I write to you in the final days of my 20s, under the umbrella of graduate school, in my current Midwest City. I write to you in hopes that, as you walk your own journey through life, you might be able to use some of my road markers to guide your way. I write to you in hopes that as time marks the distance on the spectrum of experience between us, my words might help you to know where you come from and the possible similarities on the road we travel, even if I have done it a few years before. Don’t worry, it doesn’t mean you’ll get THAT mole or make the same decisions I do, though chances are good you might get “the voice”, but we’ll discuss that later.
My words greet you in a cusp year. This is the year that decides if I stay or if I go. I am working hard to get the Master’s degree your parents won’t stop harping you to get, while living in the Capitol of this Midwest State. To be quiet honest, I have no idea where I am going from here. Your nana is doing pretty good getting to this point, but is torn as to what to do next. Like a plant, I am most ready to stretch out my roots, digging myself into the soil, but I also want to disperse like a seed on the wind and see where I land. When school is finished, will I stay in this City or will I hold out my thumb and catch a ride with the wind? When you finally meet me, you will have the benefit of decisions made and time’s trickery of making what will be into what was. So, as you read this, you will know the answer while I am still forming the “what ifs” in my mind. You lucky devils!
I came to this town first to go to college. Barely 18 years-old, my Dad your Great Gpa, dropped me off with a suitcase and a box the day after your Great Uncle Bo was born. Wow, what an experience, one day I was watching your Great Gma give birth to Great Uncle Bo, and the next day I am islanded on the campus of the University looking for a job. I had $105.58 to my name and no clue what college life would be. Be proud, you came from pure blooded working class, Woo Dog! What a great way to start an adventure, though I admit it took a few years before I let go of trepidation and worry as my ores on the river of life. And yes, I was talking like this even before you were born.
This town was great during undergrad. Though it is true, your grandma worked 30 hours a week, studied hard, (and yes, walked 5 miles in the unbearable cold!); she also had much fun with really fun people. It’s okay to have fun. Do it as much as possible! If you are lucky, you will use this time in your life to build a new community of support and bring new people into the tribe of family you care for. But please don’t hold on too tight to these years, because it is the nature of things for people to leave and find new paths. You see, what you might confuse as roots will be the fur on your seeds that catches easily in the wind. Let the self find the journey in these years and then follow it forward. Let yourself find your own identity too, how ever you choose to form it.
So, I suppose you’re asking yourselves, how did Grandma wind up staying in a place that should have been temporary – a place that should have been a launching pad, but for her became a lily pad to crouch upon? It’s a simple answer really, but again an answer formed under the veil that time places over our eyes until the significance of experience unfolds later on. I actually did not stay. After I graduated, my Mom and Dad (the Greats), asked me to come home and help with your Great Uncle Bo. He was going on five and they needed a babysitter. I found a job for that year and helped out, but realized I could not go back home again, for a number of reasons. I suppose it was at this time that I learned that the word home includes everyplace we live, and when we return to our original home, we are different then when we left. Home is still home, it’s just becomes a broader term to encompass a few more places.
With a theme common in my life, I really didn’t know what I wanted to do next. It is in this part of life that a division between what you thought you were suppose to do and the possibility of what you can do become apparent. To be honest, I came back up to this City because I had a good portion of friends, a volunteer job I liked, a possible place to live, AND not knowing much about my own sexuality it seemed like a good place to find that side. Small Town USA was not the place…not at this time anyway. See, nana thought she’d stick around for a year or two then head out with a clear understanding of the world. Yeah, see I’m going to tell you a little secret…getting older doesn’t really clear things up, it mostly gives you time to stop struggling with the idea that “you don’t know anything” and “there really is nothing you can do about it”.
I stayed because experience nourished my learning curve, space offered me time to figure out things, and it’s really not a bad place to contemplate life’s little nuances. There are good people in this town, and Great music! Trust that wherever your nana lives, there will be a decent local music scene! I recommend you do the same, but you have to live your own life. I won’t judge you too much.
With that said, here I am still hanging around this town. I think your nana might be a little afraid of jumping into someplace new. Of course, she also really wants to settle in and down, finding the routine in building a home and continuing to build a community. But the truth is I think this is not the place for me to settle. But you never know. Well you might, seeing I haven’t even birthed your parental unit yet, but I don’t! I really don’t. What an adventure.
With my Love,
P.S. If they have invented time travel by your time, don’t hesitate to pop on by. I got good coffee and would appreciate some future oriented hints.
Labels: sunday scribblings