After lots and lots of fanagling, endless planning and unplanning, and generally trying to make things work, we've realized the best thing for us to do is to put off moving for awhile. On the one hand, this made us both feel much better immediately. We really do need more time and more money before moving becomes practical. My girlfriend went from tense and worried to smiling and laughing within about ten minutes of making the decision, which is really, really good to see. We had been worrying over this problem for over a week since finding out that we were mistaken about how much my parents are willing to help us financially, and it was taking a toll on both of us. I also relaxed quite a bit. And I should mention that it was mostly my idea that maybe we should stay here before I go on. After all, I do like it here. I enjoy the lack of people in the middle of nowhere. I adore having all of our animals, especially the horses, closeby. I have a wonderful relationship with my future mother-in-law; I can actually talk to her about things that make sense to both of us, because mentally we're from the same planet (and I can't say the same about my own parents). She pays attention to us and helps out in a way that isn't at all intrusive. I love the property that we have out here, with a creek for my dachshund to get muddy in, trees to climb, fields to stroll in and explore with our big dog. And the countryside around here is beautiful.
But it has its problems, too, like any place. It's difficult to get good fruit, even after winter is over. It's still a bit chilly for me and I have to wear layers, which I hate. There might end up being one month of the year when I'm comfortable outside without confining my body in sweatshirts and feeling mummified by fabric. The house has stairs, which are getting harder for me to deal with, and the dogs downstairs don't get along with ours, making everything really complicated when trying to put them outside. And intellectually I do know there will be a few cons to any place we ever live, especially with my physical problems. But I did have my hopes up. I was so excited to be going home, to take my girlfriend (who means everything to me) back to where I grew up. I'm incredibly homesick, which is something that I didn't figure out until I realized that we weren't going there this summer. I went from stressed out to really depressed in that same ten minutes.
Part of it is that I miss my family and friends there. But mostly I miss the place. When I'm there, I feel so connected to the land. I'm not sure how to describe what I mean without sounding a little crazy. It's like there are roots growing down out of my shoes, through the asphalt, down into the earth. Every species of wildflower feels like a part of me; every azalea bush, magnolia tree, taloe, oak. The ocean is always there in the back of my mind, comforting me, whether or not I ever find time or means to go to the beach. Even the power lines and pigeons and smog are old friends. The people are my people; they have my accent and various amounts of Spanish and skin of many different colors. These are the things I miss the most— daily life things, existence things.
We are still planning to live there at some point. Maybe in December, if we can afford it, missing most of the winter here. And I'm hoping we can visit this summer for a week or two. In the meantime I'm going to try to wrench myself away from thinking about what might have been and try to go back to enjoying living here. But it does smart a little.