I’ve been thinking a lot lately about fresh starts. When I was in college, I loved new semesters. I loved moving. New apartments. New neighbors. Fresh starts. The longest I lived in one place was 2 years and we were so very proud! (More often than not, we signed 6 month or 0 month leases so that I–then we– could move. Married with a toddler, we thought two years was a record of some kind. Two entire years. Of course, the only time we were living there that I was not looking for a new place to live was the 5 months I was on bed-rest pregnant with my second baby.
We have now lived here for 11 years. ELEVEN years. It might as well be eleventy hundred in my world. I think the formula for my living-in-one-place time frame is calculated similar to dog years. Which means I have been here for about 77 years. Thats a long time for someone who likes fresh starts and new adventures. A long time for someone who likes to move. Definitely time to make this house and this town feel like home.
But it doesn’t.
I was talking at length to my Dad and more than once I made a casual comment about “when I can come home” and meant to Houston where he and my sister are not here where my house is. I realized that there are just so many things I never did or tried to do to make this town my home. Many close friends have moved. Others either will or are kept at arms length because our personalities are so different, I leave them feeling more lonely and empty than when I actually was alone. Some I look at and want more than anything to be friends, but after 10 years, you would think it would have happened.
So, I can’t help but wonder, is it possible to get a fresh start in an old place? Can you start over in a place you have been for over a decade or does it take an actual–physical–move to earn the right or ability for a fresh start?
Recently, I made friends with a woman I adore. We seem to have so much in common. And since we just met, I feel like I can have a fresh start. But in this area, at the school my kids have been in for 8 years, do I get to have a fresh start with her or does the old baggage come around as quickly as the gossip train can get it there? And speaking of schools, next year will be the first year I only have one at that school. One who is still young enough that there will be massive turn overs in the parents that I have known forever. Is it possible to start fresh again or am I stuck in the place where “everybody knows your name” but that is about as far as the connection goes?
I know. A lot of questions. And probably few answers. I guess it all stems from the fact that I have been deeply longing (as in gnashing my teeth and crying over it) to move back to Houston and it just is not in the cards for me. (Husband thinks it is important to actually stay where his “job” is. Men!) There in Houston, I have family, friends, friends of friends, a support system and it feels right. Even after 11 years, I don’t have all of those here at “home” and I want them more than I can possibly put into words.
So tell me…can you make a fresh start in the same old place or do fresh starts only come with fresh locations?