I have learned over the years that when one’s mind is made up, this diminishes fears; knowing what must be done does away with fear.Rosa Parks
The blur of changes that have made up these past couple of months, although tough at times, has made it an overall wonderful time here. I’m so lucky to have family that have taken me in and have been adjusting to my changes along with me. These changes are not only the observable but the emotional and mental ones too. I’m definitely not the person I was when I left Batavia 6 years ago but I’m happy about the experiences that Reno gave me and shaped me into the woman I am now and the years to come will help me become more of the woman I want to be. There are many things happening in my head so I’ll do my best to describe it.
To begin, moving back to my childhood home in Batavia, Illinois from Reno, Nevada is a minor culture shock. My parents are here with me but we also have Airbnb guests who make it an entirely different world. Batavia is pretty different from Reno too. Reno’s slogan is the “Biggest Little City in the World” and let me tell you- IT REALLY IS and you can’t get away from it. You would work with one person who went to school with your friend’s mom who dated that person’s cousin who was in college with a person with whom you were doing community service. Yeah. And oh man, the list can go on. It got a smidge harder when you wanted to date someone. The community I found was so supportive, big and joyful and they are continuing to be so 1800 miles away. Here in Batavia, I have my family and just a couple of close friends so I’ve been trying new things to meet new people.
The thing that urged me to make my decision to move back to Illinois were the parts of hardship-emotionally and physically draining stressors that of course, humbled me, but continue to ail my existence. I thought about my move for a couple of years and it was a difficult decision. I had cried and cried about leaving my friends and the life I had made out in Nevada but realized it wasn’t helping me grow anymore. My lease was up and this guy was continuing to break my heart. Now, I know you’ll tell me, “Nancy, don’t cry over a guy” or “if he was worth it, he would’ve shown you” or even, “Why did you let that decision drive you to move back?” This was troubling and it took me a long time to acknowledge and accept it. I’ve also realized that changing environments has also helped heal my heart and my mind. I noticed it instantly. It does creep up and take me from behind sometimes then I remind myself what happened and focus my drive on my goals. Anyway this transition was much needed.
On the way here, I drove with my good friend and my cat, Oscar. Driving with Oscar wasn’t as bad as I thought it was going to be but I don’t think I could’ve done the drive without my friend. I was incredibly nervous in the weeks prior because I had no clue what I had gotten myself into, I mean, the short ride from my old apartment to the vet wasn’t always fun but to my friend’s house was not a great start. It sounded like Oscar was going to attack me from the inside of his carrier. We ended up having Oscar roam in the car (there were only a few places for him to go because my little car was filled to the ceiling) and we had the litter box out for him behind me. I cleaned it out every time we stopped. My friend gave me CBD drops for him and I think they helped him calm down but really, the only times he seemed to be freaking out, was when he was out of the car. The first day was the hardest and the longest due to hitting a snow storm in Wyoming and because I wanted so badly to get to Denver. We had seen so many cars and semi-trucks in the ditch from the storm that after we had almost hit an antelope, we were done. “We. Are. Done!” we both said. My friend looked up pet-friendly hotels and we got to Laramie, WY just as our adrenaline was starting to go down. We decided to stop after 12 hours the next day in Des Moines, IA because why go through another snow storm? We drove the last 5 hours the third day and we were so excited to have no storms on the radar. Oscar wasn’t happy to get back in the car but he made it! He definitely is enjoying the big house and all of it’s hiding places. He’s also loving the attention from all the guests.
The Airbnb has changed the atmosphere as well. It keeps us on our toes and seems to be enriching for my parents who are both retired. It helps with their income and they thrive with people coming into their home. We used to have exchange students when I was growing up. They came with Rotary International and we loved each one but with AirBnB, they have an income. They’re also empty nesters…erm, mostly empty nesters, so they have the rooms available and they love the company. Being so close to Fermilab and Chicago, we have a wide range of people from all over the world come stay with us. A lot of them keep to themselves and others keep our company. We have several come back as eventually, they feel like family. It’s cool but I look forward to the quiet times, having our space back and more time in the bathroom!
I will end with this thought: I thought about who I was before I left for Reno and I considered how coming back to my childhood home would bring back the mentality of that person. That thought really terrified me. Of course, that’s not really how it actually is because even though I constantly second guess myself, I have been trying to find my peace with doing things that make me happy and calm but also stubbornly being the independent and strong person that I am.