Thursday, March 30, 2006

I'd click my heels, but I'm not sure where I want to go

I spend a lot of time dreaming about things to come. Sam and my's house/home someday - what the color of the walls will be, how we'll organize our office . . . how, yes even this, we'll decorate the nursery . . . I plan and scheme and dream an awful lot. And Sam endlessly mocks me for it. I have lists of plans for our current apartment, for myself, for us. Sometimes I'll refer to something I've thought out in my mind, forgetting I haven't shared it with Sam and immediately - as the mocking crosses behind his eyes and his mouth begins to open I yell - "PLANS! I HAVE PLANS!!!"

I do this for multiple reasons, the most prominent being I want to believe things will be good in the future. That nothing will impede our progress to this happiness I envision. A happiness as sure as the fact that our walls will be warm colored and our office will be clean and organized with a corner desk. Attaching details, for me, is affirming a commitment. Letting go of all the what-ifs and grandeur of anxiety I'm prone to, and making it all real. This sounds crazy and like a bunch of bull I'm sure. But there it is.

Recently the future has loomed closer than normal. We have began talks, meetings, briefings, about when we might live here and where we might go. I have lists of pros and cons miles long - and as we walk through the city on the weekends I announce them out loud to Sam, listing why it would be perfect to have a young family here - why it would be impossible. I find myself doing this to him constantly, in fact - at home, online during the day, every time I think of one more thing to add to the list. I say it out loud and then look at him steadily, trying to read what he'll say, what his reaction will be. Of course, I need not do that. I'm married to a man who will never hide his opinion from me. I get my response and tally it away, on yet another list.

My favorite is still "well, we'll just keep the baby in the drawer under the TV. he'll fit."

Anyway, my recent ponderings are a direct result that of all the girls I love most in the world - only two will not be in the KC area soon. And thinking about this makes me want to pack up and go back immediately some days. Three of my bestest friends will all be there, and little Sarah, well - I'm dying to be closer to her on a daily basis soon. When I dream of living the life that involves neighbors and children and pot luck dinners (ha! will that ever happen?!) I dream of these women being there. Of us drinking gin and tonics and beer on the porches watching our kids play together. The draw is absolutely undeniable.

And they know it. When two of them announced they were moving home there was a giant pause. And I saw it run across Sam's face, the knowledge that KC just moved to the top of my "maybe when we leave" places.

And thus began our unending discussion of what should happen if we decide to leave this city.

Because there still are pros and cons. Friends and family, the ever-present and ever-growing reason to go back are a pro, of course. Our jobs, our lifestyles - another tick on a list. Will KC work for us? Is it even possible? Would we both be happy - would we both leave the house in the morning looking forward to the day ahead? Maybe. Maybe not. Moving there takes Sam out of where he is, and he's good at what he does - and does well at it. It keeps me in my current career, against all hope I would do otherwise when we moved . . . see? How utterly complex it starts to get?

And then, of course, on days like today I walk out of our building into the crisp clean spring air and pause. The sky is clear and blue, the air is filled with the smell of blossoms from our tree and the sound of at least three different languages being spoken. I know I'll go into work with some of the most brilliant people I've ever met. I know that this weekend we'll go to one of the coolest zoos in the world, and then early next week see a Broadway show. That we have plans to drive to New Hampshire and Mystic, Connecticut in May. That here, it seems the possibilities are endlessly hopeful and exciting - and ever-changing.

My lists will continue to grow. Sam and I will continue to try to figure what will work best for us. But one thing all this talking and list-making and planning has taught me is that it really is possible to have more than one home. My heart will always ache for something. Be it the every day newness and strangeness of this city, or the comfort and love of my dearest friends. I don't believe I'll ever find the place that makes me sit and stay and never leave. I always thought I would, but recently it's occurred to me I don't have to. It's scary, the feeling of possibly never having roots to reach the center - but the thought of wings is way too tempting to let that stop me.


frazzledmom said...

Jeff and I have had this discussion numerous times - to stay or to go. One family is great the other not so much! But having children with family around - no matter how frustrating they are -is a pure joy and I am glad that family is expanding here in KC. You are always welcome at our house for a little KC lovin'! And if you decide to part ways with NYC - our house is your house.

cgilch said...

The answer to the triva of "what's the next step" just shows up one day and makes itself known. You'll know it when you see it and it will be exactly what need.

jamie said...

The great thing that I realized this year is that no place has to be "forever." I get a bit freaked out about moving somewhere and staying FOREVER. My parents only ever moved across town in their lives, but i have to remember that we can do whatever we want, the (eventual) kids will survive. And so will we.