Notes from inside

I watched Shadowlands last night. It's a very Writerly, Actorly movie: earnest and rich but hog-tied to its message of "love can only be processed through pain," which is repeated approximately (by my count) 8,000 times. I adore it. I stand squarely on the side of big emotions in movies, especially when I can process them in the dark privacy of my own living room, although I'm willing to cry anywhere.

Towards the end, as they wait out a rainstorm from the safety of an empty barn, Anthony Hopkins, as C. S. Lewis, tells his wife Joy (Debra Winger), "I don't want to be somewhere else anymore. I'm not waiting for anything new to happen. I'm not looking around the next corner, or over the next hill. I'm here now, and that's enough." And she says, "That's your kind of happy, isn't it?"

When I first moved down here from Madison, I knew eventually I would move to New York, and when I moved to New York I knew eventually I would move back. Both of those things were always in my mind, so I felt temporary in both places, always. There was always something else waiting out there for me, a reason to hold myself in check, a reason to not settle. For over 20 years of my life I lived with that in my head.

This morning the salesperson at J.Crew updated the address on my account when I checked out ("Did you used to live in New York?"). I was hot and tired and in no mood to justify my personal choices to strangers, so when he asked me why I moved back here to the suburbs, all I could think to say was, it's home. And it is, finally. It's only July but it has already been a very long and exhausting year, and although it's strange to say it, and even stranger to feel it sink in, I'm here now, at home, and I'm ready to stay. And that is my kind of happy.