It’s been almost a year since Ben, Isaac and I packed up our lives in California and headed back to Ohio. As I have said time and time again, we didn’t choose to leave because we were unhappy with our life, our house, our jobs. We chose to make this move because we knew that there was a life waiting that would make us happier. And after almost 12 months, it rings true that this was ultimately the best decision, because we truly are happier.
Earlier this month, I went back to California to watch one of my best friends, G, get married. The weeks leading up to the trip were so busy as I was prepping for the first part of my dissertation research, and searching for a new rental house for us. I barely had time to try on my bridesmaid dress before I was in the DTW terminal boarding my it’s- too- early -and -the -sun -isn’t -even -up -how -can -the -pilot -see -to -fly -the -plane flight. After plowing through the first book of the Fifty Shades series, I lifted my eyes to see my beautiful City by the Bay rapidly approaching as the plane got ready to land. My heart jumped in a million directions.
I was nervous. I was scared, not of being back in California, but of leaving this place, this time in my life, yet again. Everything was the same as I had left it, but everything was different. The lives of all the beloved people I had left behind had continued and moved past the 8 years that I spent in them. My friends were still my friends, but I hadn’t seen them in almost a year. It broke my heart at the thought of leaving them again, not knowing when I would be back to see them or at what stage of our lives we would be in. The bottom line was and always would be that I wouldn’t ever know anything except that everything would have changed without me. Every time I left, I would come back to something different in the same place. This was the same as it was when we would visit Ohio during our California chapter: HEARTBREAKING.
The wedding was beautiful. The time I spent celebrating this amazing time in G’s life was more than I ever could have asked to be blessed with. Tuesday morning came too fast, and before the trip had even seemed to begin, it was over. I didn’t get to see everyone I wanted to see, do everything I wanted to do, eat everywhere I wanted to eat. There just wasn’t enough time. It reminded me, again, of all the Ohio trips, when we thought about “missing” our plane back.
I love my life in Ohio. I love my family. I love being close to them. I love my friends, old and new, that live so close to me. I love my program, and being in science again, the science that I thrive on. I love what my husband and I have become living here. My heart lives in Ohio. I know that deep down, as much as I loved California, that it is no longer my home and only a place that I will visit. But it’s where my soul lives. There are days that I can’t believe that I can’t be at the ocean, standing on the beach with little Boo running through waves.
My heart and soul live in different places. And they have for 9 years.