During our recent family trip to Seattle and Portland it became Eleanor’s (and consequently Magnolia’s and my) mission to shout HIPPIE VAN every time we saw one. There were a lot — something you don’t get much in Indianapolis, even when you live close to Broadripple. Counting up all the occurrences of hippie culture on the west coast reminded me that I like it better out there. You get used to living in Indianapolis and forget how the salty beaches, fresh produce, and hippie vans really perk and inspire you. I don’t know why I feel like I live a better life elsewhere because that can’t be true. Because here’s the evidence: I have a big girl job at tech start up, a library in my home in which I can write, a husband who is happy in his job for the first time ever, and a talented critique group that I love being a part of. Now if I could only buy liquor on Sunday!!
But, I want to be elsewhere about as much as when I was that 17-year old girl looking for colleges at least 1000 miles away. You can’t go home again? Or, maybe you can because I fall right into the old pattern of wanting to leave. I wonder if my girls think about Indiana. Maybe they will crave stability after having moved about 10 times before college. I wonder what it feels like to have life where you actually settle. And how can people actually want that? How can one life be enough? It’s like I’m cramming 10 lives into one because shit, I don’t want to miss out. Is this also part of what drives me to write? Creating new versions of people who make choices I won’t and live lives I can’t?
Well, this is becoming very Dear Diary, so I’m off to write fiction. Maybe I’ll include a hippie van.