As someone who has never been more than a couple hours from the woman she once resided in for nine months, I have reservations about moving out of California. Mainly because my mom has our family dog and the thought of something happening to her and not being able to go see her, that kills me. Yeah, yeah, I love my mom, dad and other family in Cabazon but Skuzzlebutt is my queen bee. Other than the dog I think about more than I’d like to admit, I will say it’s those little things that sometimes make me miss the town that caused me to be an angsty teen scrawling The Used lyrics all over my binders in high school.
Talking to my mom almost every day, I keep up with what’s going on but I often feel like an old friend she’s just catching up on the daily gossip. Like Matt said yesterday about his nephew – I feel exactly the same. My youngest nephew was born when I was a full grown adult out in LA and because I rarely visit, I only see him depending on his mother’s mood when I do. So I’m sure I’m a stranger to him. I feel the same about my other nieces and nephew too, but they were raised out in Arkansas, so there’s no way I could’ve seen them more if I’d wanted to. Anyways, not witnessing the hilarious things my mom tells me he does, that makes me sad sometimes like, great – another offspring from my siblings that doesn’t really know me, but calls me “aunt Kendra” to be polite.
When you’re away from the people you love for long periods of time though, it’s selfish to think their lives are going to pause in your absence. That’s not something you really think about until you’re gone. When I left for college my brother wasn’t even a teenager yet and during that time I missed when he went from a chubby troublemaker to a lanky ladies man. Those four years also saw my mom meet a new man who I came to love, but at the time was just a stranger because I didn’t live there or visit too often to get to know him faster. It’s partly my fault though. I only live about two hours away from where I called home for 18 years, but visiting is something I do less than a handful of times a year. Last year I didn’t even make it for either of the major holidays towards the end. In a way I was taking Lifehacker’s advice and starting my own traditions elsewhere.
Still though, when you think about the birthdays and whatnot missed…they don’t seem as big as the smaller things. Witnessing some funny moment that was just relayed to you over the phone that you can only laugh on the surface about because it’s one of those “had to be there” things, or being on the outside of a running joke. Those are the times you wished you were there, and sadly – those are the moments you’ll never get back. There’s a comfort though in knowing my family is a few freeways away, but at the same time – when California seems to be a bore, I think about starting out somewhere new. Then the thought of my mom and stepdad not being able to come up in an emergency, or being too far if something were to happen to my dad – those fears push those thoughts aside for awhile. Even though I’m missing all those little things on a daily basis, the fact that I could be there with one train ride is calming, but it still hurts to know you’re missing out and just a voice on the phone most days to people you once shared a home with.