Six months later and here we are. Still kicking, as it were. A midwesterner reborn.
The ants did not return. I still sleep with a fan on in my bedroom to mask the quiet. If someone breaks in to murder me, I guess I’d rather not know about it. Why ruin the surprise. I don’t worry about home invasions much, or bodily harm, although I have a wildly overactive imagination and refuse to watch scary movies. I live in a safe neighborhood in a safe suburb and I am as careful as I know how to be. I don’t go around looking for trouble but I also don’t look for new idiot things to worry about. New York City taught me that.
Additional things I refuse to worry about include tornadoes, terrorists, migrant caravans, and spiders. It’s a spidery environment here and I let them be; maybe I have them to thank for the ant extraction. I try not to run down the stairs. I try not to trip in the bathtub or choke on embarrassing foodstuffs that would get me written up in the local paper. I focus my fears on small, relatively manageable foes and thus far have emerged victorious. Pick the fights you can win, etc. Take naps. Drink beer. Go to the dentist. Go to the gynecologist. Take another nap.
My apartment finally feels like home. I hate the sink in the kitchen, and the stupid glass stovetop. What a miserable invention. It’s impossible to clean and easy to scratch. I love my kitchen and the view from my kitchen and I love my enormous TVs. I love my sofas. I love my washer and dryer. I read a blog post on accepting who you are (FYI a homebody), and another one on valuing goods over experiences, and I felt understood in a profound way. I’m old enough to admit it: my home means more to me than travel or adventure. I have no intention of withdrawing from the world but sometimes I think yes, this is fine, right here. Just seal me in. (To be clear, I value the people I love over things. I’m not a psychopath.)
I switched the DVR from Hart to Hart to Designing Women and Coach, and I’m still tunneling through old YouTube clips of General Hospital. General Hospital held me up during these months, I’ll admit that, too; do not underestimate the power of things that remind you who you were and who in some ways you will always be. Who you were is not as bad as you think, unless you were an asshole. Or a psychopath. In which case you’ve got some other problems.
I don’t talk much about work on this blog, but the job is okay. The trouble there is that I was very comfortable where I was, and this is not that, not yet. Maybe someday. But it matters less than it used to, which is probably for the best. I’m adjusting to a different pace and a different landscape. I have my routines and my routes and my shortcuts, my grocery stores and movie theaters and my library. My friends and my family. I know what matters to me, and I like where I am.
So. Here I am.