Friday, January 28, 2011

Distance Makes the Heart Grow Fonder. Sometimes.


I think of all the sayings, words to live by, advice and graduation quotes in the world, the truest has to be that distance makes the heart grow fonder. I've experienced this time and time again, and although having something you love around all the time, it really is true that "you don't know how much you love something until its gone" - another annoyingly overused quote in millions of novels and movies. Growing up in South Jersey I always loved my home. I could be on the beach in five minutes, the city in 30 minutes, or stay on my three acre property nestled under 100 year old trees taller than my house. I had a little bit of everything and I always felt lucky to live in such a beautiful area. A lot of my friends and classmates however, expressed the typical cliched teenage-angst that they were "bigger than this small town" and couldn't wait to "kick the dust off this old town" etc. etc... I always wondered if they truly felt that way or had this feeling that because magazines, movies and media (a triple threat!) expected this type of rebellion, they had to indeed fulfill the expectation. Regardless, I never wanted to leave. HOWEVER. I went to college. I graduated after four years at a small liberal arts school in a small Pennsylvania town, with no beaches or a city for miles away. Shockingly, I loved it. No, I LOVED it. I had somewhat of a reverse rebellion. A lot of the same friends that couldn't wait to get out of our small NJ town were now coming home from school every weekend, and some even moved back home not realizing how much they loved it. Not me. I dreaded coming home even for the holidays because it meant time away from friends and time that could be spent doing whatever it was I wanted whenever I pleased. So ironically enough, I sort of began to take on that cliched teenage-angst, just as a college student. Eventually, I broke up with my boyfriend of five years basically because the long-distance just didn't work out (perhaps if I had come home more this would have changed things). The relationship I had with my mom grew completely strained and it seemed like I never called enough, and when I did it was because I felt an obligation to- which I was reminded of every time (oh a vicious cycle that I can now say was mostly my selfish fault). I have never been good at keeping in touch, but my best friends from home and I seldom spoke, and when I was home I preferred to stay in and pout about missing college friends... I don't mean to go off on such a tangent, I promise I have a point! As soon as I graduated, I moved to Virginia and lived with my aunt and uncle for a summer while I interned in Washington, DC. Only then did I get homesick. Once I was away from my friends and knew that coming home would be entirely up to me and not because campus was closing, I found myself missing home. A lot. I missed home, my family, my dog, the beach... even the stupid Wawa hoagies I had at least once a week growing up that were nonexistent for 2 hours outside of DC. I started calling my mom more, asking her to come visit, calling my dad, my sister, and making plans for beach weekends. Just writing about home now makes me wish I were on the beach (ok maybe when it is a bit warmer). But being away for so long before coming home always made it a happy weekend. EVen my boyfriend being away this week has made me stupidly sappy and talking to him on the phone this morning you would have thought I was in 8th grade and finally got a call from the cute kid at locker 220. I gabbed about everything unimportant going on and reminded him 100 times how much I missed him and to stay away from any blonde ski bunnies. ANYWAY... I was thinking about this quote initially however, because my best friend in the entire world- my other half (and actually my second cousing and college roommate) is visiting for the night on Tuesday. We grew up together- sort of. My dad and her mom are first cousins, so whatever we are, we're family. We went to the few large family parties over the years but since we went to separate schools we weren't really friends. We attended the same high school, and one of my best friends growing up actually became closer friends with her than I initially was. Quickly, there were four of us, even now inseparable when we're together- KB, BriB, MD and me. WE did everything together in high school but none of us was closer with another. When I was accepted to college and found out my cousin was too, I honestly had mixed feelings. I was excited to go somewhere where no one knew me, but it would probably be nice to see a familiar face. Well wouldn't you know that we ended up living on the same floor? Of all 5 or 6 Freshman buildings, we were not only in the same one but on the same FLOOR. So since day one of college, my cousin became my other half. We are the same person, and without her I don't even want to know how boring and empty my life would be. Freshman year we experienced a lot of firsts and new things with each other. Sophomore year, she suffered a heart-wrenching breakup and the death of her grandfather; even though these weren't my experiences, I can honestly say I have never been more sad in my entire life than to see her in such pain (I actually still get a lump in my throat just thinking about it). When she went abroad without me Junior year, I was devastated. Our emails back and forth could have been love letters between lesbians. Senior year I went through a lot of my own tough moments, and she was always there either to give me a hug, make me laugh or tell me I was being an idiot which is a rare but vauable trait to find in a friend. Anyway, since she is no longer my roommate and no longer ten minutes from my house, I miss her every day. I cannot WAIT for Tuesday.

Happiness Means...
1. Not being a smoker - this sounds stupid, but driving to work in 20 degrees today, the car next to me had all the windows down, and a woman dressed in a scarf wrapped tight around her neck was puffing at a cigarette. At 8:00AM. Gross and stupid.
2. Country Music - this reminds me of home and sometimes blasting it on the way to work reminds me that summer is just around the corner
3. Tuna fish - in college when everyone else would come home at 3am and binge on pizza, mac and cheese and Sheetz chicken fingers, I would always crack open a can of tuna and eat it on the floor right out of the can. THis is still my favorite sandwich, and my grandma used to make it for me every time I came over (she hated cooking) with relish and mayo on white bread always cut intro triangles- never squares.
4. Tweezers - My eyebrows practically jumped at my tweezers this morning, as I was beginning to resemble Frida Kahlo
5. Pretzel M&Ms - The picture at the top was taken Wednesday night around midnight. My grilfriend and her roommate were hosting a Greek potluck that literally no one came to (except a friend and I) because we were the only idiots dumb enough to go out in a snow storm. This picture is on our way to the GIANT to purchase more bottles of wine and an entire new bag of pretzel M&Ms. Although they were the greatest treats in the world at the time, I honestly don't think I can ever eat another without getting queasy. Oh well, thats what happiness meant to me at midnight on Wednesday!

Goal: Cut the sugar this weekend- my teeth still hurt from all that chocolate!

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