Have you ever thought about doing something so big that it would be considered a major life change and thought, “I could do that. No problem. It'll be an adventure.”? Like picking up your life and moving it 3,197 miles from your family and everyone you know and love? No sweat, right? It's an adventure. You live for experiences and you love to travel and get out there and see the world!
Well, have you ever gone through with it and it turned out to be “no problem”? Because if you have, I need to know how you did it. I'm gone 3 weeks and 3 days from the town I consider my home and I'm a homesick mess.
I miss my son the most. This is the first time we've lived in separate towns, let alone clear across the country from each other. (Well, apart from being across the country from him when he was 9 months old because I was called back into the Marines for Desert Storm.) For the last 23 years, no matter what, it's always been him and I. Even if we weren't living in the same house or the same part of town we were always connected. We're still connected but now I can't just drive across town and have coffee with him or go on a hike with him or go have Terminator Milkshakes with him at McMenamins.
It. Is. Painful. So painful.
Part of me feels like a huge baby and if he's handling it well, then why can't I? The other part of me says, “Well of course it hurts. He's your son.”
He's my son.
Chances are he will eventually move out of Portland (maybe) and if I was there in Portland when he moved away, would I feel the same as I do now? Of course I would. But knowing that Portland was where he jumped off from and feeling like I'm holding a sense of space for him to come back to would be so much different then where I sit right now 3,197 miles away from the place we've called home for the last 11 years.
I miss my son. I know that somehow this distance will turn out to be good for both of us, but right now all I know is that I miss him.
I miss Portland, too. I miss the small towns in the big city. I miss being able to call up a friend and go grab a beer just for the hell of it. I miss the quirkiness. I miss knowing where everything is. I miss the queer community. I miss my friends.
There are things I haven't yet done here on the East Coast that I'm sure once I get some funds coming in and do them I'll start to feel the adventure part of this experience. One of those things being spending time with fellow photographer Syd London in New York. Seeing Times Square for the first time. Maybe even seeing Brandon from Humans of New York out and about shooting more beautiful photographs for his project. Or visiting my sister in Connecticut. Photographing a New England winter, spring and summer. Getting down to Florida to finish up my own project shoots. Meeting lots of new people.
In addition to being homesick, other things are eating away at me during this transitional time. Like the way my leaving Portland looked to a few of my close friends based off of things that were posted on a social networking site. (I swear those sites will be the death of society.) Things weren't as they seemed and there didn't seem to be any room for clarity from me. There's so much pain wrapped around that. I want to reach out but don't even really know where to start at this point. Perhaps time will make things clearer with regards to reaching out or leaving it be. I don't know.
Giving up my Oregon drivers license and replacing the plates on my car with Massachusetts plates was emotional. I took care of those things last week and almost cried at the Registry of Motor Vehicles. Seems like such an odd thing to cry about. Although, waiting for over an hour and giving up the money for it all really should have made me cry.
The good news in all of this is that after being here for only 3 weeks I've landed two part-time jobs. One at a doggie daycare here in town and another at an IT company that's only a 7 minute walk from the house. I started the IT company job today and it seems to be a good gig. The people are nice and I'm learning new-to-me software, which is always a good thing for the resume'. My mornings are spent at the doggie daycare and starting my days off with doggies makes me very happy. It sets a good tone for the day. (The job where I'm paid the least and picking up poop is where I'm the happiest. Go figure. If only I could survive on that job alone.)
In the meantime, I continue to do tons of internal soul searching trying to figure out what makes me happy and how I can get paid to do it. Since I've been here, I've figured out that wedding photography is not where my passion lies. The project is where my passion lies. Maybe after this one is done, there will be another. Writing has been heavy on my mind lately, as well. The outline of a story for a book has been making it's way into my thoughts. My Mom has been encouraging me to start writing again. I'm getting other signs from the Universe to write so I need to just do it. With the holidays coming I'm going to need a distraction. Plus, I keep hearing how terrible New England winters are so I may be buckling down inside to stay warm during my off hours. It'll be a good time to write.
Also on the advise of my Mom, I will start focusing on what I'm grateful for in each day. Starting today and every day through the end of the year I will do my best to write a blog post about that which I am grateful for. Today, I am grateful for my two jobs and the income they will provide. I'm also pretty proud of myself for landing them so soon after getting into town. I certainly hit the ground running when I got here and it's paid off.