Sunday, July 25, 2010

I think I was walking towards the kitchen with a tray of unbaked scones in my hands when Kiley clambered in through the back door of the Root this morning, raising his arm for an elbow-high five as he passed me. I wished I'd been on my way to a morning of mountain biking as soon as he said that's where he was headed. Never mind the fact that I don't mountain bike- I simply wanted to be somewhere else, in something other than an apron and oven mitts.

It was a treat to see Kiley, though, even for the brief few minutes it took for him to buy a mug of coffee and snag some of the day-old pastry I'd pulled from the front case. His energy warms me- not, however, in a schmaltzy, flowers-and-rainbows sort of way. Kiley makes me feel like Mike Tucker made me feel, I think. Mike Tucker made me feel naked. Around him, or at the thought of him, I felt exposed but safe. I felt young, but not childish. I think Mike Tucker made me feel human- but unafraid. Kiley makes me feel that way, too.

Regarding my restlessness at work...any desire to be outdoors was soon quashed by the rain I watched from the kitchen, softly pummeling the streets in gentle but steady sheets.

* * * *

I'm antsy on a larger scale, too, beyond just itching to get out of work early. My comfort in this city vacillates, swinging me from contentment to veritable anger at my position. Sometimes I'm ready to plant some roots, and others I'm ready to kill the seed completely. I don't suppose there's any real way to tell when a person and a place have exhausted one another, no illuminating life experience that says "move on." Graduations make decisions easy; job transfers, too. Neither circumstance will grace my timeline within the next 6 months so I'm left to argue with my restless self. Is it really time to go, or no?

If I chose to leave Cleveland now, or in a month, or two months, and completely relocate, I'd leave behind three jobs, a good home, some dear friends, and the last four classes of my college career. I might not be able to retain or regain some of these things, were I to return in the event of an unsuccessful or unhappy exodus..

..but what could I gain from moving now? Best case speaking, I might find a job or two as stimulating as the ones I hold now. I could be a baker and a farmer in Maine or Texas. I could have a city that was either warmer or more alive, or both- with people that didn't know me yet, apartments I haven't dirtied yet, streets I haven't yet explored. I could start something- find or create something I could watch evolve- and move on from being 20-something in a stagnant Great Lakes town.

Opportunities are infuriating. You just don't know unless you take them, but you can't have both present and future at the same something always gets bypassed or set aside.

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