We went to Dallas this weekend.
We went to museums and parks, presidential libraries and botanical gardens. We ate authentic roadside tacos and brisket and burgers. As a weekend trip, it was fantastic. As a fact-finding mission in a place we might potentially move, it was somewhat less so. I can’t speak to the people—although I’m sure they are great—but as for the lack of trees and abundance of cement, my expectations were pretty accurate. Although I’m sure I could be happy there, Dallas is not the city of my dreams. This, I now know for certain. But the real revelation of the weekend was that all this building anxiety I’ve been experiencing isn’t about Dallas at all.
I read an article in the New York Times a few weeks ago about about slowing down in art museums, picking a work or two to focus on and really taking them in rather than scrambling to survey an entire collection. It promoted quality over quantity in the experience of art. While Trent was meeting with a few companies, Scout and I walked around the Nasher Sculpture Center and Dallas Museum of Art. I remembered the article and paid attention to what works I gravitated toward. There were two—a statue of a woman hunched over and this painting.
One woman looks demoralized, the other overwhelmed.
“What’s wrong with me?” I thought as I sat in front of the painting, wrangling Scout. And as I sat there and stared at the face of this stranger and wondered what had happened to her before she sank down in that chair, clarity slowly settled over me. “It’s not about Dallas,” I thought. “It’s about moving on.”
I am not ready to move on to the next phase of my life.
I’m a planner and we planners like the future. We’ve almost always got one foot in it, for better or for worse. But for once, the present is so nice, so deliriously nice, that I want both feet and hands and hemispheres here in my little apartment in Charlottesville, reading and writing and talking with my happy husband and laying our sweet baby down to sleep. For once, I’m not eager to go anywhere. Different doesn’t sound better. I’d like more of the same, thank you very much, more of these days that are going by too fast.
An MBA is just a blip on the screen and recruiting for jobs takes off with the starting pistol. You blink and you’re in Dallas for the weekend. You blink again and you’re buying a house in the burbs.
I am not ready for a house in the burbs.
Maybe it’s an immaturity in me. That’s entirely possible. Maybe I’ll grow up and be ready when it’s time to go. Maybe I won’t. Maybe I’ll have to go anyway. Or maybe the burbs aren’t an inevitability. Maybe we could create a another kind of life, one that’s grown-up and good in a different way. Maybe my I’ll speculate and formulate until I’m frozen like a statue.
Or maybe I’ll write it all out, talk with my happy husband and lay our sweet baby down to sleep.