Thoughts in the Dark

I’m sitting here in the dark with the lights of San Diego glittering through my balcony window. It is quiet, so quiet, with only the occasional soft rumble of a plane coming in to land at Lindbergh Field.

It is the first night I have slept in my own bed in two years.  When I began “living travelly” I had renters, so when I was in San Diego between assignments, I stayed with Dan in his condo around the corner in the same building.  I got so used to walking by my door i hardly felt any association with the place at all.  For the last few months, my son Ivan has been staying in my condo, and though I have gone in and out, mostly in search of clean clothes since I got home three weeks ago, it wasn’t until he moved out today that I have been able to reclaim my bed.

It feels good, just as I remembered it. My perfect mattress, lovely bed linens, and enough fluffy pillows to make a nice backrest.  I feel like the queen of the nest again.

Well, sort of.  With all Ivan’s things out, the place looks kind of stark and dull. With his energy gone, it just feels kind of funny.  Not mine. Not yet.

I have been toying with the idea of leaving San Diego, as you will already know if you read my blog, but I had the passing thought tonight that this is really pretty nice.  Maybe I could get used to it. I won’t have renters again, most likely, because I don’t have any assignments of more than two months this year, and longer breaks between them, but also because  I want to try to be more “all-in” when I am here.

“Home is where the anchor drops,” one of my favorite t-shirts proclaims, and it is such a blessing to feel at home wherever I am.  I’m leaving again in about three weeks, so I won’t have a chance for any lengthy tests of whether the return to life as it used to be will be satisfying enough. I’ve never gone back to anything I can think of, so I can’t predict.

I do know it will be nice (and easier) to have all my possessions handy, and I am looking forward to opening my closet door tomorrow and see choices of clothes and shoes I haven’t worn for a long time, and to have my blender and coffee maker handy. I also cherish my privacy, something you lose when you are perching with others, and I love that I can make all the decisions about my space now.

But it won’t be the way it used to be, not fully. The biggest challenge over the next nine months or so is going to be living without a car. I haven’t had a car for two years now, but I also haven’t been home for four months either, as I will be doing when I get home in early May from one assignment and don’t have another until early September. I suspect being car-less will get old pretty quick.  But I have done fine For the last two years, so  I will manage somehow.

My original plan was to buy a cute little sports car when I got back from the Australia/New Zealand gig, which would be now. I can picture myself in a jaunty little coupe with the top down, and isn’t one of the privileges of reaching my age to be able not to be responsible and practical about every last thing?

However, if I end up moving to Canada, a sports car would be a bad choice.  If I move to a city like Montreal, having a car at all might be a problem. My goal now is to make it to the election before deciding what car to get.  I thought about taking over a lease until then, but really, doing without will be an interesting challenge. And if you see a photo of me with a cute little convertible in a year or so, it will mean my country has been rescued from the menace it faces now, and I won’t have felt the need to leave.

But for now, I’m staying right here, in a bed that feels familiar, in a life that feels partly familiar.  In the morning I will be slightly astonished, I think, at the  magnitude of all that has happened since I last woke up here, and I will begin trying to feel at home.