Moving back down South?

Been thinking lately while on my trip down here to Mississippi. Considering maybe relocating down this way in the future. Still have my rental lease up in that city in the Midwest that I just renewed that won’t be up until next spring, but I’m pondering perhaps relocating down this way after that. Just a thought. Who knows what might happen between then and now? But I do know my life up there was steadily unraveling in recent years and that it was feeling like a major change was in order. Got stuck in a rut, and still am in terms of my mindset, by and large. Having trouble letting go of some of what needs to be let go of. Struggling with forgiving myself for certain past transgressions. And also wasn’t doing so good at staying out of bars up there, being so easily accessible and all. Was just basically depressed, severely so, and it wouldn’t ever let up for more than maybe 2 weeks at a time. Feuded with my former companion more than was reasonable. Just seriously unhappy for whatever reasons.

Cultural differences plagued me for a long time there and never let up. Like I couldn’t assimilate no matter how hard I tried. Maybe, simply put, that state just got the best of me. Too many stoic individuals uncomfortable around emotional types like myself. Leads a person over time to feeling like a freak, a weirdo, a perpetual outsider.

Down here, though, more folks are emotional too and plenty are craving something outside of the norm, so perhaps this is my destiny in the next leg of my journey. To return to simpler living around people who, despite our typical religious differences, are at least more in line with my own life philosophy (which makes sense since it was originally forged down here). Compared to these Southern cats I’m actually a bit more put together in some ways, or at least I fake it well.  lol

This is the first time in a very long time that I’ve been back to my home of origin and felt relatively comfortable being here. Took a week to adjust a bit, as to be expected, but I’ve been feeling like there are more opportunities than I assumed there would be. Plus, it wouldn’t require a whole lot of money to make it down here, especially if I moved in with my Grandma where I’m staying now. And she could use the help, considering she doesn’t drive and all.

Is it lame to move back in with one’s Grandma in their 30s? I don’t know or particularly care. If it works, it works. I’m just pondering the possibilities at this point. She seems to could use my help around here, and I’m sufficiently broken up over my last run in the Midwest. Not that the Midwest isn’t fine and full of opportunities itself, just that I am so goddamn tired of feeling like some strange outsider with no family around in that state. Can make a person feel too clingy and disoriented if they can’t forge many new bonds. While I have had some success up that way, and my best guyfriend lives in that city, and I have friends a few hours away in other surrounding states, I’m just wondering if a massive change might not do me good at this point. Life is simpler here, slower, less demanding. Of course I’m also on vacation each time I come down this way, and it’d be a different story if I relocated here and needed to secure employment. But I figure I’d manage, as I always do. At least have a bachelor’s degree under my belt, plus currently over 8 years of work experience in a self-employment venture with many references willing to vouch for my work ethic. That’s something to work with wherever I wind up eventually. Not that I’m currently interested in seeking sophisticated forms of employment anyhow.

It’s just a thought. Perhaps I should exhaust all possible options. Just know how unhappy I’ve grown up in that latest Midwestern city in recent years. Never fit in there and keep complaining about it to where I’m even sick of hearing my own self. Never had such a major lack of success of relating with people anywhere else before, except maybe here in my hometown, but, again, that tended to have to do with religious reasons. This is the Bible Belt, unabashedly. Gotta find the misfits, as I did in the past, and as I’m prone to do anywhere I go. Not that I can’t get along with plenty of religious people — I can, just sometimes takes a bit more finessing due to their own concerns about associating with “heathens” like myself.

Up there it’s more secular, but the stoicism practiced is a bit off-putting and confusing for someone like me. Not that I’m cracking on stoicism — will do me good to embrace more of that in moving forward. Just that it comes across as suppressed emotionality in favor of an air of professionalism to such an extreme that they so often tend to repel from those unlike themselves. Plus, in that city so many people were born and raised there and know each other. I come in as an outsider when they’re already all connected up. Hard to penetrate an atmosphere like that, much as I’ve tried. Can’t just get along one-on-one, gotta be accepted by the clique, which I suck at catering to.

But I loved my job there. Was very fortunate to come across that idea. Would totally miss the animals I’ve watched grow up there. That would be hard to leave. And some of their owners I bonded with too, to whatever extents. Grew to care about their families. Got tired of all the inner-city driving, though, and the crazy, scattered hours. But c’est la vie. It was a very good gig, which I will return to in late June once I leave here. Guess one more year of it would be all right, and I can think about where to go from there. Not the kind of position I’d likely be able to pull off down here, though. The economy probably wouldn’t be able to support it. And that’s okay since I wouldn’t mind working with people again after nearly a decade of working primarily on my own and without direct supervision.

And I love my Grandma. Much as I might gripe from time to time about her trifling annoyances, she’s a good Grandma. Lucky to have had her in my life. I’d like to help her out, which I’m sure my aunt would appreciate since she’s bitched plenty over time about feeling like all the burden of helping Grandma has fallen to her since she’s the only one to remain living in this town. Uncle moved a couple hours away, my mom disowned them all back in 1990 and lives in the Midwest, and I too have lived consistently in the Midwest since age 21. Fourteen-hour drive away. Not close. Been losing myself up there too.

Even my uncle keeps encouraging me to return to the South to live. Calls it “God’s Country,” but everywhere assumes itself to be God’s Country. Does it not?

I don’t know. Time will tell. It’s just a thought.

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5 Responses to Moving back down South?

  1. Wyrd Smythe says:

    I have to admit, I’ve wondered if a change of scene, especially to back home, might not do you a world of good. As much goodness as you found in the Midwest, there always seemed to be some discomfort with it lurking between your lines.

    It kind of worked that way for me. Born in NYC, Wonder Bread years in Minneapolis, matured and fire-hardened in Los Angeles… now back in the Midwest… which I resisted at first (damn backwards provincials) but came to re-embrace. (Some of the problem was working hard in Los Angeles, which I also didn’t like at first, to shed my Midwestern provincialness. That made returning a bit of a trick.)

    Even just being with your grandma while you both can appreciate it fully might be a wonderful gift. For you both.

    • Byenia says:

      Hmmm…interesting that you feel that way too. Though, it’s also a question of whether I can live in close proximity to my Grandma without going batty over time. ha

      • Wyrd Smythe says:

        Nothing is without its downside! Ask yourself this: Looking back some number of years from now, which would you rather look back on? Spending the time with her (regardless of the downside) or skipping it?

        • Byenia says:

          Honestly, I like visiting this region more than living here. Same goes for dealing with family members. Maybe I’ve been away too long, but still. I don’t know exactly how I feel right now so I can’t state anything definitively this moment. And either way, I have another year’s lease on my apartment up north, so I’ll be returning there and will have time then to reflect on this matter. Time will tell.

          • Wyrd Smythe says:

            Indeed! Just suggesting a strategy I’ve found helpful sometimes when picking the thing you want is hard. If you try to imagine life without the thing you don’t pick, sometimes the decision snaps into place better.

            It’s a trivial example, but after a year of fruitlessly (heh, heh) trying to pick my favorite food, I realized it was Mexican because I *could* live without pizza (but only because there is other Italian food with those basic flavors).

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