It's been eleven weeks since I moved to Pittsburgh. Three of these were spent in a dazed funk trying to get my bearings; three were spent back in Oklahoma, so essentially I've been functioning here about five weeks. There are definitely things I miss about Tulsa, which may surprise some people since I've complained about living in Oklahoma all my life.
Part of it is the ease of getting around and taking care of life's business. For example, Whole Foods is "right there" in Tulsa. I could drive there in a flash. Michael's and Hobby Lobby, for all they don't have, were on the way home from almost any place. And don't forget the drug store on every corner.
Yes, there's a Whole Foods here, yes there's Trader Joe's, and "real" art supply stores, but every one is an outing. I haven't been to Whole Foods; I've been to Trader Joe's once which was a disappointment because they don't sell wine here since all the liquor stores are state owned. That was a surprise to me because I have been thinking the reason T-Joe's didn't come to Tulsa was Oklahoma liquor laws. So much for that theory.
Some days I ask myself why I'm here. I miss Tom, miss our routine, miss figuring out what I can cook that he'll eat and I will still enjoy cooking it.
On the flip side, I'm energized by discovering areas with fresh markets, sidewalk vendors, local galleries and sales. I'm empowered by finding my way home without backtracking and tears and frustration. I have to admit I think I've regenerated some brain cells in this process. It feels good to have reached the edge of my comfort zone and then kicked myself in the butt.
But forget for a minute about comfort zones and personal energy. There's a different type of energy that encircles me when I witness Lucy's excitement about finding a baby ladybug on the nature walk field trip, when I laugh til my sides hurt because Sam is afraid people will think we're homeless if we eat on the lawn of a restaurant because the music is too loud and the air conditioning is too cold inside; when Henry beams just because I watch him play his computer games for a while. These are just simple everyday things, not big events. These are things that aren't special to tell anyone about, and yet for me, right now, these are the things I think about when I go to bed. When I think about my week. These are the reasons I'm glad I'm here.