Nostalgia Is So Last Decade

When I moved from Baltimore to Vermont two years ago, it made me a little sad.  Sure, I was happy to be moving back to the state I grew up in, and I was excited to see family and old friends, but there was a lot that I liked about my old life and I was not thrilled to be leaving it all behind.  And, like anything else that you lose before its time (like Marilyn Monroe, or the other half of that piece of cake that fell on the floor), my nostalgia for that place and time grew more than it should have.

This past weekend my family returned to Maryland for our yearly pilgrimage to the Rennaisance Festival, and to catch up with some of those friends that we haven’t seen in a while, but still miss like crazy.  And that part of the weekend was fantastic.  Seeing everyone again reminded us of why we were sad to leave in the first place, and the festival was fantastic, as usual.  Ruby climbed the wall again, this time with no hesitation, and got her face painted too.  Edward was in awe of all of the costumes and magical creatures roaming about, and I ate a lot of food on a stick.  These are the things that we miss, living up here in the frozen north.

All of that being said, we also remembered all of those little details that we had forgotten.  Those daily details that make life miserable down there, and which have been much improved by our relocation.  The first, and most obvious thing that we had somehow put out of our minds was the traffic.  I mean, I remembered that there is more traffic in Maryland than in Vermont, but I had forgotten the blinding white hot rage that fills my body as I try to navigate a highway completely filled with idiots trying to cut you off as closely as possible, and varying their speeds wildly as their mood dictates.  It made me laugh to think how mad I get up here in Burlington when up to 15 cars are stopped at the stop sign at Pine and Maple.  For real, that is the worst traffic that happens up here.  A dozen cars at a stop sign.  And it makes me mad.  Boy, the beltway sure brings back all of those road ragey memories I had suppressed.

Speaking of jerks on the road, I had also forgotten that everyone is just a jerk everywhere!  I’m not trying to insult the entire state of Maryland here, because Virginia is even worse, but I don’t think I had a single shopping experience in which the cashier was not either disinterested or downright rude.  And now that I think about it, that seems kind of normal.  I’ve just gotten used to Vermont cashiers, who are much more likely to smile and tell you you have cute kids, as opposed to be talking on their phones or rolling their eyes at you.  Even when your kids are destroying their store!  I don’t know if it’s the people themselves, or just the pace of life that makes them happier and friendlier up here, but you can really tell the difference.

And don’t even get me started on the weather!  It’s October; it’s not supposed to be in the 70’s!  It’s not even really supposed to be in the high 60’s, and yet we had day after day of beautiful weather.  I know that some of you will call me crazy, but the weather is another reason we moved further north.  I like snow in the winter.  I don’t want my summer days to go over 90 degrees.  I certainly don’t want to spend a day in late October outside in shorts.  I’ll take New England any day, thank you very much.

So the point is, whether your scales of good and bad line up exactly with mine or not, every place has good and bad points to it.  There is no Target in Vermont.  This makes me cry a little on the inside every day.  And I still haven’t found a fabulous Thai place up here either (if you know of one, let me know asap).  Most of my friends live hundreds of miles away, and so it is easy to sometimes wish that I had never moved back, and to dwell in nostalgia-land, thinking of a happier place that my mind has created.  But the reality is that we moved for a reason.  A lot of reasons actually, and we were reminded of many of them this past weekend.  For the first time since we left Maryland, I was able to visit it with a feeling of happiness to be back, but also satisfaction that we had made the right choice in moving away.  I like the pace of life up here.  I like being able to say to someone, “want to hang out tonight?” and not have them try to pencil me in three weeks from Thursday.  I like the weather, and I like the (lack of) traffic.  And I will still visit Maryland as often as I can, but now I will enjoy the ride home a little more than I used to.

Posted in Maryland, Renaissance Festival, Traffic, Vermont.

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