The two weren’t far behind me, and I could hear their conversation clearly. They snarked over the influx of newbies to the Hill who had fled, or been pushed out of, the private sector for the safety of government work. And then their conversation turned.
“You’re from Texas, right?” he asked her.
“Yeah,” she said. “I want to go back, I mean, I love Austin, so I know I’ll go back. I just don’t really know when. I like it here, and I don’t think it’s the right time to go back.”
I was thisclose to turning around and saying to the girl, “WORD.”
Since Day 1 when I moved out here over 3 years ago, I’ve wondered when it would be I’d pack up and go back to Chicago, because this was just an adventure, not a permanent fixture. I figure I will just know when it is the right time, like I just knew it was the right time to chuck my job back home and pick up and move to DC. And I love it here. I like my job(s), I adore my friends, I love that I did something I always wanted to do—take a leap of faith and move to a new city—and pulled it off successfully. I love that DC has become a home to me. I love that I’ve gotten to know this very, very odd city quite well. And Baltimore, too. Baltimore has been my biggest surprise, how much I love it, how well I’ve gotten to know it, how wondrous and underrated a city it is, but I’m glad that I know this gem and love it, love it.
But I get homesick like you wouldn’t believe. And I’ve never seen myself settling down here. Those visions and dreams always take place in Chicago. I love Chicago, a big part of my heart belongs to that city and its surrounding areas, and always will. My roots are deeply planted there, and could not be yanked from the ground with the force of anything. A very large part of me wishes I were there to strengthen those roots further, make them stronger and even more definitive. And now there’s a baby coming to the family, and it freaks me out to think that I will be the crazy aunt who doesn’t live nearby while everyone else does, that my relationship with this baby will suffer because of where I live. Maybe it would be different if I weren’t the only one who lived away from my family, but I am, and it fucking sucks sometimes, when I feel like I am missing out on so very much.
But on the other hand, I would miss out on a lot if I moved back to Chicago. I would miss out on my family I’ve created here in DC. And miss out on some other variables that I can’t quite name right now, but I’m sure would come to light when I’ve stepped away. And I don’t particularly want that, either.
What would be ideal is if I could just take my friends and my job and everything and just plop them all in Chicago, and then I could have the best of both worlds and life would be grand. TA-DA!
Then the struggle continues. It’s very hard to be in two places at once, and I just can’t seem to reconcile a thing.