This week I am in Northern California visiting my family. Above is my childhood home, or rather my home from the ages of 8-18 (I grew up in England from the ages of 2-8, and a different little town in Northern California when I was 0-2.) My parents and littlest 15 year old sister still live here. My 20, almost 21 year old little sister is home as well since it is her spring break from college.
It is always so strange when I visit home. I do love it here in this tiny little town, but every time I visit I am reminded that it is just not my time to come back here. I'd love to move here when I am older and ready to settle down. But at this age, I feel really claustrophobic in such a small town with little options. I spent 3 hours yesterday searching for a coffeeshop that had working internet and no children running around screaming. It was impossible. And lets not even get into how much better the coffee is in Seattle. I think I am probably screwed for life on that one because Seattle is kind of the coffee king of the nation but I probably won't live there my whole life. Damn you refined palette that now occupies my mouth! Haha.
When I am in Seattle I am surrounded by people my age, 20 somethings packed into quiet coffeeshops working away or quietly chatting with their friends. And in Seattle there are a million bazillion fantastic coffeeshops for me to go to when I am feeling tired of working from home. In Seattle, strangers don't acknowledge me or try to chat with me while I sit at a table in a coffeeshop. Ha, Seattlites don't even really like acknowledging each other on the street. We are a pretty passive city...And sometimes I really hate it. But I guess, at the same time, it is a great place for me to feel focused and determined in my work. No one will bother me. And a lot of people are really creative, talented, determined, and have great taste. I guess it's kind of a snobby city... maybe not the best place to stay forever... but fine for cultivating my work right now.
This little town is so different than the city. I mean, it is ridiculously adorable when a tiny puppy is outside of a coffeeshop here and, I'm not joking, everyone inside the coffeeshop starts chattering about the cute puppy and they ALL go outside to pet it and snuggle it. Every single person in the coffeeshop stops what they are doing and goes out to play with the puppy. Amazing. But I just don't feel prepared for this super duper cozy community yet. Maybe I am just too focused and don't want a million people at a coffeeshop asking me what I am doing, distracting me from my work. Maybe it is just not my time to come back here, to feel like everyone in the entire county knows each other, knows me. There are tons of amazing things about this community, but I am just not ready for it.
What is most beautiful about this community is what I am most overwhelmed by. Everyone is relaxed and mellow, going about their days slowly, sauntering around, smiling and chatting it up with everyone and anyone they see. The only norm here is that everyone is nice, kind, relaxed, and involved in their community. That is an awesome norm. That is something I want for my future. But I have always craved independence, I have always craved freedom, the opportunity to explore, adventure and try new things and new endeavors with no one watching me. I love it here, but it's like there is always a running commentary coming from everyone and anyone. There are always eyes watching. Everyone knows I am "Moorea, the Episcopalian priest's daughter." or "Moorea the girl who has always been involved in art and music." In peoples constant acknowledgment of me and what I do, I feel so overwhelmed. I just need freedom away from people expectations of me at this point in my life. When I am older, I won't care so much :)
I am an extremely private person and I love my time alone. I love being able to just work and think quietly and when I am ready, I love being able present my work when I am done. I like to be quiet and present my thoughts when I have thought through them, when I am ready. I am an introvert. Hardcore. I get my energy from being alone, from time spent in reflection or one on one with someone I love. I have a hard time when I am feeling really focused in my work and people try to come in and ask me about what I am doing, trying to get in an extended conversation when I am in work mode. I love being able to work with other people working in the same room, no one talking to each other, the energy of focus wrapping around all of us. And I like my breaks to be purposeful and planned. I basically sound like the most uptight anal hard working woman ever, hahaha. But man, I have big dreams and I want to achieve them early in life. I am proud of myself for what I do and how hard I work. I find joy and fulfillment in what I do. And I am like this because I want to achieve a lot when I am young so I can chill out when I am older, so I can enjoy a peaceful and calm life with a future family :)
I am thankful I live in Seattle. It is exactly where I need to be for now to do what I want to do. And I look forward to trying out some other cities and towns in the future to see how I jive with them, how I can work in them and how my work will be supported by my environment. But I want to always remember that I do have this silly little town to return to when I am ready. When I feel ready to retire from the city and retreat back into nature, I'll be here. So i'll say for now, hooray that I am me now, that I have adventure pumping in my veins, and hooray for me now because I know there is a little pocket of my heart that is slowly growing, allowing me to become more ok and happy with coming back to my little town someday. Hooray for opportunities to adventure and opportunities to retreat. I like both :)
Here are some beautiful things in the place I grew up:
The street where I grew up
My Dad, Mom, and sisters
The Yuba River
How do you feel about the place you grew up compared to where you are now? I hope it is a less complicated feeling for you than it is for me ;)