This afternoon is my first day family free in three weeks. My mother was with me for two to help me move and stuff, and my aunt has been here in Big Little Town since last Sunday. My folks left Monday. My aunt left today. I will say that it has been great having them around, having them help me unpack and move and buy me groceries and coffee pots and lawn mowers, and I truly am thankful for them and their generosity (I wish the move to Fancy Town would have been like this, honestly), but a girl needs time to herself, and three weeks without alone time really is pushing the outer limits of what I can really actually handle. (When the J is around, he sleeps in way longer than I do, so I get my alone time even when I’m with him). Now that I am alone though, I do sorta miss everyone; however, it’s nice and quiet. I’ll see my grandparents tomorrow, and I’m sure I’ll make it to my aunt’s house sometime before classes start.
We’re mostly unpacked. A few things from the kitchen are MIA still which is curious, and once the J actually gets his regular paycheck (yes, another snafu with his actually getting paid in a timely manner), I can buy some more shelves, unpack his books, and clear up a whole lotta closet space and get rid of about 18 more boxes of stuff. My books are unpacked and mostly organized. The home office is not really organized, but it is up and running, complete with internet (no wireless yet though), so while it’s till a bit messy in the office, it’s a workable space at least which for right now is all that I really need. As I can clear out more boxes and make some more space, it’ll start to come together a little bit better. The bedroom is pretty much done, and the clothes that I need for now and through the first month of school really are all unpacked. The rest is still in vacuum bags because I really need to go through the clothes and find a goodwill or some other place to donate clothes (I didn’t have time before I left), and I need to figure out what goes back to Home City to stay there (I’ll need heavy winter clothes there–here, not so much). The DVDs are mostly organized (still a few MIA), and we’ve actually got a fair amount of space here. It’s a charming little place where the afternoon sun doesn’t hit any windows, so as hot as it’s been here, we’ve had a few days where the a/c doesn’t run all day. Still, I shudder at the thought of what the electricity bill is going to be though.
Monday I will go to campus to pick up the comp book and comp stuff I need for school and check out my office. I need to get down to HR, too, at some point I suppose. And I should get a parking permit thing, too. But I’ll worry about that next week.
For the most part though, I’m fairly settled in. The mutts have finally realized that they get to stay put for a while, so the Divine Miss T has calmed down quite a bit, and you know, the Red Rocket so goes with the flow that he was ready for another car ride this morning when he saw my aunt getting ready to leave. It’s a nice place. I mean, I miss my friends in Fancy Town a lot, but I have to say that I feel much more at home here already than I ever did there. I always felt like that place was temporary. Perhaps because I lived in an apartment or because the cost of living was so expensive there, I felt like it was more like grad school days, like it wasn’t something permanent, like I wasn’t a real adult. Does that make sense? Like John Cusack’s character in Gross Pointe Blank said, “I’ve always felt very temporary about myself”–that’s exactly how I felt from day one. True, I remember, I was very excited, had some very rose coloured glasses, thought I had finally “arrived,” was excited to be near the “big city,” and at the time it was true–two years ago, I was exactly where I was supposed to be. And perhaps two years of actual professorial experience is what is making a large difference here, too. I feel a little more confident in myself. The giant chip I had on my shoulder seems to have miraculously fallen away. Even though I have a whole new place to learn and figure out, I’m not as nervous as I was two years ago. I mean, I’m not all like “yeah, I got this,” but I think I feel more like I know I can do the job rather than “they’re all going to figure out they made a mistake.” (Please don’t mistake that for arrogance, just I feel more mature about what I’m getting in to, does that make sense?) And I think, too, that while two years ago I felt like I was where I should be, I also feel that I am where I should be *now.* I have a lot of support here already. I have family who can now help out. I’m in a place where my paycheck won’t be the equivalent of a TA–for example, when I bought dog food the other day, it was $15 cheaper (my total purchase) than in Fancy Town, and about $8 cheaper than in Home City. Gas is about 60 cents cheaper per gallon here than Fancy Town (a little bit less than Home City, too), and my groceries about about 30-45% cheaper here than in Fancy Town (and I’d say about 10-15% cheaper than in Home City). And since our paychecks are getting screwed up, that makes a huge difference right there.
Even though this place is far away from where I grew up, I feel very at home here, even more at home than I did in Home City. Getting here was a real pain in the ass, but now that I’m here, I feel very comfortable with very little anxiety.
I’m sorry I’m behind on all your lives. I’ll catch up soon. For those of you starting back next week (or sooner! egads!) good luck to you! I’ll be in touch.
ETA: It occurred to me as I was making lunch that one of the things that I think is making a large difference right now, too, is that I have space. Open, lit space with doors that close (so I can put stuff in the guest room and not have to look at it every time I pass it by), and a place that is clean (because the old lady who had our house in Home City before us did not take care of the place at all, dirt seems to get trapped and multiply in the carpet and woodwork there for some reason–it never feels clean, you know?)To clean this place? I swiffer it. I don’t even have to pull out the vacuum cleaner. I think the fact that we’ll be able to stretch out and not be on top of each other does make a big difference, too, in my mental well-being as well. I just don’t feel confined in this place at all. And I think there’s something to be said for that.