Saturday, April 7, 2012

Feeling Nostalgic For Where I Grew Up

I moved to the east coast from Oklahoma, fifteen years ago.  Soon, I will have lived in this part of country longer than I've lived anywhere else which I suppose will officially make me a Yank.

I don't ever think I'll feel like one.  I sometimes miss Oklahoma.  I miss the stillness, the quiet, the slow pace of life.  The east coast is all kinds of awesome.  It has beautiful cities.  It's full of culture and history and opportunity. In the fall, the colors make you feel as though you've seen a glimpse of heaven.  But with all of it's awesomeness, it's a fast paced kind of lifestyle. Also, the people here (people who are brilliant and educated and interesting) don't seem to embrace a sense of awe for the beauty with which they are surrounded.  They have pride but they don't have gratitude.

When I first moved here, I always felt out of breath, trying to keep up with everyone around me.  Mostly because I was mesmerized by everything.  I slowed people down and they hated it.  They were really busy trying to get somewhere and I was gazing up at the Empire State Building with my mouth agape. People beeped their horns behind me when I drove slowly and watched the colored leaves fall from the trees.   Fifteen years later, I'm still not used to it.  I can keep up now but I am still blown away by the beauty of it all and have a tendency to stop and smell the flowers.  I suppose that Oklahoma blood runs deep.

I thought about going back, about returning "home" but there isn't much left for me now.  My parents are gone and I don't have any family there either.  The only things left to remember me are a couple of friends and maybe a few old buildings. Still, I hope to take my kids there someday. Unlike me, they are born and bred Yankees and people from up here do have a tendency to see the middle of the country as an entirely different planet in a whole other galaxy separate from themselves.   I have this feeling my kids are going to look around at Oklahoma and say, "it all makes sense now.  Our mother is an alien."

Did you stay in the place you grew up or did you move away? If so, what do you miss the most?

18 comments:

  1. Despite being born on the East coast, I like the pace of the of Midwest. You are right about not stopping to admire the beauty.

    WG
    http://itsmynd.com

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  2. For real, every fall I'm like, "can you believe these colors, I mean...look at these colors." The response is almost always, "meh, I'm gonna be raking those damn leaves for weeks!"

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  3. I left the place I grew up 25 years ago and although I missed it terribly for a long time, where I am now is finally home. Home on Vancouver Island has taught me to slow down. I dream of standing with my mouth agape at the foot of the Empire State Building. Happy Easter my friend!

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    1. You so need to come to New York Lyndsay. And tell me when you're going so I can meet you there? Can you imagine how much damage we'd do in that city together? Yeesh!

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  4. Interestingly, I don't long for the place I grew up (Staten Island, NY) as much as I yearn to return to the San Francisco/Oakland/Berkeley area. I lived there for 8 years and it was perfect. (Well maybe not perfect...real estate is so expensive it makes CT look cheap and there's lots of traffic.) But there is something about that place...perhaps it was the time of my life. But I am a city person and really miss living in one. I'd go back to San Fran is a minute, except my family and friends are here on the east coast...and ultimately that's what's most important. Plus my mother would kill me...

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    1. Oh yes, San Fran is absolutely gorgeous and the weather is nothing short of spectacular. There is a whole different vibe on the west coast! I have family there and actually lived there when I was a kid.

      But you can't leave...I would miss you too much!

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  5. Same place since I was born, almost 39 years ago. Only because of family, not because I love it here.

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    1. If you could live anywhere, where would it be? I high tailed it out of OK as soon as I graduated from college. I hope my kids don't do the same thing :/

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    2. North Carolina. Love the mountains, winters aren't horrible and summers are nice. And I have a few family members down there as well. But mainly because I love the mountains.

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    3. I hear that's a beautiful part of the country. Plus, it's got the beaches and the cost of living can't be beat!

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    4. We used to spend a few weeks a year down there when I was growing up. Plus my wife spent 20 years in the mountains of Southern Virginia so she would like to go back to them. I probably would have moved to be with her in Virginia had I not had kids here and didn't want to take them from their mom.

      I'm laid back and prefer the laid back pace rather than the fast pace you mention above. I love big cities to visit, but I would never want to live there.

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  6. My family moved away from my birthplace when I was 10. I moved back when I was 19 to study, and have stayed here ever since. Even after everything my city has been through for the last couple of years, and thanks to Mother Nature it will never again be the same as I knew it growing up, it's my home. Landmarks come and go, but the character of the people are mostly what I love about it.

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    1. You touch on a really important thing because a place really is all about the people. I love CT but the people are so different from the ones I grew up with in OK. They are often times what make me the most nostalgic

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  7. I grew up only 50 miles from Nashville, so I'm basically home. I did move to Columbus Ohio for a brief 5 years and missed the TN hills like crazy! I was so glad to be back with the hills and trees!

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  8. I grew up in Dublin, Ireland. I left Ireland for ten years to work in England in the UK. I enjoyed it, made many friends and even met my husband there. Thankfully he is Irish too so was just as eager as me to return. We are now living back not far from where I grew up and I couldn't be happier with that. When I was away, I always felt it was just temporary, as if I was on a holiday and that I would one day return.

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    1. You left Ireland but always wanted to return? That's so hard to imagine. I mean, who would want to return to Ireland, with it's majestic landscapes, rich history, heart-stopping vistas and amazing people? I can't imagine why you wanted to go back ;)

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