Anywhere But Here

9 11 2009

I haven’t written anything in about a week, mostly because life kind of sucked last week. In addition to both Azita and me being sick, work really, really sucked.  I mean,  it sucked as in I kept trying to remember why I took a massive paycut to work more hours with less meaningful work. Hours that are often filled with busywork that someone else is supposed to be doing if she could do anything right. Hours filled with annoyance and well, more annoyance and yet some more annoyance to top it off. It sucked so much that I really just wanted to become a hermit. Interacting with the world was just too much for me to handle after being required to do so during the day. It was physically exhausting, and my language skills were completely depleted by the time I left work.

Yeah, it sucked like that.

And, whenever life sucks, I’m all flight and no fight. I’ve been this way ever since I was a kid. When times are tough, I want to run away to Shangri-La. I mean that literally. I had a really big Paradise Lost obsession.

I had a lot of literary obsessions, actually, and there have also been many times when I want to move far, far away. For a long time I wanted to move to Prince Edward Island, thanks to  Anne of Green Gables. In my high school years, Faulkner convinced me that the deep south was where I needed to be. Edith Wharton made me yearn for New England. Actually, I still yearn for New England. This past week, I’ve put some serious thought into New England. And, North Carolina. I know they seem disparate, but my sister is in North Carolina. She is my closest confidant, the person I’ve loved the most for the longest. My nephews are there. My niece. I really want to move to North Carolina.

I’ve lived in the DC metropolitan area for my whole life, minus a brief stint in Baltimore.  I’ve always loved living here. In spite of wanting to run away here and there, I’ve never really wanted to leave. Not REALLY. Lately though, the hustle and bustle of this metropolis just doesn’t hold the allure it once did. It’s all rush, rush, rush, get stuck in traffic, claw your way to the top, never sleep, never stop moving, etc., etc. It’s all of that minus the really cool stuff that comes from being in a big city like New York or London, and I’m just over it.

Yesterday when I had my nearly daily phone conversation with my sister, I mentioned that I was starting to feel less competitive than I’ve always been. Competition has been a way of life for me for as long as I can remember, and it’s made life exciting and rewarding at times. Then this morning I wake up, and  it’s still dark outside. I have a long day ahead of me, and as I’m trying to get out of bed, my baby reaches out and puts her arms around my neck so I won’t leave. Yeah. Then that happens, and I don’t care anymore about being competitive. I really just want a slower and quieter life. I want to spend more time with my baby. I want to be present in the moment when I’m with her and not worrying about the million things that need to get done just to make it through a day in D.C.

Maybe trying to be anywhere but here is not so selfish as I think.  It’s not just trying to get away from my troubles. It’s also trying to find a place where Roger and I aren’t always rushing around and just getting through life, dragging Azita along with us. I really don’t know where I’ll be a year from now, but I hope it’s somewhere more placid. If anyone knows where that place is, let me know. I’m on the next train there.