One outcome from the Great Family Road Trip was finding out how many of my friends also dream about where they used to live. I thought I was the only one.
As a psychologist, I'm sure sharing my dreams on the interwebs is a stupid idea.
I frequently dream of moving back to NYC, Los Angeles, and to NC. I *loved* living in Manhattan. I had a small apartment in Greenwich Village with a raised loft for the bedroom, a separate kitchen, and an entire wall and ceiling of windows that let me see the Empire State Building. I also loved the density and energy of living in The City. If I could, I would live there now and for the rest of my life.
My dreams of going back to NYC include finding my old neighborhood, finding a place with the killer deal like I had before, finding one with secret rooms big enough for the whole family, and generally the joy of living there and the sadness that I no longer do.
When I dream of going back to Los Angeles and California, I dream of driving. I have two dreams of living in Claremont (where I went to grad school): 1) it is beautiful and I can go hiking in the mountains; or 2) I am not in the right place. Claremont has CHANGED since I was there. There is a new village with lots of new stores and restaurants. After seeing that part of Claremont, I had nightmares of being lost in my former hometown. I don't like those dreams. When we passed through a few weeks ago, I didn't take the family through the new village. Honestly, I didn't want to fuel my nightmares.
The other dreams of living in California involve driving and driving and driving around trying to find a bargain of a place to live that is close to both a highway and the beach or a mountain. In my dreams, I'm in a lot of traffic and I can never find the Right House. In all honesty, that sounds like the reality of living in LA.
Finally, I have to be honest with you. Although I LOVE my house in Charlotte, when I dream of moving back to NC, 99% of the time I'm moving back to my parents' home and I have to go back to school to 1) finish my PhD; 2) get another PhD; or 3) finish my undergraduate degree. Ugh. Ugh, ugh, and ugh.
I've had these dreams so many times I know the pattern. Usually I have these dreams when I feel behind at work, which as a professor is ALL THE TIME. Also, at some point in the dream when I'm behind in a class or behind on my dissertation, I think to myself: I had a tenure track job. Why did I leave it. WAIT! I had TENURE!! Why did I leave?! Why am I still in school WHEN I HAVE TENURE!?
And then I wake up.
First, there's the ugh of remembering the dream as I wake up. And then there's the relief that I still have my husband, my family, our house, our dog, our cats, our gerbils, our chickens, our new bunnies, my friends, my job, and Charlotte.
As crazy as life is here, I prefer it to the dreams. Unless I could move all of this to New York City. And then I would in a heartbeat.