Well, it's Super Bowl Sunday, and it's dark, rainy, and quiet here at home. Roy left hours ago for a Super Bowl gathering. I stayed home to work on random things for school and am not anywhere near finished. I spent the whole week being entirely too productive, so I'm not beating myself up over the dirty laundry, the sink full of dishes, or the unfinished school work. Instead I've rather enjoyed reading in bed and watching the entire apartment slowly darken as the day progressed.
Currently I'm reading Corpus Christi by Bret Anthony Johnston, who was a creative writing professor at my school until he got a job at Harvard a couple of years ago. I had the privilege of meeting him my first year of graduate school when he came to my research class as a guest speaker. I found him very inspiring and down to earth. Once I learned that he was from south Texas like me, I felt an automatic kinship with him like I do when I meet other people from the South. I haven't spoken to him since but will have the opportunity to again, as he is coming to my creative writing class as a guest speaker (which is why I'm reading his book).
Anyway, Corpus Christi is a book of short stories, all of which are set in and around - you guessed it - Corpus Christi, TX. (Corpus Christi is about an hour and a half away from my hometown.) Reading these stories makes my childhood and early adulthood flash before my eyes. If you couple that with the fact that I talked to my mom on the phone for an hour and a half today, then you'll understand why I have a major case of nostalgia for the place that I was itching to leave as a 21-year-old.
Texas isn't all bad. It's filled with wide open spaces, thunderstorms, and BBQ stands. Most importantly, my family lives there. And today part of me feels like there's nothing I'd rather do than sit on the porch of my huge childhood home and hang out with my mom. She told me today that she's thought of coming out to California on her spring break to spend some time with me. If only her spring break coincided with mine, then that would be a real option. I hate logistics. I miss my mom and would love to see her again - sooner rather than later. Sometimes it just doesn't seem fair that my heart led me so far away from Texas. And because of this, I often feel conflicted. Texas isn't the place for me, but I have an undeniable connection to it and always will.
To continue on the subject of following my heart, this weather makes me want to pack up and move to Portland right now. I simply cannot wait until we are able to move there. (I am crossing my fingers that we will both be able to find jobs there.) I love everything about that place. It just feels like where I'm supposed to be, although I wouldn't object to ending up in northern California or Washington either. Part of me is sad and scared at the thought of leaving southern California. I've only been here 6.5 years, but I've built a whole life for myself.
I don't suppose life is ever easy or uncomplicated. Lately, though, I keep trying to peer into the future. I keep wondering if I will ever look back on my time here in our snug little apartment in our charming neighborhood and think about how simple it all was for us back when we were a couple of poor grad students who'd just gotten married and were working crappy jobs just to pay the rent.
I have a feeling that life will only get more chaotic and more rewarding.