The other day Dawn asked me if I think I'll cry when I leave. Obviously, I can't predict the future, but if the way I'm feeling now is any indication, I don't think there will be any tears shed. I'm so excited to be going somewhere new that I can't think of one reason to be sad. This change has been such a long time coming.
It did get me to thinking that here on the ol' blog I'm always nothing but negative about Florida, and that maybe I should write about all the things I'm going to miss about my home state. So I started compiling a list. I thought of all of three things before not being able to think of anything else. Wonder what those three things are? Dawn, my clothesline, and my compost pile. My best friend of twenty years, the rope tied to the oak trees in my back yard, and my beloved pile of worms and dirt.
What a pathetic list, if you can even call it a list. How sad is it that after ten years in Gainesville and my whole lifetime in Florida, I don't have more people here that I don't want to say goodbye to?
I shouldn't make it sound as if I haven't made any friends in the past 33 years, because that's not the truth. I had some friends growing up, but it's just that, you know, I was raised in a cult and since I'm not in said cult now, I really make it a point to try to avoid the other members. Then there are the gals who've befriended me as an adult. This is where the numbers slim down significantly. Turns out, it's really hard to make friends as an adult once you're married with kids because most of your time and energy is, understandably, directed towards your marriage and kids. It gets even harder when there just aren't a lot of people around like you.
Here I am. Atheist. Animal lover. Part time vegetarian. Part time dirty hippie. Politically, leaning very left of center. Folks, here in Florida I'm a minority. So when I have had opportunity to meet other gals, the friendship will be going along smoothly and..........then it hits a wall and has no where else to go. It's not that the ladies I speak of did or said anything wrong. We're just very different. I still care about them and if they called me and say, needed someone to watch their kid, or dog sit, or run an errand for them, I'd do it in a heartbeat and I know they'd do the same for me. But to be truly close friends, the kind of friendship where the closeness you have is almost better than family, you just have to share some of the same philosophies. You can't let it all hang out with people who aren't on the same page as you. Believe me, I've tried. But I always feel like I'm holding back and can imagine that this feeling is mutual.
I won't miss being the only liberal in a room.
I won't miss the feeling of knowing that if I were to speak my opinions in a room full of people, probably no one would agree with me.
I won't miss rednecks calling me a "dyke" because they can't even begin to wrap their small minds around the idea of a straight gal wanting short hair. (If you know me at all, it probably goes without saying that I don't really care about the opinions of people I view as dumber than my dumbest dog. And whether it's true or not isn't the issue. But it's the way comments like this are said, they're meant to be derogatory, and they're meant to intimidate. The commenter wants me to feel that whatever I am, isn't as good as whatever they are. That's what I'm tired of.)
I won't miss being made fun of because I make my own laundry detergent, or buy organic milk, or hang my laundry out to dry, or enjoy playing with my compost.
I won't miss overhearing my son's friends say things like, "My family doesn't really care about the earth. We're a bunch of animal haters." I won't miss statements like that being the norm rather than the exception to the rule.
Basically, I won't miss feeling like an odd ball.
I know when my family pulls into Oregon that it's not going to immediately be all paradise and rainbows and cheery leprechauns waiting to welcome us with open arms and money. (Although, how AWESOME would that be?) We may get called names or be made fun of. I know for a fact we'll meet people who are our polar opposites. I'm sure we'll routinely run into a bunch of animal killing earth haters. But I know we'll also happen upon a whole lot of other people in between too, which is what gets me so excited because I don't get that here. And maybe, with any luck, we'll find a family with a couple of sweet, dirty rugrats who want to play with my sweet, dirty rugrats while we adults sit around drinking wine and talking about the possibility of their being no god. Is that fantasy too far fetched?
So when the time comes to leave, I don't think I'll be crying. I'll give my compost one last stir, pack up my clothesline, kiss my worms good-bye, and hop in the car headed for (hopefully) greener pastures.