Friday, December 13, 2013

Interesting Settling In Note

Yesterday, on my way home from work, I stopped at Bed, Bath, and Beyond to get a humidifier.  Our new apartment is a flat, instead of a townhouse.  I'm a little giddy with all the space.  Who knew that   staircases took up that much space?  (The cats have been much more active, too.  I guess they like the floor space for wrestling!)

On the other, very dry, shriveled up hand,

The heating is EXTREMELY effective.  The room we chose for our bedroom is the warmest room of the apartment.  It means that every morning, we were waking up feeling like jerky!  Hence, the humidifier.

As I walked through the store, I also bought jewelry cleaner.

As I cleaned today, I was really surprised.  I had cleaned my Pandora bracelet in Oregon several times, but I had not cleaned many other pieces.  I just hadn't worn them.  As a result, there were layers of tarnish that came off.  I was shocked at how light most of my silver really was.  And I started to wonder…

Why did I have these pretty things, and not wear them?  Was I too busy riding bikes?  (A real possibility, as many days, I went biking right after work).  Was I just too busy, overall?  I remember many days feeling almost too tired to even brush my teeth.  (I always rallied for that, though.)  Was I maybe a wee bit depressed during the long months of separation?  Without M to dress up for and go out with, maybe I fell into a comfort zone with friends of warm and cute, but not sparkly.

It's interesting to contemplate.  What is it about Virginia that brings out the sparkle? I've always said I'm not the sort of girl who NEEDS a significant other.  But I am rather attached to the guy, and I enjoy his company.  I'm feeling a sense of relaxation and easing of anxiety that I haven't felt for so long, I'd forgotten how keyed up I had felt for so long.

I'm enjoying having sparkly things again.

I also wonder about the home-of-the-soul question.  I'd always known that CT was not my home, even though I grew up there.  Every time I've left, for travel, for school, for good, I've never felt that I was missing out on something.  I don't mind going back to see people, but if my family didn't live there, I'd probably not make excuses to visit CT.  I have never once dreamed about CT.

When we lived away from VA, we did make excuses to visit VA.  Triathlons.  Visits to the Seminary.  Visits to friends.  Visits to Maryland family (and of course, we'd stay in Virginia).  Virginia showed up in my dreams at night.  Every week that I didn't live here, I felt like I was missing out on something.

I loved Oregon from the moment I set foot there.  But I never stopped reading the Washington Post and I always felt like VA was "home home".  I did always feel like I was missing out on stuff when friends cheered "Nat-i-tude!" or went to events on the Mall.

But now…
I'm wondering when I can make an excuse to go visit Oregon.  Oregon has made friendly visits in my dreams at night.  And I feel like I'm missing out when friends post about going to see the Portland Gay Men's Chorus or to Powells or to dinner at the Lab.

It's odd.

I'm comfortable, and I'm happy here.  I love DC and I love being able to jump on a bus or take the train home.  I am doing things that make me feel like myself that I haven't done in a long, long time.  Like cleaning my silver jewelry and wearing cool shoes and making sure my bag doesn't clash.  But I'm also surrounded by chain stores- I could walk to the Cheesecake Factory, but I haven't yet found the funky neighborhood pub with the microbrews or the small restaurant with the affordable happy hour.

I miss the giant trees and the silence, even as I love the energy of the city and the sparkle of other apartment lights.  I miss knowing that I could go run up to Spencer Butte if I want to feel like I've left the world behind, even as I love grabbing the WaPo on Sundays and being able to go see the art exhibits listed that very day if I want to.  

[It is possible that we are just living SMACK IN THE MIDDLE of the most commercial of all the white bread commercial districts within the Beltway, and…I'm not really a white bread sort of girl!]

And yet... deep down inside, a tiny little gremlin in my soul is wearing handmade shoes, wearing a vest and a scarf, and ordering a second historical drink for $6 from the newest cool pub.  Even though I had to drive there, and the dark nights of winter start at 4PM and the sun doesn't dawn until after 7.  That gremlin still loves the giant pines.

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