This evening as my wife & I were driving to her boss's home for a company picnic, it really sunk in that I finally feel some sense of "home" here. It took a bit longer for that to happen here than it took to happen when I lived in Ohio. But I felt generally comfortable in my skin, moreso than I've felt before. Something about the experience felt "right"-- not necesarily like we "belong here" but more that we've developed some sense of home.
I found out a friend of mine with whom I'd lost touch finally left the retail store where we'd both worked back in Ohio. I'm happy for him. I know I felt like my life was in a rut when I was working there, and shortly after I'd moved out here when he and I were still in touch he told me, "you needed a change of zip code." At the time I knew he was right and I really took to heart what he'd said.
I mean one can only "bounce around" the midwest for so long before it comes time to settle down and working retail with a college degree wasn't exactly me living up to my potential.
When I first moved out here, I was still writing quite a bit-- I don't mean blogging (although I was doing that too), I mean pen to paper. It wasn't really my innermost thoughts or anything deep like that. It was rants of things that annoyed me and general observations. Sometimes I'd end up posting my ramblings, but a lot of those writings have remained in one of 2 or 3 journals I was keeping at the time. I even had this fountain pen, still have it, that was like a security blanket to me. I loved that pen even more than my binkie when I was four. I didn't feel complete without it. And even if I didn't happen to have one of my journals, I found paper, napkins, post-it notes, legal pads, my random thoughts were spread over a myriad of different forms of paper.
For awhile I think I "lost my way" when it came to writing, so now as I'm working on these various short stories, I feel alive again. For the first time in a long time, and it feels really good. I don't know where these stories are going, plot has never been my strong point. I've always let the characters and the dialogue drive the plot. It's almost a Kerouac-esque stream of conciousness style-- but in the second person. And, admittedly, I'm no Jack Kerouac, but the more I write the more I do notice that On the Road has had some level of influence on me.
Well, at any rate, I've got a short story with 2 characters sitting in a car, and they need me to continue writing so they can reach their destination. But much like with life, I don't know where their journey will take them. The ignition has been turned, now it's time to put the car in gear and go. And something tells me that my characters are just as excited as I am to find out where they'll end up.