The other day I was talking to one of the only two friends I've made up here in the East Bay when it occurred to me that it's criminal I haven't made more friends in this place where I've now lived for a year and a half. I put all my energy and put much of my time into maintaining relationships with all the people I know in the South Bay, and the overall effect that has is to keep me thinking that my living here in Hayward is somehow temporary.
When I think about it rationally, however, I can't see any likely change in circumstances so dramatic as to allow me to move any time soon. To move out of my parents' home would mean taking a very well-paying full-time job only so that I could either pay thousands of dollars a month in child care or still live close enough to my parents that I could drive my son to their house every day before I go to work. What would be the point of that?!
While I've known all this in the back of my mind somewhere, I think I've been living in denial about it. And it's not like my life is bad or even uncomfortable here. On the contrary, living with the folks has been surprisingly manageable and easy when considering the fact that I'd been officially out of their house for 15 years at the time I moved in. They are wonderful with my son, amazingly supportive of me and (for the most part :P) have refrained from straying into my personal life. My situation here is blessed. It is good. And I consider Monkey LUCKY to have the chance to live with three of the people who love him most in the world all under one roof.
Wherein lies the issue, then? That's a very good question.
I think I've felt that if I invested much of myself into this new place, it meant the reality of my change in life circumstances and direction would be finalized. I can't believe it's taken me this long to realize this. When my ex and I first moved in with the folks it was supposed to be for a 6-month period in advance of buying a home. The stay was always supposed to be temporary. So it is I continued to think of it as such.
Only everything is different now. Everything is changed.
That finally hit me yesterday. And so I started searching my company's job listings to see if there was a chance I could transfer to a branch closer to where I live. Closer to what I've finally come to see is more than "where I live." It is my Home.
Today's New Activity: Finally, Finally, Finding My Way Home
Today I talked to the manager of a branch in the East Bay, 15 minutes from my house (as opposed to the 45 min - 1 hour I spend commuting southward these days). It seems there's a good chance I could make that transition. And I surprised myself by feeling immediately open to the idea. I realized that if I worked opening hours at this branch I could stop at the gym on the way home and make home in time for Monkey to wake up from his nap, and I'd still have hours to spend with him before bed. I could take a road to work (a ROAD, no freeway necessary at all!) and be home before dark even in the dead of winter. My Mom could bring my son by the branch during my lunch.
This also would mean giving up the convenience of an easy after-work commute down to San Jose on the days Monkey's not with me. It would mean making fewer plans with my friends down that way and beginning to put down some roots up here. It would mean calling Hayward home.
It would mean acceptance.
I see now that this is at the heart of everything. As much as I thought I had, I really hadn't yet fully accept my life in its changed state. Funny, given that I used to be so good with change. Maybe I just hadn't ever been faced with change quite so profound until now.
It is a good thing, this acceptance. I think my son will be better off--he'll be more relaxed and comfortable in his life without his Mama always having her heart and her thoughts and her friendships in a somewhere else where he wouldn't likely be living any time soon. We are here and we shall be fully here. And in that, we will know that our life is rich and beautiful and exactly as it should be in this moment. As cliche as it is, this moment is really all we know we have. I am finally ready to embrace that and open my eyes to all that is right here in front of me.
Now for that pesky transfer paperwork...