Tuesday, March 28, 2006

I Left my Heart in San Francisco

I just took out an old messenger bag from my San Francisco days. I used it to carry my laptop this afternoon. Inside a tiny pocket, deep within, I found my Jordi Labanda note pad. It's tiny, fits in my palm. On the front of the flip pad is an old black and white of city block and super imposed on top of that is an illustration of two cute guys. One looks just like a boy I dated in college. I would scribble hear and there in this note pad as I trapsed across the city. So when I found this lost record of my "Lost Weekend" in SF, I nearly cried when I read this: "05/09/03- I am at Tarrefazione Italia Coffee Shop on Union St.".

Argh! My God! Did I make a million and one mistakes!? Moving back home from San Francisco, having Noah, buying our house, working for family, these are major decisions that we had to make in the space of a year and a half and they haunt me! I have a WONDERFUL life, just so blessed, but it changed so quickly. No time to look back. Jon and I struggled like crazy about leaving SF. We decided to do it in the end for a billion reasons. We weighed the pros and cons over and over and over. For career, money, family, future and then some we decided to leave. It still hurts, it still stings. I'm not one to be depressed ok...I was always "The smile girl" , I won the mock award for "puts a smile on your face" in high school. BUT....when I think about leaving that life behind in SF, I do feel so depressed. BUT....when I was living there, I missed my family so much, I hated not knowing anyone, not having a job or school, hated the California weirdness, the panhandlers out my door. I hated taking the train, being afraid of people strung out on drugs pacing the platform, hated the earthquakes. It's like I can't win. Which was the right decision? In SF, you need to be wealthy enough to have two cars and live in a place that doesn't have beggars at your door. There is a lot of resources for he homeless in SF, it's just the ones begging for drug money that scared me and made me angry.

It's just like...I made a bunch of decisions so quickly. Although my life is great and blessed, it's just not for me, at least right now. I wish I was back in San Francisco, talking to creative strangers in cool coffee shops. We had the weekend to explore the coast and the money for dinners at amazing restaurants instead of diapers. I could wear a pink dress over orange pants and people would compliment me, not stare like they do here.

We've thought about moving back. In the end though, I'd still miss my family and it would kills my parents and Jon's if we moved Noah so far away. It's super expensive there too. Although Jon and I have started to think Noah might be our last kid, so maybe SF is more do-able that way. It's just so hard.

Is it normal to feel like such a shlubby dork? Like a Mom who's whole being is squelched? I was like "Cool" in May of 03'. I was sitting at this fabulous Italien cafe, outdoors. They have a great Mocha and then later that day we went up to Stinson Beach in Marin. Now we go to Target. How sucky.

What do we do? Ok, I know we do what is best for Noah first, but then what? It's best to have him be near to his family, but also good to let Noah see the world, great museums, gorgeous nature... Oh, but you know what? I just read that scientists say that seriously this time, a BIG quake is heading for the penninsula. Life is dangerous. Just pray you're not on the MUNI train as I did each time we went underground and live in a retrofitted place. We'd be fine.

Barf, everyone is losing their jobs. Today is "black Tuesday" at GM. SO many job cuts are coming. I really hope my friend's husband is ok, he works for GM. I'm worried. In times like this, how could Jon leave a family business where he wouldn't be laid off?

Usually it takes people many many years to marry, move, have kids, buy a house. They shape who they are over time. I feel like I've been kind of tossed around from hip, young city dweller, to married old, not cool lady in the burbs with kid. This make me so confused sometimes.

Bush's chief of staff resigned. Bush said he was ready to go on to something new, out of the public eye. Ok, HELLO...he obviously did not agree with what Bush and his staff are doing. You just don't leave your leader in the midst of his term unless you don't like what is going on. What was Bush's approval rating last week? 39% This speaks for it's self. Yucky. I say we get a Clinton back in the white house!


Anonymous said...

your candor is refreshing. the emotional fallout of the decisions you describe, made in a short span of time, are only natural.

your obvious self awareness and ablilty to share your all too human doubts are signs, to me at least, that you have the cognitive coping skills to overcome your difficult time now.

i wish you strength and great luck in your life and the life of your young family.

