I miss New York. I know this comes as no surprise to most people. But I REALLY miss home.
I moved to Rhode Island about 4 years ago, and it has never felt like home to me. I wanted it to. When I met Dave I hoped that something would “click” that suddenly I’d love it here and never want to leave, but that didn’t happen. When Avery was born I thought I’d suddenly feel some strong connection to the state because it’s where my daughter was born. But I feel even more “trapped”
I’ve always thought I could live ANYWHERE. Before moving here I packed up my entire life and moved to Tulsa Oklahoma. I loved it there, and despite the pretty horrible circumstanced surrounding my departure, I STILL have a special place in my heart for the state. I met so many wonder full people there, especially in an hour of need. When my car broke down in Miami (pronounced My-am-ma) OK, on my long journey back to the East Coast, I met a tow truck driver who wouldn’t accept payment, his brother who stopped to check on me while I waited for the mechanic, a hotel manager who allowed my cats to stay in her pet free hotel, and an insurance agent who invited me to have meals with his family. The hospitality was unparalleled, everyone I met treated me like family and I’ll be forever grateful for that.
But when I arrived in Rhode Island, something was different. People ask me all the time “What is it that you don’t like?” And, I honestly can’t say what it is. I just don’t feel like myself here. I don’t feel like I CAN be myself here. I feel like I’m always trying to fit in, and I never do. I’ve found myself thinking “Well, maybe I’ll just buy that Coach bag, and those super high heels.” I’ve thought about getting a spray tan, I dyed my hair darker. I’ve gone to events that I normally would never have gone to. All because I want to “fit in” It’s actually kind of sad. (OK, it’s really sad) I’m a 30 year old woman, who is trying to be something I’m not. I NEVER did that as a teenager, so why am I doing it now? Acceptance? It’s ridiculous, and it’s making me even more unhappy.
Let me point out that I come from a long line of “Rhode Islanders” My Grandma grew up here, my father was born here and spent his early childhood living on Federal Hill. My mother is a Rhode Island College Alum who always wanted to move back to the Ocean State. And, I am married to a Rhode Islander, born and raised. We vacationed on Block Island, I spent many summer nights at McCoy Stadium in Pawtucket, and Big Blue Bug sightings were the highlight of the trip to my Aunt & Uncle’s house in CT. I always liked Rhode Island. Until I moved here.
It is not a bad state. I really don’t hate the state or the people who live here. It is just so very different from Upstate New York (And it’s like a whole other planet compared to Oklahoma) Sure, there are some things I really don’t like. The Taxes, especially Car taxes (Seriously? I’m paying over $500 in property taxes every year on my car?!) The politics/government (It’s a mess here) The driving (The whole stopping in the middle of a major road to wave people into on coming traffic thing, the lack of understand of “right of way” and 4-way stops, and for the love of god, YIELD!) The fact that you can’t buy beer at grocery or convenience stores (Not that we drink very much — I think we’ve only had beer in our house 3 times in the last 3 years and it was beer brought to us from a Brewery in NY) And “Party Pizza” (I just don’t understand why someone would want cheeseless, week old pizza crust with extra thick sauce.)
But, Rhode Island has some great things too! Newport is beautiful, the Mansions and Cliff Walk are amazing. There are beaches galore (though, I’m not a fan of sun, sand or trespassing on shark territory so I really don’t go to the beach here…plus…I’m a bit of a “White Sand Snob” and prefer the beaches of the Gulf of Mexico) The Roger Williams Park Zoo is one of my favorite places in the world. Providence is a very eclectic and interesting city, with, from what I hear, some amazing restaurants (we don’t get out much) There are some gorgeous towns like Bristol, Barrington and Tiverton. Foster, Gloucester and Chepatchet. There is a rich History, and impressive cultural diversity for such a tiny state. But it’s just not “home” to me.
Rhode Island is a small state in every way. It seems harder to find your “tribe” here because most people already have established their group. People they have known since childhood. New York is different because it is such a huge state, and people are always coming and going. While many of my friends from High School still live in the Albany area, there are so many more who moved away, to other parts of the state, other states and even other countries. I may be completely wrong, and please, someone correct me if I am, but it seems that Rhode Islander’s stay much closer to home. The go to college here, they buy houses and start families here, they don’t leave. Rhode Islander’s seem to feel a stronger connection to their state. I also found it difficult to get a job here. After 3 years and hundreds of applications, I was told by an employment counselor (from one of the major universities in RI) that part of my “problem” was that I wasn’t from here, I didn’t go to college here (try getting a graphic design job without RISD on your resume…) and I didn’t have a “Rhode Island Name” It makes perfect sense to me that companies in a state with such horrible unemployment would want to hire “their own” but it was disheartening to hear.
Of course I have met many AMAZING and welcoming people here. I absolutely love the group of bloggers I have become friends with and all the women in my new moms groups.
I don’t, for a second, regret coming here. Rhode Island gave me my husband and my daughter and some lifelong friendships, but my heart is in Poestenkill.
I yearn for the lakes, the farms, the mountains, the creek, and the support system I developed during my first 27 years on this earth.
I love New York.
I miss New York.
I miss home.