*My favorite mistake, a song by Sheryl Crowe–one of my all-time favorite songs*
A few weeks ago, I drove down to Wilmington to check out the city to see if it is somewhere I might like to live one day, while trying to decide if I should visit a guy affectionately known as my favorite mistake [some people call this kind of situation–a mistake that has happened in the past and will probably happen in the future– ‘friends with benefits’] who happened to be a short hours’ drive away in Myrtle Beach for a work conference. The coast in late fall when all the tourist are gone is a different animal than the packed chaos of the summer. Restaurants close. Prices go down. It’s still warm enough that a walk on the beach seems like a good idea. Until that breeze blows in off the ocean. Then you know that it is definitely NOT SUMMER any more.
I didn’t go back home to South Carolina for Thanksgiving. I don’t regret that decision, but it certainly did not make me the popular kid. Being the new kid in town means I work all the holidays people really want off work for. Being an only child means having no siblings to celebrate or commensurate with… also no siblings means there’s no one to give me nieces or nephews to play with, and with my father dying back in May, I don’t think it would be the happiest of occasions anyway.
Anyway… and perhaps against my better judgement, I decided to soldier on to Myrtle Beach, where I did in fact meet my favorite mistake. It’s been a hell of a three months. Loneliness + being overwhelmed on a personal level + dealing with a catastrophic natural disaster; sometimes my head hurts from all the knowledge and skills being crammed in it on a seemingly daily basis. Sometimes it’s nice to be with people who really know you, people willing to hold you when you need to be held, and kiss you when you need to be kissed.
There are parts of my life in South Carolina; I miss my friends. No doubt, I needed to leave when I did– I needed to not be around my family. I needed to not be working at Hillcrest or GMH or the Children’s hospital. Too many recent bad memories. I needed a fresh start, but by God, it’s hard.
Moving to a new city as a 20-something year old introvert who would rather hibernate than go out and meet people is hard. It’s extra hard to meet people when you work the night shift. I don’t want to date my favorite mistake again, especially since we now live in different states, but my God, it was so good to be with him again.
We did beach-y things like walk hand in hand on the beach with me stopping every 5 minutes to snap artsy photos. We had dinner at a local Italian restaurant. While he attended conferences, I left the hotel and visited Myrtle Beach State Park. It’s so much more peaceful here than in the busy season.
And we had long meaningful talks where I implored the universe to ‘show me a sign’. Give me some sort of direction of what I should be doing. Should I forget South Carolina and all the people there and make a new start in Durham, or should I learn as much as possible in Durham, but still make my life in SC. In with the new, and out with the old, or keep the old and make new? Please universe, show me a sign.
Clearly it was the universe talking… Now if I only knew what the hell it means…