So as I drove down University today with a Grande-Decaf-Triple Shot-Soy-Pumpkin Spice Latte-no whip on my right, the mountains on my left, wearing a down vest with 3/4 length sweatshirt and alternating between country music and KBCO on the radio I felt...well...truthfully a little disoriented. It's like that feeling when you wake up in the middle of the night and cannot figure out for the life of you where you are. You flounder around a little. Take some deep breaths and ward off panic. It feels a little like that.
I barely payed attention as I drove to my dentist appointment. My body and mind on autopilot I shifted the gears of my dad's Jeep. I turned down this way and that, every once in a while noticing a new building is going up or one has been torn down. Other than that I noticed barely anything. I even spoke to Meggs on my cell phone on the way. While driving! It was that easy to just drive around.
People are nice at the stores. A few days ago, while having breakfast before leaving the Holiday Inn Express they must have asked me 10 times if I had everything I needed. I'm not going to lie to you. It kind of freaked me out.
I went to Target and could buy everything on my very diverse list. There were a dozen choices of booster seats alone. I ran to Park Meadows and there was every size and every flavor of every item I might ever need or want from hardware to fine wine to furniture to outdoor gear right there at my fingertips. For dinner I chose between 20 or some odd restaraunts within a one mile radius of the house. The seven burritos I ordered for my family at Chipotle were all customized down to the tiniest ingredient and no request was scoffed at or considered absurd. I didn't even attempt Costco. God help me.
Yeah, it's disorienting. It all feels familiar, but distant. Like it's on the other side of a veil. A veil I crossed over somewhere above Greenland on August 24th, 2008. Reverse culture shock is a bitch! Still, it seems somehow like more than just that.
I went by the house yesterday. The house that is 10 minutes from Target and Park Meadows and within a one mile radius of 20 some odd restaurants. It felt like I'd never left. Like I still lived there, but was just visiting somewhere else for a bit. I've driven by houses I lived in before. They always felt like 'places I'd lived before.' We'd drive by and there would be story telling and memories retrieved and told and shared again and again. That house didn't feel that way. It still felt like 'the house.' Bridger said, "It's good to be back!" I answered with a forced, "Yeah, but we don't really live here anymore. It's not really our house." "Oh yeah! It's Conrad's [our realtor] house now!" "Well no, B." I said. "We still own it, but we're trying to sell it. We live in England now." "Yeah, but it sure is good to see it again!"
He swung on the playset. He ran around the playroom with an exclamation of "look at our HUGE old playroom!" He thrilled at seeing his old bunk beds and his own room. He sat in the chair and read one of his old Pirate books and was so excited to see an "England flag! That ship must be from London!" I went up stairs at his request to "look at your room with me, Mom!" I found him snuggled up on the bed that's still there for staging. I could barely watch it. Talk about disorienting. As we went downstairs to leave he said, "see ya house!" But it was what he said as we pulled were pulling out of the driveway that really nailed me. "Well, bye house! Sorry we held on to you for so long! It's time for you to get new owners now!"
Out of the mouths of babes.
No wonder I feel disoriented. No wonder I wake up and can't figure out whre I am. I never left. Colorado, that house--they've been the ace up my sleeve. The safety net to fall back on. The somethin somethin to run to if England tanked. So there was no driving by an old place filled with old memories. It was a current place. A place I somehow still inhabited. Physically gone, but spiritually still present there. Sigh...and I can't figure out why I'm having trouble settling in England.
I get on a plane tomorrow. To go back home. To Scott. In England. I don't know that I will have sorted all of this out quite yet, and I'm going to be kind to myself about that. I do want to leave though. For real this time. I'd like to come back to Colorado as one of those 'favorite places.' Those places you visit. You drive by all the old haunts. You shop at your favorite old stores and eat at your favorite old restaurants. You drive by the old house and you tell stories about all the great memories you had there. But you don't live there anymore. You've left and moved on to new adventures and new dreams. New houses and new haunts and new stores and restaurants (even if there are fewer choices and the customer service sucks).
So..."Bye house! Bye Colorado! Sorry I held on to you for so long! It's time for you to find some new owners now!" I'm gone. I'm off to make my way in the big wide world. I'll be back to visit, but I don't live here anymore.