For 23 years I worked in the same building. I worked for the same agency, although not at the same desk. I started out a clerk, worked my way up to a position as the director's secretary, and eventually found my way to the back of the office, first as a computer assistant and then as our LAN administrator.
Every day, I drove the same roads ... parked in the same lot. I ate at the same lunch spots ... used the same bank branch. Twenty three years is a long time.
My city is pretty small. In fifteen or twenty minutes you can get from one end to the other ... from the north side to the south side ... a straight shot down 5th/6th ... from the east side to the west on Madison or Wabash. So there's really no reason to not go anywhere. And yet ...
After twenty three years, I work at the exact opposite side of the city. Nothing is the same. There's a McDonalds and a Hardees and an Arby's. There's a Chinese restaurant. There's a nail salon. And I'm trying to adjust to my new surroundings ... but everything still feels so foreign.
So tonight, since I didn't have anything planned after work, I drove back to my old stomping grounds. The minute I reached Sangamon, it hit me ... I miss this area so much. There's a little Chinese restaurant that makes the best dumplings ... so I stopped to pick up dinner to take home. I drove past my favorite nail salon ... and almost stopped to say hi to the owners ... even though I didn't need a pedicure.
I drove past the fairgrounds and almost turned onto the grounds. I did take a drive through the park that I used to have lunch in ... and then I made my way back to my house on those same streets I drove for all those years.
I've only been at my current job for nine months. I'm sure eventually that area of town will feel like home. I'm sure eventually I won't miss my old job and my old friends so much ... right?
Carry me home to see my kin
Singing songs about the Southland
I miss Alabamy once again
And I think its a sin, yes
Lynyrd Skynyrd -
Sweet Home Alabama