Kendra Lynn said...

Hey there, Lauren.
I know how you feel.
Its hard to be a mom in the 'burbs, taking our kids back and forth from Target. I miss being young and kid-free sometimes, as well.
I wouldn't trade my kiddos for anything, but wouldn't it be great to back a couple of years ago...just me and Scott? Yeah...I wish it too.
Perfectly normal.
But think of it this way...you life hasn't ended. there is NO telling where you will three years from NOW! maybe back in SF...maybe not.
maybe I"ll be in Traverse City, overlooking the Bay....who knows?
That's the beauty of life, new twists and turns everywhere. :)
I love you.
Call me soon and we'll get together.

Judy said...

I often often OFTEN think of the "what ifs" -- both boys weren't PLANNED, per se, they just kind of showed up, both of them right after spending wads of money we didn't have on stuff that wasn't cool for babies. Figures. We've given up boats, lake homes, great jobs, night life, I had a coolio job as a casino gal for a private company that I wish I still had sometimes.

I had it bad after Tyler. I mean, we had Travis, we were going to DisneyWorld (really, we were - haven't been yet), things were rolling along, I had a part time job and we were looking at cool new cars. Then, the two lines showed up on the pee stick and now we have Tyler - WHO I LOVE DEARLY, but it does change things.

For the better? That has yet to be determined, but it really doesn't matter. It is what it is, and I'll be happy and love my boys that God has given me with everything I have. I'd choose them over DisneyWorld (almost) any day.

***almost any day because some days, I'd just rather be at Disneyworld instead of changing poopy pants!

Bree said...

I think every mom feels this at certain times. I used to be cool, too. It's like my identity got sumdged out and in it's place, came the Target mom. But I think it is really only within yourself to change your perception of what you have become. What you are is what you make yourself. It's important not to lose who you are, and for that reason I think you should carve out time for yourself to do the things you truly felt "defined" you. I really don't think SF "DEFINED" you. I think you are identifying with a time and place that reminds you of the carefree peron you used to be. The truth is, you can still be her, you still ARE her, as long as you nurture yourself. I think if you are comfortable with who you are, you can be yourself anywhere you go, including stinky old Michigan.

Laura said...

Boy, it seems like you were speaking my mind there. I have been poundering the "what ifs" myself lately. Especially since, in a few short months, I'm going to be a mommy of two girls. I sometimes feel like there's so much that I NEED to do or want to do that I know I won't be able to do with two kids. Heck, it's hard enough to go to the bathroom by myself some days. Still, every time I look in Caitlin's eyes or feel Cara move inside me, I realize that the changes in my life have happened for a reason and honestly, I'm better for it. Still, the grass is always greener in another pasture! :)

Jeanette said...

Oh man, you're killing me! I've got four - two that were born 18 months apart while we were in the Bay area. The housing market was so lethal - it nearly made us crazy. I couldn't wait to get out of there. There's a lot to be said for a back yard!

But you have to remember that you aren't losing yourself! You're just in the crazy diaper stage. My oldest is 10 and guess what?! He's both potty trained and puts himself to bed! Your day is coming - it just doesn't seem like it. My buds who have teenagers say the worst is yet to come, after all!

My mother-in-law, who had ten kids, is in the process of dying - and what a woman. She made some really great people out of her kids. She is absolutely not boring or typical in any way. She was always the center of all the parties. She is drowning now in people who adore her - 45 grand kids, and ever expanding great grands. She is literally surrounded, on her death bed, with so much love. She didn't lose anything at all.

You've just got to channel the "orange dress" creativity into being the most amazing Mom. Have you read this Roald Dahl poem?

"When you grow up
and have children of your own
do please remember something important
a stodgy parent is NO FUN at all
What a child wants
is a parent who is

So here's to all sparky Moms everywhere - that create interesting and worthwhile kids, no matter the location.

By the way, I heard Ayano Tsuji on NPR and loved her. She's so upbeat. My brother-in-law is in Japan right now getting me some of her CDs! Yea!