40 Flavors of Mamma’s Best

I’m doing a little bit of go-between these days. I’m committed to being home this winter (I wanted to say ‘spring,’ but let’s be real, unless I leave in June, winter.), but I still have a (rather notable) piece of me in Chicago.

This last weekend was testimony to this; my trip East involved seeing my dishes on my counter (note: I’m subletting), my coffee shop closed for remodeling (good timing there), and a new intern at my desk (so it’s not ‘mine,’ but…).

How do you balance seemingly separate lives, especially when future plans are shaky?

I remember talking to Josh, Alicia, and Christina about this at one point or another throughout college. Having all gone to the same school halfway across the country, we seemed to each have an experience that resonated in some way with the term split identity.

(I didn’t realize how odd that 4-to-the-same-school thing was, by the way, until post-Goshen days.

New friend: So, your brother went to Goshen too?
Me: Yes.
New friend: That’s cool.
Me: Yes.
New friend: And your younger sister, where’s she at?
Me: Oh, she’s at Goshen College too.
New friend: Oh, wow. That’s neat.
Me: Yeah.
New friend: And you have one more sister, right?
Me: Yes.
New friend: And she’s in college?
Me: Um. Yeah. Goshen College…incidentally…

As much as I try to explain that we had our ‘separate reasons,’ I’m not sure I’m convincing.)

Alicia, particularly. She went from introvert to total extrovert depending on geographical locale. But we all had our own journey with it. As probably do most our age.

This feeling of, ‘half my friends are here, half my friends are there, and they bring out really different sides of me,’ or ‘here I would do this, there I can’t,’ or ‘this is my outlet here, but there I’m much more into _____.’

Or for me lately: ‘these two places are not alike. At all.

Or: ‘what do you wanna do next with you life? Here are some extremes.’

Deal with it, ready, go.

I’m mostly musing here; there’s probably no quick-‘n-easy solution. I can’t really prevent or change the shock of shopping at Whole Foods in Chicago on Friday and at Jamboree in Freeman on Tuesday and not understanding how on earth Mom and I could take as long as we did through the FOUR aisles.

But there you go: Because it’s no offense at all to Jamboree (forever a loyalist!), it’s just the comparison. So maybe that’s part of the trick of it. Reminding myself to be grateful before comparative (casting mindset off?). To live enough in the *now* that, instead of wondering where the 40 kinds of organic Mamma’s Best cereal boxes are, I’m enjoying talking to the store owner at the meat counter and chatting with his wife at the cash register. Or appreciating spending an hour of my day rambling with my mother down 4 aisles.

I’m not sure I’m making any headways on deciding ‘what I want to do with my life’ or ‘what the heck I went through these past however many years since I’ve lived at home’ or ‘how I can contribute/be a part of my hometown community’ (although nice try with the goal setting, huh?), at least, not headways I’m ready to articulate (check back in May.)–but I certainly am learning a thing or two about being grateful.

I’m learning about choosing perspective (because it’s always a choice).

And I’m learning to find patience, acceptance of the unknown, and to just be even if it means throwing my hands up, going with the flow, and not necessarily finding 100% belonging in either place.

Not yet, anyway.

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2 thoughts on “40 Flavors of Mamma’s Best

  1. Vanessa, during my recent visit home, I felt the exact same feelings. Where do we belong? Is there an answer anywhere? I have felt split between “here and there” for so long that I’m about to scream. I think for now, at least, I’m choosing Chicago…

  2. Pingback: Spread Thin | Setting the Stage

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