The kitchen redo is done (well 95%), the curtains and pictures have been hung, many nights have been spent learning the creeks and moans of our new house. I love our house. I have said this before and will say it again. I just can't shake the part of me that wishes that our
first home could be at "home", in Minnesota.
Let me start by proclaiming how lucky I am. Ian found a school relatively close to "home"*. He could have ended up in numerous places around the country but he didn't, he ended up here. Still I
think I mistook Chicago for being more similar to Minnesota than it is. Minnesota nice had never occurred to me before living here and smiling at strangers on a walk and having them look you up and down as if to say "what the heck does she want?" instead of responding with a grin.
I am a person who very much needs to feel at home*. I left Indiana because it did not feel like home. Conversely I knew I had to go to St. Olaf because the whole campus felt like home. All of our apartments and now house in Oak Park have eventually felt like home and while parts of Oak Park feel like home, most of the area does
not. I feel out of place wherever I go, and very alone.
I'm realizing that the most important parts of home are not the
decorations, furniture or paint colors, but the people. I took for granted that I had so many wonderful people in my life and now, while still a phone call away, they are not nearly as close as I need them.
Sure I would love to have someone to watch Ainsley for an hour so I could go work out or go grocery shopping without her trying to jump out of the cart. But mostly, I just want companionship. Adult
companionship. I have found some great people here but our meetings are so few and far between. And when I really need someone, like the time both Ian and I were struck with terrible stomach flu, I feel uncomfortable calling the few friends I have.
I feel like it would be easier to make new friends if I had the comfort and security of having good friends and family close already. I am now that desperate mom searching for any 2 minute connection, like a 45 year old on speed dating. The truth is, while those 2 minute connections at the library or park are satisfying for the moment they don't come close to satiating my need for true companionship. I miss those effortless relationships with old friends. I miss being able to pop home for dinners or just to say hi.
I feel stuck right now like finding good friends here is going to be so hard. Like everyone already has their "posse" set up and I am the
only one alone for the ride. I know tomorrow, or maybe Monday, will be better. I just wish someone would go ahead and invent teleportation and make my life a whole lot more bearable.
*"home" as in Minnesota, home as in the figurative feeling of home.
To end on a happier note, here are some recent photos of 13 month old Ainsley and the house.