come to you in time – streets and stores and landmarks and how to get there (I still have to sit in the driveway for a minute and think about where I’m going and the best route, or I end up going way out of my way every time). Start small. Make little spots of your home, of each room, the yard, yours. Sometimes it’s just the refusal of the heart and brain to let go – it’s not a betrayal of Home to make a new one, but it sure feels that way sometimes.

    • Oh, betrayal of home – I’d never thought of it like that. Could that be it? Matt says I just haven’t given it enough time, and I completely agree, but I haven’t felt like this in 16 years when I first moved to Florida.

      I know in time I’ll be able to give other people directions. That’ll feel good.

    • Every weekend, I treat myself to flowers from the farmers’ market. Today I bought myself a bouquet of sunflowers! It’s one thing I was never able to do in Florida and I really like that I can do that here 🙂

  2. I can so sympathize with this post and love it because I’m currently going through the same thing moving to a whole new place when I have lived in the same place all my life. You are so right, it is like a limbo at times, and it is just so frustrating having to rely on your gps for simple things you would just know from where you came from! I get in those fogs a lot where the move is harder on me, and I really feel for you because adapting to a new place of ‘home’ can just be so difficult at times. Home is definitely not just a word, it’s a feeling we have that can be very difficult to attain at times.

    • Oh, I love that I have company in this feeling! I hope yours is going smoothly, the adjusting and everything. A lot of it sits on the fact that I like order in my life. I’m getting stubborn in my old age because 10-15 years ago, moving would’ve been no big deal!

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