Confessions of a Country Girl

If you'd told me 15 years ago, on the heels of my high school graduation, that at the age of 33 I'd find myself back living in my hometown, I likely would have shuddered in horror. If you'd told me I would end up building a house here, I would have delivered the side eye to end all side eyes. Then a serious eye roll, followed by a know-it-all response amounting to some form of "Impossible."

And yet, here.we.are.

For the first few weeks I was up here, folks would often ask, "Are you here full time?" (Meaning, full time as in not in the city anymore). I'd quickly chime in "Oh nope. NOOOOPE. Definitely still in the city. Yep yep definitely did not move permanently back to my childhood home."

But the truth was, I was in the city less and less, my living situation was now only semi-permanent down there, and work only required I be there every few weeks. Oh and I didn't actually want to be there. Yeah I guess that's what's really worth noting. I did not want to be there.

My latest trips had been deeply exhausting. The subway was suddenly really annoying. I felt more claustrophobic than I ever had before. By the end of each trip I was clamoring to get back to the country. Back to my quiet mornings. Back to the convenience of my car and local gym. Back to my light filled kitchen, washer dryer, and the view of kids catching the school bus from my dining room window. And yet I kept singing the tune of..."Oh yeah no...I don't live here."

In a similar fashion, in my earlier dating days, I used to hide the fact that I relished going to bed at 9:30 pm. Give me a single cocktail, dinner around 7 pm, perhaps a post-dinner walk and/or movie, with time to get under the covers before ten o' clock and I'm happy as a clam. It's more than that. I'm not just happy — it's how I want to live.

I never actually said that though. I pushed myself, blurry eyed, through late night activities. I drank more than I wanted to. I took weekend nap after weekend nap in an attempt to catch up. It was only when I came clean about my pre-teen bedtime that I actually met a man who also preferred a pre-teen bedtime (not a coincidence how that all works out btw...). 

And yet here I am, denying where I actually live. Denying a really wonderful reality about my life.

As I write this, I'm eyeing a flock of geese that keep making there way away from the lake and towards the road, as if they're commuting...somewhere. I can't help but find it hysterical. I can't help but find it so much more comforting than a sticky subway pole. I can't help but think, what else am I hiding behind? What else needs to be aired?

P.S. I live here now. 

Clara Artschwager