There’s No Place Like Home

There is something about going home that just refreshes me.  It makes me get all introspective and think about the person I was when I lived there.  I think about who I was and who I’ve become.  I think of who I could have been and how I’m pretty darn happy things worked out the way they did.

I get motivated to get back to what I really love and what really makes me happy.  I slow down a little bit and I take really deep breaths and I make plans and I write in my journal.

I give my mom and my dad lots of hugs and kisses.

I pet Ginger as much as I can.

I hold my new nephew and take a million pictures of Brad when he finally holds him.

I am so proud of Jonny and Jenny and their natural abilities as parents.

I am absolutely amazed by my sister and her job.  I realize how much we are alike and wish I was around more to hang out with and shop with her.

I eat an obscene amount of food and drink plenty of wine, always surrounded by some of my favorite people on the planet.

I find all kinds of cool old family treasures brought home from my grandpa’s house.

And then after all of that love and food and family and wine and company – I get back onto a plane and fly a million miles west.

It’s usually about two hours before being dropped off at the airport I start to think to myself, “Self – if you like it so much there and you love all those people so much there, why the heck are you living so far away from there?!?!”

Sigh.

After living somewhere other than Maryland and getting on planes and thinking this same freaking thought for ten years, I still have no answer.

I have a lame-o answer, but as time goes by and things change and people grow up and dogs get old and babies are born and life goes on, my excuse becomes more and more lame-o every time.

I’m so far away because I am young, I am curious, and I want to see everything I can see so in ten or twenty years I will have no regrets and I will be able to settle into my own version of adulthood knowing that I did what my heart told me was right.

My first day back, today was even a strange Farmer’s Market Wednesday.  Because we’ve been away for a week, Brad and I are cramming in as many shifts at our restaurants as we can in the next few days to get our bank accounts back in check.  So I had about an hour window to get to the Market and then get home to put away the produce before rushing off to do something else I’d been putting off for a week.  The Pintxo boys weren’t ready at 9, so I dropped off Brad at the restaurant to wait and headed out to the Market on my own.

Holy Daikon, Batman!!

Ok, so food is not a great reason to stay so far away from the people you love.  But Brad and I have built our careers and our life plans up around this amazingly delicious industry, and walking around the Market today I had some alone time to take a good look around and think about what I’m doing.  These farmers and this produce, they’re just one step in our journey.  We are out here to learn and to see what the world has to offer so in five or ten years we can make an educated decision about where we are supposed to be and bring everything we have to that place.

This trip home Brad and I discussed opening a restaurant in Baltimore in the future.  We discussed how it would be possible to bring the California food scene to Maryland.  We talked about having a green house with fresh herbs and vegetables.  We talked about how we would blow the socks off of some of the Baltimore food, and which restaurants we would see as our competition.

We talked about the things we love about Maryland and the things we’ve fallen in love with in California.  We talked about how much it sucks to be far away and how much we love being surrounded by family.  We talked about people growing up and people getting old.  We talked about how we will never forgive ourselves if we aren’t a big part of Max’s life.

We had a lot of time to talk.  It was awesome.

Brad and I may always be pulled in our hearts from coast to coast.  We may have chosen to get our education out here and learn everything we can absorb, but we’ve said it since day one – California probably isn’t forever.  The East Coast is and will always be home.  We are really lucky that in this process we have found a town and a group of people and this culture that really pulled us in and spoke to us.  We’ve found a really great back-up home that makes it very hard to ever think about leaving.  I mean, we got married here!  California will always hold a truly special place in our hearts.

Ok, enough.  Back to “reality”.  Farmer’s Markets in March by the ocean and Hollywood executives hanging out at my place of work.  This life in the meantime to whatever comes next really isn’t so terrible.

But didn’t Dorothy just say it best, there’s no place like home.

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