Sunday, February 28, 2010

Sundays in My City: Free Therapy Edition

Most Sundays, you'll find me joining the party with Unknown Mami, showing you my corner of the world.

Unknown Mami

I have a deep-seated desire to be a travel writer. I mean, come on, who wouldn't want to be a travel writer?  Yet, since nobody has thrown money at me to have fun and eat well, (Universe: Consider this a strongly-worded hint!), this forum gives me an opportunity to pretend. 

Also, Unknown Mami pretty much kicks ass.

Doing this weekly journey has been, as is so often the case, an opportunity for grace.

When we moved to Maryland back in 2002, I spent the first two years here in a depressive haze. I didn't like my job, I was lonely, and I felt uprooted. Looking for a place to channel my unhappiness, I decided that it was all Maryland's fault. The East Coast sucked. My new home sucked. The weather sucked. The only thing that could ever make me happy ever again would be returning to the big blue skies of my Arizona homeland.

Moving is hard. Don't let anybody tell you otherwise.

I learned a lot about blooming where you're planted and finding good people to hold you up. I discovered that it's not the color of the sky, as much as the people under your roof. (Also, regular exercise, I found, is essential for my mental health).

I also realized that Gandhi knew what he was talking about when he said,"Nothing is constant but change." If I was to return to Arizona, it would not be the home I remembered. People move, circumstances change. Even rocks and boulders shift over time.

Upon reflection, I now understand that I was missing not so much the comfort of a place as the comfort of my own skin.

It wasn't Maryland's fault.

I needed to re-learn how to trust my voice, and, without fear, sing my beautiful song.

So. The grace in Sundays in My City is that I am more present in my surroundings. Because I blamed Maryland for so long, I never noticed the beauty and the life and the exuberance of this land. I started to listen to the voices in the Tobacco Barns, and appreciate the watery playground of The Chesapeake. I used my camera more. My eyes were opened.

So, Unknown Mami, I thank you for hosting this weekly virtual tour. It's helped more than you know.

And, because I should show some pictures, here are some images my brother captured during our trip to the U.S. Capital last week. He's the artist of the family, and he inspires me. (And, incidentally, all of these pictures were taken with his iPhone.)
(I had to throw this one of the National Museum of the American Indian in as well. I want to marry this building).


michelle said...

Love this inspirational Sunday post.

Good lessons. Thanks for the reminder...

And damn that iPhone takes some awesome pictures!

Mrs4444 said...

I know how you feel. When we lived in the middle of a cornfield (essentially) in Illinois for Mr.4444's first grown-up job, I hated it. The people talked like hicks, and I just saw nothing in common with them. Then we moved to upstate NY, where no one even responded to a wave hello and it took us two years to make friends with our next door neighbors! It was then that I missed the simple, yet loving folks back in Illinois, and I wished I had appreciated them when I was there.

Frau said...

Oh Nancy you are speaking my language...gorgeous pictures and on an iphone. Your words are very wise and needed right now.Change is hard...and tomorrow is a new day. Have a wonderful week.

Marena said...

All so very true. Thanks for sharing all of your wisdom, not to mention your humor!

Prairiemaid said...

What a wonderful gift you have for expressing yourself.

When we lived in Arizona (Tucson), I missed the trees and grasslands of the prairie. Everything was so barren. When we returned to Oklahoma, I missed the breathtaking beauty of the desert.

We are strange creatures, but given time we adjust rather well. Lots of time.

4 Lettre Words said...

This is such a lovely post! (And, yes. Moving is hard.) Beautiful photos, as usual.

clearness said...

We moved to the next county over and it was difficult. We wanted to move but leaving that familiar place, the place I had called home for over 10 years, was difficult. Almost moved all the way down to Florida.....sometimes I wish I would have....but I was a bit scared to move so we just stayed here in MO

Bethany said...

Love this writing. I'm glad you were able to bloom where you are planted. I love what you said about even boulders shift (that's about my speed of changing).
Great iphone pics brother of Nancy.
I do not want to be a travel writer, ever. That sounds like hell on earth to me. But I'm weird.

Sonya said...

Wow what beautiful pictures from an iPhone!

I can totally relate..leaving hte U.S. for a country that doesnt get alone I feel alot of the times..but life goes on and there are things to get done.for that I am glad or I think I would end up in the corner sucking my thumb.

only a movie said...

Another great post. Gorgeous photos too. Makes me want to visit DC again.

lisleman said...

I moved many times in my younger days and while there is some adventure to it, I don't miss it much. Moving and travel are completely different.
great pictures from an Iphone.
DC is a favorite travel destination for me.

LB said...

Man, I need a phone like that!

Life is what you make of it regardless of your locale. Memphis SUCKS (for real!), but my vodka and xanax make it a much better place. LOL!

Ms. Moon said...

I am glad you have made peace with where you are. But I have to say that we all bloom where we need to be planted. And I am glad you have discovered that you CAN bloom in Maryland.

Joanna Jenkins said...

Having lived in five different cities in multiple states I can totally relate to what you are saying. Moving IS hard. But, I'm glad you are settling in and finding your way to bloom.

You have a great eye for photos. Thanks for sharing them with us.

Have a good week,

dek said...

I had to throw this one of the National Museum of the American Indian in as well. I want to marry this building.

I want to marry the NMAI food court. Mmmm, fry bread.

Lee Ann said...

Lovely post, thanks for sharing. YOu write beautifully x

Adoption of Jane said...

The National Museum of the American Indian is Gorgeus!! I love all your pics!


these are gorgeous pictures!!!!

wish my sunday looked like that!

blueviolet said...

I wish it would have been that easy for me. I tried for 11 years to like it here (my hometown) and I still hate it. Thank the good Lord I'm moving!!!!

LMJ said...


I loved the last building!! I'd like to see it in person one day!

Prairiemaid said...

Nancy, thank you for following me. I am now following you and I am grabbing your button while I am here.;-)

Have a great week!

Unknown Mami said...

I'm trying not to cry because I don't want my husband to know I'm reading blogs when I'm supposedly working, but you sooo get me!

I started doing Sundays In My City because I really wanted to see the beauty that surrounds me every day. Yesterday, I was walking and I saw an ornament on a gate and thought about how beautiful it was and how lucky I am that I finally look at things instead of always being in my head.

lisleman said...

do you have any funny strange pictures - I'm trying to start a game over at my blog.

Mama Zen said...

Hey, I think I need an iPhone. Very nice!

Aunt of 14 said...

I am here by way of the kicking ass Unknown Mami. I absolutely love what you wrote here. And those pictures are fantastic!