It all started a few weeks ago.
I had taken the bike up to the bigger island to mail some bears and get some food. While in line at the grocery store, there was a younger guy behind me on his phone just bitching and moaning about how backwards the island was, how ridiculous everything there was, how the people were just out of touch and dumb and how he much more accustomed he was to being in New York. I just couldn’t help myself and turned round to him and asked, “Do you mind? I mean, really, do you mind? This is my home. This is where I live. Do you think it necessary to bad mouth it like that so loudly in front of me? If New York is where you think you’d fit in better, then maybe that’s where you should go. I’m sure they’d love to have you back.”
A woman behind the gentleman silently applauded and the young man kept going about how I didn’t understand how much better things are in New York. The last I said to him before I paid for my groceries was, “Dude, its 75 degrees and sunny. I’m sure there are plenty of New Yorkers who would LOVE to trade places with you right now. So just enjoy this beautiful day, ok?”
As I was biking home, I realized that I was actually just verbalizing to that young man something that had been deeply brewing inside me anyway. I wasn’t happy on St. Simons. I just wasn’t. It was difficult to leave my little island to ship teddy bears, to buy food, to socialize. I tried my best to make friends, but that seemed fruitless. It just seemed I was on a different track than the people on the island. I’d ask someone if they’d like to play croquet and they behaved as though I had asked them behind and alley to smoke crack. I’d ask people if they’d like to come over for dinner. “No, thanks. I have plans.” Ok, I’ll let that slide only about 4 times. Maybe I’m a little old fashioned, but if someone repeatedly ask you to dinner and you say, “No, thank you, I have plans,” then by the fifth time you really should say, “No, thank you, I have plans….how about Tuesday instead?” Otherwise, I’ll take the quite clue that you just don’t want to come over. The internet connections always sucked, and the cold battering wind of the ocean was just maddening. I was lonely, a touch bitter, and getting depressed. And just as I had mentioned to the young man in line, I took my own advice and decided to change the situation. I won’t bad mouth St. Simons, or its people. It just didn’t work out. Despite how beautiful it is, I just wasn’t able to fit in.
So, I started looking for an apartment in Orlando. Why? Well, I had lived here for 10 years, I knew it well, and knew which neighborhood I wanted to be in, and still had friends here. After a very long and sometimes disappointing search, I found a small studio in my old neighborhood with a price too inexpensive to believe. Kara rushed over to take a peek, met with the landlord, gave me her approval, and bam…..here we are.
After getting the electric hooked up, and basic internet service, Mario and I are now back in our old neighborhood as of Tuesday morning. We’re back in that great little zone of Downtown that’s tucked between the gay neighborhood, the artsy, young neighborhood, the asian neighborhood, and the yuppies. I’m very happy. VERY happy to be back. Everything is within a 10 minute walk. The post office, Publix, yarn, and some of the best Thai food you’ve ever had in your life.
Sometimes you can accomplish great things, but not having friends to share it with, or to get excited with you, can hurt. Loneliness can hurt. My first night here, 2 of my oldest dearest friends were here to meet me with smiles and hugs and offers of the craziest sorts. “Need a mop? How about a houseplant? You need a bookcase….” (yes, all of the boxes I moved from St. Simons were filled with books and yarn….that’s my life 🙂 )
So, ya’ll don’t worry so much! I’m here! I’m happy. I stepped away for a second to get life organized, to clean up what was wrong and fill the space with something right.
I gotta get back to work. I have TONS of teddy bears being shipped out this week…..and its nice knowing you’ve all been so steadily close to me this whole time.
Having all of you in my thoughts kept me ambitious, inspired….loved.
I’ll blog again tomorrow with pics 🙂
(I’m craving some Pho!)