Well where do I begin? First I have relocated. I am now in what I believe to be called "The DC Metro Area." I will not swear to that as it is as foreign as any Eastern European Country that I can imagine. Life is strange at the moment, but you know what they say, "the more things change the more they stay the same."
Lets get this part out of the way, No I do not like this place. I am a southern female. Yelling at people in the streets and in the grocery is simply unseemly. I do not like to be called "Hun" by anyone as it is a familiarity that unless I have granted, it quite unwelcome in my eyes. Do not touch me if I do not know you personally. I am not a hugger and I do not like to be the huggee. A handshake should be quite sufficient to fulfill a greeting requirement. That being said, I am reserved but friendly. However, just because I measure my words and speak slowly does not mean that I am slow. It means that I can read. Another phrase I would ask not be used when referring to me is "country." I am southern, I am not a redneck. "Country" people are all well, fine and good. I however, am not one of those people. You can be entertained by my accent, it is advisable not to mock me. You can ask me what I said or even what it meant. But trying to imitate me is simply rude and I do tolerate rudeness well.
I have returned to work. I have gone back into the industry that is my first love. I weave fairy-tales of happily ever after. I help her pick out her most important ensemble and tell her she is the most beautiful girl in the world. I remember those dreams. I remember that hope. I remember believing in love and forever. Inevitably, the question is asked "Are you married?" At first it was difficult. I questioned myself. "Do I say the words?" "Do I say no?" "Do I ignore the question and hope she is distracted by something else shiny?" Generally I answer the question and say the words. "I am a widow." This brings a hush to the platform. A dark cloud hovers over this joyous occasion and I take her hand. I say "It's okay darlin'." I then turn to her family and make a remark to turn the conversation back to their beautiful dreams for her wondrous day.
I am quiet here. I do not care to extend myself as I am not looking for approval. I am invited to church or to holiday cookouts with a friends family. I am content with who I am and where I am in life. I am holding tight to my manners and my sanity. Mostly I hate the questions. What others consider "getting to know you" inquiry I find to be invasive. I don't want to explain anything to anyone. I answer what I want, when I want, but I won't be bullied into telling my life story. I simply want to live and let live. I just want to be me and be okay with all that requires from inside myself. Yes I sit in the bathtub and cry. I can count the days on one hand I haven't cried since I set my foot on the ground here. But showing it to the outside world is not something I will do today nor ever probably. I am homesick. But the home I remember no longer exists. I haven't been home in three and a half years. Either I live in the past or I look for home in the present.
I have good friends who do not live here. Friends who call me just to say "Hello" if they are on vacation. Friends who text me at 3am asking "Are you up?" I laugh with them. Yes sometimes I even cry with them. I sit on the stoop and talk to another good friend. They didn't know me before and they love me in the after as well as in the aftermath. They worry about me. They share with me. They include me. I am alone. I am not lonley.
Although I am far from home, I am okay. I am healing. I am learning. I cannot run from who I am nor where I have been in my life. I am not reinventing myself. My spring has come and I am reaching for the sky. I promised you two years and some change ago that I would see spring. The cuts were deep and the winter was harsh. Beaten and battered but still I reach, still I grow, still I rise. Magnolia's grow everywhere. Even this misplaced one.