Now that I’ve emoted about what I’m leaving behind, it’s time to think about what I am going towards and what I’m taking with me.
I have loved my home so much that I was super sad when I realized that leaving this house was my only option. I couldn’t stay in Stone Mountain, it was too close to a few bad memories and I wanted a bit of a fresh start, but I wanted to stay near. I tried to find places in Decatur and Tucker, but there were just too expensive.
I finally found a nice place that meets my needs (1 story, can have 5 cats, cute as god damn button and nice yard) in Marietta, but I was feeling a little worried. Marietta is so far away from all my favorite places! I have friends up there, but some of them I’m not very connected to anymore. What if there isn’t anything fun to do? What if it’s super boring? What if there aren’t any good restaurants? What if my neighbors are mean? As I was working myself into a tizzy of dread I remembered a parable I’m very fond of:
“A traveler came upon an old farmer hoeing in his field beside the road. Eager to rest his feet, the wanderer hailed the countryman, who seemed happy enough to straighten his back and talk for a moment.
“What sort of people live in the next town?” asked the stranger.
“What were the people like where you’ve come from?” replied the farmer, answering the question with another question.
“They were a bad lot. Troublemakers all, and lazy too. The most selfish people in the world, and not one of them to be trusted. I’m happy to be leaving the scoundrels.”
“Is that so?” replied the old farmer. “Well, I’m afraid that you’ll find the same sort in the next town.
Disappointed, the traveler trudged on his way, and the farmer returned to his work.
Sometime later another stranger, coming from the same direction, hailed the farmer, and they stopped to talk. “What sort of people live in the next town?” he asked.
“What were the people like where you’ve come from?” replied the farmer once again.
“They were the best people in the world. Hard working, honest, and friendly. I’m sorry to be leaving them.”
“Fear not,” said the farmer. “You’ll find the same sort in the next town.””
I think the moral of this story is that you have whatever you take with you.
This makes me think of someone I know who moved recently. This woman moves a lot, every 5 years or so. She comes to a place with the hope that it will be better than the last place, but it never is. At first, she is excited and tries to make friends and get involved in local culture. She does make friends, she has parties, she has fun. But pretty soon that changes. She starts fighting with her new friends who are all “crazy”, “manipulative” “passive-aggressive” and “dramatic”. She begins to end friendships with the toxic people. She starts becoming worried that the toxic people are poisoning her other relationships and starts to feel paranoid that people are talking about her, plotting against her. Soon, a few years into moving she starts being afraid to go to cultural events because she might see some of those ex-friends who are plotting against her. She stops going out, she stops having fun. After that, she begins to fantasize about moving. She thinks that will fix the problem, she needs a new place, new friends, new experiences and this time, this new place will be different from the last. She will finally find a place with sane, kind, honest and reasonable folks. But she never does, because that place doesn’t exist for her.
I think about my time in the Stone Mountain/Decatur area and it’s been good. I have friends I’ve made here that have been my friends for 10 to 12 years. The place I lived before this was Macon, from which I have friendships that have been going strong for over 20 years! One of my old LARPing buddies just spent the night with me the week before my move. I talk to several of them weekly or more. Before that, I lived in Perry. I still have a few friends from there, friendships lasting over 30 years. So, I know in Marietta I will make friends, and that these friendships will be satisfying and long-lasting.
Stone Mountain/Decatur has amazing food. I just went to a new place, “The White Bull” for my birthday, which was fabulous. Sadly “Cakes and Ale” just closed, which was amazing. And there is “Iberian Pig” and “Savage Pizza”, “Java Monkey” and “Butter and Cream”, “Chris’s Pizza” and “Top Spice” over in Toco Hills. “Golden Buddha” and “Nicola’s” near Emory. I’m not even going to list off all the great places in East Atlanta and l5p. In Macon, I had a favorite Chinese place, and “Mikato” for the best hibachi, there was an awesome Indian place near my college and some great places at the mall. In Perr,y I mostly ate my mother’s cooking, which was literally award winning. So, I’m pretty sure Marietta will have amazing food.
Yeah, I’m going to a new place and entering a new phase of my life, and that is scary. But I’m betting it’s probably going to be just as much fun as living in Stone Mountain was. I’m closer to my massage guy who has been helping me get my injured leg working again. The new house has a mostly flat yard so I can start some limited gardening again. The house is smaller and in much better condition than my old place. There are already so many things I love about it. The area is great too! I’m less than 2 miles from a Barnes and Noble, Ulta, Target, Lowe’s and Home Depot. I’m less than 6 miles from whole foods and the mall. I’m a 5 minute or less drive from at least 20 restaurants. The sidewalk in front of my house is new and in great repair, which given that the sidewalk in DeKalb county literally broke my leg this is a big deal, I can start safely going for walks again!
I’ve already started making this new place my home. I’ve painted several rooms and since I officially finished my move two days ago I can really start unpacking, decorating and hosting events. My new house and town are going to be as amazing as my last one, just different. My cats even like it!
I didn’t want to move, it was painful and scary, I cried and screamed entering this new world. But now I’m looking around my new life and feeling pretty good.