I woke up to complete silence.
Where on earth could I possibly be I wondered as I rolled over sleepily, eyeing the alarm clock that read 3:25am. And why am I up so ridiculously early?
And then it hit me like a freight train going 100mph. I was in (ugh) SUBURBIA. Yup. No doubt about it. No sounds of the recycling truck crushing all the aluminum (beer cans) and glass (wine bottles) outside my bedroom window. No horns honking. No sound of our neighborhood homeless person shouting obscenities at some poor unsuspecting soul. All that I heard was the throbbing fear inside my head that came with those first few nights (or weeks, months, or years) in suburbia.
Five minutes later the alarm clock rang and with the ring came the full realization that our life had changed. We had moved out of Manhattan, not only to suburbia, but to the left side of suburbia, where everything happens three hours earlier. The West Coast. That beautiful place where the bay stretches for miles into the ocean, the Golden Gate Bridge shimmers in the sun, and the one look is casual. It’s a great place for some…
…But for a diehard East Coaster through and through, who enjoys news and life in “real time,” I just didn’t know how I was ever going to survive.
I quickly realized the challenges of living in suburbia without children and being a working woman. I wanted desperately to make friends, but between working over twelve hours a day and having a husband that needed to go to sleep by 8:30pm every night in order to get up at 3:30am to work New York hours, my possibilities for meeting new people were daunting. Not to mention, I just didn’t feel that I fit in. I didn’t have a SUV, thought that Gymboree was a gym where they do jamborees (it was SF after all, nothing is too weird), and when I heard ladies in the grocery store line talk about their Bob, I thought how strange it was that everyone had a husband named Bob. When I came to find out that Bob is a stroller, all the pieces started to fit together a little better! I was feeling so out of the loop that I decided that the only way to feel in the loop was to extend this family and 10 months later along came our first little guy. I was finally on my way to making t his suburbia thing work out!
Eight years later (and while I would say smarter, it is debatable), I have settled into suburbia with happiness. Although I still believe that you can take the girl out of the city but you can’t take the city out of the girl, it certainly feels better. Sure, I have times that I miss the days of walking out of my apartment building, wishing a good day to my doorman, and throwing my hat in the air like Mary Tyler Moore excited about who I was going to meet and what was going to happen that day. But as I sat in my driveway this morning watching my boys ride their bicycles around on this first day of fall, I felt happy.
We are back on the East Coast and once again I can feel that change of season in the air. Leaves swirled around lightly in the breeze and the trees rustled with a slight whisper. Neighbors drove by and waved, and a couple of folks even stopped their cars to chat. At one point a young fawn gracefully ran across our side yard and I took it as a sign from above that while it may be suburbia, it’s exactly where I am supposed to be.
Kristin writes the blog, Be Healthy With Kristin. To read her latest post, CLICK HERE!