Wednesday, August 19, 2009

A New Life Up North

Oh, God, it's been a long time since I blogged! I'm not even sure I remember how. I feel like a virgin on her wedding night, all nervous and unsure. When you stop blogging, it becomes easier and easier not to dedicate yourself to it every day. Life takes over. Priorities become more clear. THINGS GET DONE! I didn't realize how much time I was wasting sitting on my ass in front of the computer until I stopped blogging.

But I had to kick the habit for a while because my daughters and I moved up north to a smaller town and a simpler life. After living in The O.C. for 23 years, I had had enough of Paradise and the pursuit of perfection, and decided what really mattered was being around my family. It's funny. I left this area so many years ago to get away from my family, and they are the reason I have returned -- with a family of my own to add to the mix!

I felt guilty at first, dragging my daughters away from a place where they were born and raised, away from friends they have known for practically all their lives. But that little voice inside me, the one that is always right, kept assuring me that something much better awaited them up here. And darnit if that know-it-all voice wasn't right again! We were immediately embraced by a very large circle of sisters and brothers and cousins and aunts and uncles and dogs and cats and babies yet unborn. They didn't care that we had been gone so long. They were just glad we had found our way home. We are now A-Listers at all the family BBQs and get-togethers. We are like the new toy at Christmas that everyone wants to play with. My children and I are where we belong, surrounded by love and lasting connection. And the sense of peace is indescribable.

They do things differently up here. For one, my daughters already started school, while SoCal kids are still enjoying a lazy summer at the beach. I was worried about their first day of school. Would they meet new friends right away? Or would they be sitting alone at lunch, which is always the kiss of death for any new kid. I was especially concerned about my teenager, who is a junior now. Starting over midway through high school is a real challenge, but she was up for it. She told me before we moved that she was ready for a change, too.

Five minutes after I dropped her off at school that first day, I get a text message from her that said, "I feel like I'm going to throw up!" (Oh, no, now I really felt guilty!) She met a few people that day, but she still felt like an outsider. We had a long talk that night, about birds of a feather flocking together or something and such. I told her to be patient, that she would eventually find her flock.
As it turned out, her flock found her. She has been at this new high school for only three days, and today in homeroom, the entire class "interviewed" her. They asked her all sorts of questions about herself and where she came from. The question that was on everyone's mind was, "You lived in Orange County and moved HERE? Why??" (That's the question I get from everyone, too.) So when she walked into the lunch area, about 4-5 people from her homeroom were shouting at her to come sit with them. One guy yelled, "Hey, there's the OC girl!" She was at the center of a bidding war.

On the way home she said, "I really love my new school!"

Boxes are unpacked, kids are settled into school, new friendships are being forged. Operation Relocation is complete.

And we're going to be just fine.

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