A week from now, I will have started on my way to the 1st full-time job I have had in 7 years, but a job that means I will have to leave behind my life and comfort zone here in Northern Va. Thinking and doing and then realizing there is more things I need to put in order as wife unit has not done many of the things I do, it gives me a sense of a person who knows their days are numbered and who wants to get as much wrapped up in a neat package as possible.
I’ve thought about the things I will miss here. As I just said, I’ve grown fond of the State of Virginia- or at least some things. So I see myself missing;
- The cultural diversity we have here. While at times it can be teeth grinding, like when sharing the road with another driver who has immigrated here and who may have never driven a motor vehicle before, but with the variety of food we have to dine on, or shop for, compared the pretty much the bland, mono-ethnic mix I am headed to.
- Vanity license plates. Say I am wrong, but the number of cars which sport these and at times the entertainment values of these is something to be missed. In the many trips I have made through Ohio up to now I really do not recall seeing any sort of vanity plate on a motor vehicle. Perhaps Ohio frowns on such or the people are generally not that witty/mentally agile?
- The scenery. While here in Northern VA, its pretty much congested, crowded mega-suburbia, driving out especially into the Shenandoah is a treat. Virginia can also boast of geographical diversity. Ohio? I’ve heard it described as the flat West Virginia. Its mostly flat, flat & flat, with nothing between it and the Arctic Circle to stop metrological mischief. Winters especially will be harder and longer.
- The nice and again diverse shops. Where I am headed its stupefying bland Kroger & Walmart country. Wegmans will be missed.
- Caribou Coffee, where I now sit and sip, think, type and sip again. Caribou will turn into an unknown called Peet’s coffee and thus be no more and yes, there are scattered outposts of The Evil Empire, aka Starbucks where I’ll be, but mostly unless you brew your own, it’s the ‘offerings ‘and ambiance at a McDonald’s or other fast food “emporium”.
- Healthy food choices and healthy people. One thing that has stood out from past trips to where I will live and work is the overwhelming number of people run from unhealthily to morbidly obese. Its depressing and due in large part to the high-fat over sugared and exaggerated portions served/eaten.
- What I won’t miss:
- First and foremost, the traffic. On the way back from the job interview, the drive was pretty much wrinkle-free until I hit I 495 @ about 7 pm. It took me more than an hour to drive(crawl actually) the remaining 13 miles home and that was after I gave up on the Capital Beltway, exited and did a work around. Traffic was backed up in both directions without any sign of an accident or construction, so I suppose this is now the normal here. Won’t miss aggressive drivers. Some aggressive drivers I believe have brought their driving culture/habits with them when they immigrated here, others are those who absolutely believe that the continued existence of the United States depends to them getting around/cutting in front of you, driving far faster than necessary (or safe), or just hanging on to your rear bumper in an effort to get you to drive faster or get out of their way (that doesn’t work on me BTW).
- The politicization/polarization of nearly everything and anything here. Like aggressive drivers, there are many here who believe their political beliefs and moral values are the model for everyone else not knowing or understanding just how insular and cocooned life inside and just outside the Beltway is.
- As the saying goes, if one wants a friend in Washington, get a dog. People are just too busy, or perhaps forced to be busy with life here for good relationships.
So why the hell you may ask, am I taking this step? I’m asking myself that too. One is $$$$$ the way things have gone, without me working at something, we will be faced with a hard and unpleasant decision later this year. Once settled, I can explore my roots a bit as the town is by serendipity, the same town my maternal grandmother was born and raised in. Haven’t done my interpreting and this will be an opportunity to hone this part of my skill set.
And most of all as one of the lines from the movie, Castaway goes, ‘You never know what the tide will bring in next.’