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March 5, 2013
I'm wearing my lavender union suit pajamas in my little hotel room, right here.

I’m wearing my lavender union suit pajamas in my little hotel room, right here.

My brother Jesse used to tell me that happiness wasn’t tied to where you live. If Sunny wasn’t happy in Kansas City, Sunny wouldn’t be happy anywhere. And I believed him because I believe anything either of my older brothers tell me because they’re smarter than me.

But then I moved to New Orleans, and I felt what it was like to be  home, almost immediately. I spent 2 and a half years in New Orleans, one of those years in a long distance relationship with my person. And when you find your home and your person, and they are not in proximity to one another, you choose your person. At least I do.

So then I relocated to Washington. I realized after living in the Pacific Northwest for 9 months, that it wasn’t about where I lived, but how I felt about myself, which is directly tied to my job and social circle and the weather which is a direct reflection of where I live. So, brother, you are right. Sort of.

All that is to say I got in my car and started driving today, southeast. Without really looking, I landed a teaching job finishing up the school year at a high school in New Orleans. I left behind the sweetest and most patient and understanding partner with specific instructions how to make the red beans we (I) cook every Monday, and a promise I’d be back for springbreak and again in June.

The entire trip across Washington I kept asking myself what the hell I was thinking. It’s the same surprise at myself as when I left Kansas for New Orleans the first time. By the time I crossed the Oregon state line, my sadness about temporarily leaving TT replaced my reassurance that these adventures are what life is all about. I need to do this for myself.

When my eye lids’ slow motion blink signaled it was time to stop driving for the day, I pulled off into Baker City, Oregon, called the hotel with the most stars on Yelp, and a sleepy-voiced woman told me yes, she had rooms, and to use the after hours phone to call in when I arrived, and she’d come out.

The room is small and tidy and it has a real key, not one of those key cards. There is rose bud aerosol spray in the bathroom and an alarm clock whose every tick is a constant reminder: I am here.

Ten minutes later I arrived at Bridge Street Inn, dialed 0, waited for the same sleepy voice, and announced I was here. About a minute later a woman in a long brown night gown ambled to the front desk, took a key out, unlocked the glass door, and let me let myself in.

“You’re a long way from home.”

You don’t even know, lady. Driving away from my home? Towards my home? It’s all very confusing, sacrificing one thing for another, even if only for a short time.

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8 Comments leave one →
  1. Teresa Giachino permalink
    March 5, 2013 8:58 am

    Good for you and good for New Orleans.

  2. March 5, 2013 12:17 pm

    You are your home. Enjoy.

  3. pnw'er permalink
    March 5, 2013 11:07 pm

    sds- you always know how to keeps it rad.

  4. Claudia permalink
    March 6, 2013 1:09 pm

    So happy for you. You are a gifted teacher and you have found your niche. When I took my job at my current high school, so many people said things like, “Oh, that isn’t a very good school, is it?” or, “Good luck there, you are going to need it.” But the minute I set foot in the place, I knew it was right for me, and after a few weeks, despite some difficulties, I knew I had found my niche. There are days I question my decision, and think that it might be easier working in a nice suburban school with less teen parents and gang issues, but then I think, who would be there for some of my favorite kids? Safe trip! Happy landings!

  5. March 6, 2013 2:28 pm

    When I first moved to the MN, I was reminded of the saying “You are right where you’re supposed to be” and it confirmed that despite this being the first move I wasn’t the one initiating, it supported my adventurous personality and that this is life. You don’t always get what you want but you can be surprised by getting things you didn’t know you needed! I believe your bros are right about being okay with yourself. If you have problems, you just move them with you wherever you go. I also like the Edward Sharpe lyrics “Home is wherever I’m with you.” I feel like I need this to be true for me because I have live so many places that I don’t even know where home is. The place I called home was where I lived with my parents when then, all I wanted to do was move out. So I say I’m “from” places but I don’t know where I’d call home. I joke about being a vagabond but the truth is, I think I’m still between homes.

  6. March 6, 2013 2:29 pm

    oh! and congrats on the job and being back in nola!!

  7. March 7, 2013 1:46 pm

    Interesting that you mention weather. Before I moved to the Pacific NW, I never considered the weather as a happiness factor, but after I lived in PDX for a couple of years, the weather became central to how I felt. It is really important.

  8. March 10, 2013 9:25 am

    I’m inspired by your courage to leave a new home (with someone you love) and to head back to New Orleans – a city you love. I can’t wait to read about your new adventures back in Nola.

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