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July 24, 2011 / Bika

Going Home

A quiet, peaceful life in a town where nobody knows you is only good until you realize how goddam lonely you are.

There’s a long list of people who want me to pull up roots and settle in Oregon, which is just about as far from here as you can be and still be on the continent. It makes me feel wanted. Their sentiments are echoes of my own stubborn hard-wiring that screams “this is where you belong, this is your home and always will be no matter how long you stay away.” It’s a win-win, right?

But for all those loud supportive voices, there are quiet ones close to my ear that tell me it’s a bloody stupid idea. Why leave Georgia, they say, our safe little orbit where the economy never quite tanks and you can buy a house for a song? Why, when the weather is good (read: hot), living is cheap, and people pretty much leave us alone?

My husband would be happy as a pig in shit to live here for the rest of his days. It’s warm. It’s adequate. It’s comfortable, like old gym shorts. This kind of easy living appeals to him on the most basic of levels. When he says something so innocent as “let’s just stay,” it’s hard to breathe and my eyes start to water. I panic. He may as well be saying “you can’t have this,” because that’s all I hear.

I want my family to be happy, and not just my family on the opposite coast; I have an even greater obligation to the ones I live with. But I can’t give up just because he says “why.” I want it too much. I’m almost positive that once we’ve moved and settled in he’ll be just as content with an Oregon life as he is with the one we have now. Meanwhile the tidal current that’s worn me down to bone, that has me treating the last decade of my life as a phase, that insists I’m never really home even when I’m in my own house, my own bed, will stop. I’ll be positively drunk with relief. His inertia can’t break that tide, only slow it down.

Still, I’m scared. Scared of an eleventh-hour freakout, afraid I’ll give up on what I want rather than walk away from here while he drags his feet behind me. He’ll follow where I lead, though I know he’d rather we stayed.

I’m not being fair. Fair means compromise, only some things can’t be compromised; like moving or not-moving, they are binary options where there are no halves. You move, or you don’t.

And it isn’t fair.

Because it’s not fair, I’m already resigned to what happens later, when my decision gets to be the whipping-boy for anything that goes wrong. I’m willing to risk every annoying, pain-in-the-ass I told you so. Even if I screw it up, if I make bad mistakes, if everything goes pear-shaped, I’m okay with that, because at least then we’ll have an army of family members who have our back.

And I’ll be home.



Leave a Comment
  1. Verdus / Jul 24 2011 7:34 pm

    You could always move somewhere completely new. Then *neither* of you would be happy. That’s the very essence of compromise, right? <_<

    Okay, fine, I never said it was a *good* idea.

    • Bika / Jul 25 2011 12:46 am

      Ideally, I’d like to remain on speaking terms with my husband, whatever we end up doing. Something tells me that wouldn’t happen if we plotted out a midpoint in Kansas. But what’s a little staring-daggers-over-breakfast when if means a perfect compromise, right? *snerk*

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