|Kittery Lighthouse in Kittery Maine|
For as long as I can remember I have been fascinated by the East Coast, particularly the New England area. I don’t really recall how this infatuation started but I think it can be traced back to watching the 1994 film version of Little Women. I was eight that year and fell in love with the story and the scenery. Soon after that first viewing I was reading and watching anything that had to do with New England. Somewhere along the road I came to the decision that I could only be really truly happy if I was living in a small town on the coast of Maine, or Massachusetts, or maybe even Vermont, just like Diane Keaton in Baby Boom.
I grew up in Central California, not to far from the Raisin capitol of the world. And while there is nothing wrong with the central Valley, it never really felt like home. Later on it occurred to me that all of this desire to move away from the Golden state where so many people want to live might actually just be a desire to return. As it turns out most of my ancestors fled chilly Massachusetts for gold and warmer winters in California. But me; nope I like the cold, my favorite days are gloomy overcast days. I dream of cold winters, seeing four actual seasons, and being able to wear a jacket without sweating.
A few weeks ago my husband and I decided to celebrate our anniversary by spending the week with some friends who had recently relocated to the Boston area. With temperatures in Southern California hitting the 80-degree mark all through September and into October, we were looking forward to cooler temperatures. When the airplane finally landed and we viewed that Boston skyline from our over priced rental car for the first time, the strangest feeling came over me, the feeling of home, the feeling of belonging. Over the next few days we walked the Freedom Trail, explored different towns and neighborhoods, and ventured into the neighboring states of New Hampshire, and Maine.
And yes, the fall colors were amazing, and yes, it was nice for my husband to finally be able to wear that sweater he bought two years ago. But, I forced myself to look past all of that, all of the beauty and history and amazing seafood, to really find the reason why this felt so right and where we were living has been feeling so wrong.
What I discovered that sometimes, maybe every once in a while a gal needs to get lost in a city where no one knows her name. That this concept of “home” is not a concrete one, maybe home, or the city where we live, or apartment where we live needs to change every so often or at least be vacated. There is something wonderful to go to a new city and trying it on for a while. I read once that travel is the only thing that you buy that makes you richer. And now that I am older and actually choosing the places I get to travel, as opposed to the self-imposed hell that is known as the Family Vacation. I find myself learning and growing more and more with each trip I take.
As humans we are always growing, changing, shape shifting. Isn’t it possible that our location sometimes needs a change as well? And while I know that there is no perfect place, it could be that there is a perfect place for this moment.