Friday, February 1, 2013

Good-bye, Ohio

Today is the last day I will be calling Ohio home. Tomorrow I'll be heading back to Michigan where I grew up. After seven years, my boyfriend and I decided that our relationship just wasn't working anymore. Without going into details which I don't want to share on my blog, I'll just say that him and I are two vastly different people and have little to nothing in common. Why had we stayed together so long? It was because of that difference. The things he enjoyed I got introduced to, things I normally wouldn't ever consider doing, kept me entertained for a time. The things I enjoyed? Well, he never could get into them. When two people lack common interests they just can't remain together for long, I suppose. He wanted something different from life than what I wanted, and there was no changing that from either side. We just needed to move on.

It's all for the better, I tell myself. We have no children together, never married, so that makes things a bit easier. But we do have pets together, and that's what's going to be hard. The animals, a greyhound and five cats, have been like my children to me. I'm taking two of the cats, he's keeping the rest. I feel like I'm abandoning my babies, and I'm going to miss them dearly. I also am going to miss my gardens. His house has a large yard for a suburban lot, little under an acre, with mature trees. It was great for growing the plants I enjoyed, despite the spring floods we usually get. I put a lot of time, effort, and money into those gardens to make his yard into something, and now I have to abandon them. Granted, he is being gracious to let me come in the spring and take what I want, and I will take as much as I can since he's not a plant person. But I was rather proud of my gardens, especially the ones on the south and north side of the garage. They were beautiful. And my mom's yard, where my plants will be going, is so much smaller than his yard that I don't know where I'm going to plant everything I want to save, and she has little shade for my shade plants. I may have to sell some of them off. Having no money and no prospects really sucks. My life has been nothing but failure.

The north side garage bed of hostas, ferns, heucheras and other shade plants.

Which I'm hoping to turn around this year. For the past week my writing has come to a stand still, for obvious reasons. Not completely, I did do some editing and rewriting, but not much. I was very hopeful at the beginning of the year that 2013 would be the year my life would turn around, things would be better. Maybe this move will be good for me. I can concentrate on me instead of worrying about someone else for a change, work on getting my book finished so I can start finding representation for it. Maybe even start doing something with my artistic talent I've let go to waste for so many years. Get a paying job even if it's part time, save up some money, get a place of my own (I'll be staying at my parent's house in the meantime, thank goodness for my supportive parents) and just live alone for a time and not have a man in my life to have to worry about satisfying. I haven't been single since high school, I've always had a man in my life. Now I think I'm going to enjoy being single for a time. At least that's what I'll tell myself.

This is the year of the snake, and according to the Chinese Zodiac, I am a snake. I've never been a lucky person, and I'm a bit of a pessimist, but maybe my luck will turn. It has to. Most likely though I have to change my luck on my own. Some people are born with it; others have to work for it.

There will be some things I'll miss about Ohio, but they are few. I've never really cared for the state, or at least this part of the state. It's flat, for one. I like the hills and valleys I grew up surrounded by in Michigan. Corn fields. Corn fields and soy bean fields and just fields of crops as far as the eye can see with a patch of woods here and there. I'm used to woods everywhere in Michigan, which is a part of its beauty. It'll be nice to see forests instead of corn. I will miss the Hayes Center here in Fremont, and taking the dog for a walk there and seeing the flowers and flowering trees in bloom surrounding the beautiful 19th century home that was one Rutherford B. Hayes's. I'll miss the local pizza/bar place that once was a train depot, fittingly named, The Depot. Best pizza I've ever ate. I'll miss the lake shore and a fish joint in Port Clinton called the Jolly Roger. I'll miss watching the drag cars go down the strip in Norwalk, and watching the ex go down the strip in his '69 Dodge Dart (I'll miss riding in it on the street, too). There are other things I'll miss about Ohio, but for the most part I've never felt connected to the place. Michigan has always been and always will be "my home".

But Saturday I leave Ohio, I leave a part of my life behind and the few friends I had made and return to the state of my birth where I hope to start a new chapter to my life, hopefully a better chapter. I certainly could use something going right for me for once. I enjoyed my time with my boyfriend, it was good for the most part, even with his character flaws. I have them too, I guess. I'm just going to keep plucking away on my novel, try to anyway even if I'm not feeling up to it to keep my mind away from the life (and pets) I've had to leave behind. I hope the future from now on is a bright one.

The south side garage bed of mix perennials for butterflies and hummingbirds.


Anonymous said...

Change is hard but you are strong and i love you dearly and wish the very best for you.
I also look forward to seeing you more. I've missed you and FB chatting is no substitution for the greatness of hearing your voice and seeing you laugh and smile.
Safe travels my friend.

K.E. Skedgell said...

Thanks, Jennifer. Now that I'll be closer, we can see each other more often. I always did feel kind of isolated in Ohio. It'll be good to be closer to my old friends.

Diane Carlisle said...

I just had this conversation with my daughter a couple days ago when her and her boyfriend broke up. She told me that she was so depressed all the time because she couldn't make her boyfriend happy no matter how much she tried.

Life isn't about making other people happy, they have to do that on their own. Likewise, you can't make other people happy until you are happy first!

I wish you happiness. :)

Things that give you internal happiness:

1. Building something of your own
2. Making someone laugh
3. Helping someone less fortunate than yourself
4. Watching an old black and white movie on a stormy night while eating Rocky Road ice cream and potato chips
5. Visit a homeless shelter for a day

Also, remember that you cannot control what other people will do, but you do have control over how you decide to respond.

Best of luck in Michigan!

Tex said...

Ah, I am so sorry to hear that, ma'am. It sounds like you are doing all of the right things for all of the right reasons, but I know that doesn't brighten your day when you're loading your worldly possessions into the back of a station wagon.

I heard something once in college - in a Tolkien class, I think - about how the real agony "isn't about having to choose the lesser of two evils, but about the tragedy of two irreconciliable goods."

You know, cuz you can't have Michigan woods and Depot pizza. Or a full-time job and full-time writing. No matter what wonderful new thing is coming into your life, something else is having to move out to make room for it. And that is so hard, especially when the new thing is usually nebulous and tenuous and still so indefinite.

But I love that you can still reach for it with fortitude and even optimism. Hope this finds you safely arrived - Lunar New Year is right around the corner, and there is still plenty of time to make a fresh start!