When I first moved away from home, I didn’t just choose to move out of town, or even just a state away. No. I moved 1,300 miles away from everything and anyone I had ever known. Back then I was really tired of the same old life I had lived for 20 years. I was ready to start fresh and I did. I moved from Jersey to Florida and built myself quite an amazing little life. In between then and now I did managed to slip away to California for exactly a year in search of something I still seem to be trying to find. After a major fail I headed back to my home town and not too long after that did I land right back here. Today I live on the beach. It’s a dream I always wanted and it’s one that I accidentally (not accidentally because I’m a believer that everything happens for a reason) made real.
A few weeks ago I had a bit of a melt down. I literally woke up one day and was sick of living here. It was as if my soul was trying to find “it” again, whatever that was. I woke up feeling as though I was tired of this area and its lack of things to do as well as its age group. With its 45 and up year old crowds bombarding every square inch of this town, most of them a shade of leathery red, with pickled organs, and too much time on their hands. Any time I had tried to go out to meet people my age I was sadly disappointed. I was having people come out and visit me in a couple weeks and thank god for that, but the let downs had been so often here that I had sworn after my guests left, I would be done with the going out and trying to mingle. I would focus on saving my money and by next year head the hell out. Where to? My plan hadn’t gone that far but I had a few ideas in mind. Pennsylvania? Texas? Possibly back to California?
In the week before everyone was to arrive, I of course, ran around this town buying everything I could to prepare. I bought things that were needed, food, water, an inflatable mattress…. and I got things that maybe we’d just want, a deck of cards, Simon, beach toys. The entire time I was out and about I was consumed with thoughts about why this place didn’t suit me. I had tons of reasons to want to leave and all my mind kept doing was juggling each one of those reasons around in my mind over and over again. I had been racking my brain with the millions of possibilities and the weighing of all of my options that the night before my guests got here, I made sure to make it a point to not think about any of that while they were here.
Sam arrived on a Thursday and my sister the very next day. The entire time of their stay I had such an amazing time, almost as if I were the one on vacation. I had gotten to see more of my town while they were here than I had done the entire three months of me living here. Not a day of their visit went by that it wasn’t mentioned how lucky I was to have been able to find this place and I mean, it was perfect. I had everything I needed within the couple miles radius of where I lived. Bars, restaurants, grocery stores, the library, the bank, everything was down the road from me. Even the beach lay a few steps away from my front door. Each day of their stay had been a beautiful day full of cloudless skies and warm calm waters, drinking nights followed by blissful mornings and then blessed beach days. Even though I had promised myself that I wasn’t going to be thinking about why I didn’t want to live here anymore, I couldn’t help it because now instead of thinking why I shouldn’t stay here.. I began to think why I should stay here.
Sometimes it takes an outsider’s perspective to really make you realize something that should be otherwise blatantly obvious. Where I live, it’s pretty much paradise. I live on a nice little island not too far from town. The sun shines here 95% of the time. This is an area where you don’t need to worry much about your neighbors, a town where everyone greets each other without a second guess. I am fortunate enough to have a job where I can work just a couple days a week and afford to pay my bills and still have a little cash left over to spend on some fun or maybe just save. I am blessed with having enough free time at the moment that I can work on the things I love to do instead of constantly having to dedicate time to the things I have to do. That in itself is a big deal. Why had I woken up one day fed up and ready to move from this place? I had been given a great opportunity, a way of life so many others would die to live, why want to give that all up? I found my answer the moment I said bye to my friend and my sister at the airport today.
After having almost an entire week of company, surrounded by people who knew and loved me, I came to realize what it really meant when people say, “Home is where your heart is.” I have everything here except one of the most important key elements to a happy life. What I am missing are my loved ones. Whether it be family or friends, everyone needs to be surrounded by loved ones. It’s truly what makes the difference in life. You can have almost everything in the world, but if you don’t have who to share any of that with, what good is it? Yet, you may have hardly a thing, but if you’re surrounded by loved ones, you’re truly a rich individual. I had everything I had always wished for, except that right now I didn’t have a close circle of loved ones to share any of this with. Since moving here I’ve had no one to really go out and make memories with. These last few days allowed me to see why it was I had been so fed up. It was because I was bored of making memories alone.
With the countless times I was told how lucky I was to be living where I am, it made me see that I need to not only count my blessings and show the universe how grateful I am for all that it has conspired to give to me, but I need to also learn to be patient for all the things that I want that are still on their way. Yes, at the moment I may not have a circle of friends here, nor do I have a significant other to distract me from what it is I’m missing…but I’ve only been here (this time around) for only about 2 years, I need to give it time for it won’t be like this forever. Nothing in life is permanent and that includes life stages. Just as that can be a really ominous thought, it can also be a very freeing and comforting thought as well. I guess what I’m saying is, in time, I will make friends. I will meet people whom I’ll come to love dearly and I can then make this feel more like my home. In time I will be able to call, if not this place, then someplace, home. Until then, I must not look at the negatives, the draw backs, the ‘what is lacking’ of the current state, but instead appreciate all the wonderful things that has already been given, the beauty of life that is all around you. It is easy to get lost in the negatives of life. It’s easy to let your mind get carried away in everything that you may not be happy with. What isn’t easy is taking control of your state of mind and embracing the happiness that is already staring at you dead in the eyes. Happiness is a state of mind and if you can take control of your thoughts, you can take control of your happiness. Once I started to realize that it wasn’t so much the environment I was unhappy with and that it was more the lack of bonding with others, that I began to think about life here on the island just a little differently.
Will I live here forever? Who knows! If an opportunity came knocking, of course I’m taking it, but am I looking to move away tomorrow? No. What I do know is that in order to see change, change must happen. So it seems I’ve got a a little bit of changing in my routine to do, that’s if I want to start to really try to socialize in hopes of making friends. For now though, I’m taking time to stop and actually smell the flowers along the way. I’m enjoying the gifts that life has all around me for me to enjoy. Slowly I feel like I’m beginning to find “it”, whatever that is, in this land I for now call Lost.
Photo Credit: Natal Galvan