I get at least a flutter of homesickness for Bakersfield once a day. Sometimes it strikes me as funny since there was a time when Daniel and I felt like all we had was each other and we wanted to get the hell out as soon as possible.
We moved to Bakersfield (separately) within weeks of each other in 2003. Daniel, from Texas was starting a new job. I was starting a new life after leaving my ex. After six months in our new city, we met and quickly fell in love.
I don't want to speak for Daniel here, but I didn't feel connected to Bakersfield for the longest time. I felt like an outsider amongst people who all seemed to have a history and it was lonely. Daniel and I would talk about leaving all the time. We were just waiting for his company to move him.
Somewhere in the ten years we were there, we made some strong connections to people and places. We still talked about leaving (and there was a time last summer where I was so ready to leave and not look back) but it felt less urgent. We'd adopted friends as family. We'd adopted a theatre, a community. We'd grown attached to different places and our memories there.
Some connections were so strong, that in the months before our move to Texas, I could not speak of our relocation without bursting into tears. The city we had once felt no connection to had become our home. It was Zoe and Finnegan's first home. Bakersfield was special to us as a family. Bakersfield changed my life - it is special to me.
So, most days I feel like an outsider here in our new city. We have friends in Texas (some as close as 3 minutes away) but this state is kind of big and everyone is busy. I miss going places and running into someone I know where ever I am. As exciting as it is to have this beautiful house and the opportunity to make new memories in an amazing city full of things to do, it's a big adjustment. Again, I feel disconnected and slightly overwhelmed.
This evening, a friend mentioned the cooler temps back home and I told her she was making me even more homesick. She apologized and said things would get better as we settled and made more friends. She's right - I know I'll grow to love it here.
Sometimes I wish I could just not miss Bakersfield. You know, say good riddance... I'm better off here and get on with it. But I know that missing the place I spent ten years in means I did something right while I was there. I chose the right city to start fresh in. I surrounded myself and my family with people worth missing and they miss us right back.
So that's what I keep reminding myself. Someday I won't be able to imagine leaving here and if/when we do, I'll miss our friends and the places we have happy memories of just like I do now.