The Changing Face of Wanderlust

I’m considering that this bout of melancholy could be close to a midlife crisis. I find that as interesting as I do startling. I mourn the loss of wide-eyed hope, and fear myself becoming a bitter, dashed old spinster… but better that than a bitter, dashed old house frau. Not that I think little of homemakers; Rather, I think so much that I resent the carelessness with which so many enter into that bargain. I always wanted a baby, but I knew I wanted my time first so that I’d have nothing to work out on, through, or because of my precious children. I knew I’d be older than the cultural Morm (ha!). I hoped to be more available to my kids than our mom could be to us. So many people in this area start families with so little forethought and imagination that they wonder why they feel empty and unfulfilled later in life, and then they judge my wild abandon as “fleeting” pleasure, not true and lasting joy. The grass is always greener, as they say. Sanctimonious bastards, I say (hee).

I’ve had desperate yearnings lately to get out! Get in the car and drive! I’m so in love with Salt Lake that even considering leaving this beautiful place makes me miss my city on the daily to-and-fro. I look at her with a pensive, oppressive longing, as though she were already gone. I don’t even own a car, yet I find myself thinking, “F*** it. I’m getting a $2,000 beauty, AAA, and hitting the open road!” “I don’t care anymore!”

I had a strange flight of fancy. What if I got an apartment in Pocatello? I could get some job or another like I always do, and BANK every month on the cheap, cheap rent. It’s entirely likely that I would see my busy, far-flung friends more often if I came to town once a month, say. People always get together when out-of-town friends visit. I’d actually see my people more! And then my flight of fancy scared me. A buzz came into my chest and I felt the whisper, “Daily walks with Grandma.”

Suddenly, I saw myself spending the next 5 years in the garden with my 87-year-old grandmother. I would remember how to live simply, with dirt under my nails. I would grow flowers and urns of herbs. I’d make my homemade walnut, basil pesto and pork roast for us and whomever of my aunts, uncles and cousins that stopped by. We would talk. We would not. Grandma’s a healthy, active, spry 87, but she is 87. Can I imagine her in her 90s? Do I have 5 years? My god, I must have NOW with my grandmother.

Am I moving to Pocatello, Idaho? Good lord, I would never have imagined such a thing. When she dies, I will take my savings and travel, travel, travel, or buy a little homebase for a garden, and travel, travel, travel. I need to see my Grandma. It’s time to buy a car. Even if I don’t move, I will drive up often to make dinner together. I need to see my Grandma.

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