October 11, 2011

The Good, The Bad and The Ugly

I've been in Virginia since the end of September. My niece Kristen was married to her love Brian down in Richmond. We are all thrilled to have him as part of the family. The wedding was perfect. Beautiful weather, cool temperature, blue skies and the whole thing went off without a hitch. I came down a day before and took many photos. Though obviously not a real "wedding photographer", I was the designated shooter for the event and I did the best I could. I'm sure I have some beautiful photos....

In the years since leaving Fairfax, so many things have changed. Friends and family members have died, married, divorced and have moved away. All familiar landmarks have been torn down or changed drastically. Maybe that saying "you can't go home again" is true. I'm sad about what has happened to the place I grew up. The greed and desire for growth has turned a once lovely town into an ugly, traffic congested, chain store mecca. It's become impossible to drive in any direction in the morning and afternoon during rush hour. The powers in control of zoning have let anybody with significant assets build any store wherever they want to drop one. Fairfax Virginia has all the charm of a festering boil.

With that said, I also realize that I have changed while my friends remain much the same. For the most part, they go to their 9-5 jobs, come home, eat, watch some TV and go to bed. Which is all fine, except I haven't done that for a very long time. I have no 9-5 routine. Dinner for me happens around 9pm. There's little difference between a Tuesday and a Saturday. I have no "hump day" or "thank God it's Friday" to celebrate. Familiar topics of conversation in Virginia include kids, sports, jobs, retirement, IRA accounts, divorces and the farmer's market. I've got nothing there... I can't relate. I DETEST sports and usually loathe the people who watch them finding them boring, obnoxious and uninteresting. Subjects that interest me, such as art and music or one's own creativity, rarely come up in my conversations in Virginia.

The truth is, I think differently, I act differently, I talk differently, I dress differently. My political views are different. I'm not judging, I'm just very aware of the dissimilarity. So, with that said, I've come to realize that no, I can't go home. New York City is my home now.

And lastly, I lost a very close friendship this week due to poor judgement and deception. Whether on my part or theirs is irrelevant. Sometimes things happen that can't be taken back or be forgiven. And, in those times it's better to walk away and remember the good times than struggle with trying to repair the damage. Beating to death questions of "why" and "explain that again" is exhausting and rarely fixes anything. Walking away is the only option in this situation. Sadly, it's like a death, knowing you'll never see that person again....

The past few weeks were brutal to my psyche. The above realization that I have little in common with many of my hometown friends, suddenly coming to terms with my mother's absence while at the wedding, the changes in and my disenchantment with the place I called home and the loss of a close friend. Damn!

I just remembered, my taxes are due Friday.....

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