Friday, March 15, 2013

My Boots

It is not until you get away from the New York City metro area that you realize that no matter how simply you try to live your life, stress is overwhelming.  70 hour work weeks are the norm.  Trains break down.  Just last week the train that my mother and husband were traveling was involved in a fatality on the tracks.  An accident, not a suicide.  That is stressful.  The girls are involved in many activities and we are always running here and there.  There is always talk within our family and in the basketball stands of who is going where for high school, what colleges children are applying to and what scholarships have been applied for.  There is stress in the competitive environment of education, whether you are homeschooled or not.  In some ways I think homeschooled children have additional stress because they may sense pressure to keep up with or exceed the accolades that traditionally schooled children experience.  I did not think I was under much stress but now that I am away from it all I realize that I was, in fact, under a great deal of stress.  

Country living has a way of taking that stress away, even if it is only for a week.  Not everyone is caught up in the pace of living that we experience.  Every time I visit Tennessee it catches me off guard by how friendly people are.  In the North East there is a reserved coolness to people.  We are friendly.  I think with all the North East has experienced over the past few years, we have learned to help one another, share ourselves and extend courtesies.  But here it is different somehow.  It feels more genuine, more sincere.  

It makes me wonder what our family’s life would be like in a state that shares our values and philosophies on moral issues as well as governmental and societal ones.  There are times I feel suffocated in Connecticut where I am always in the minority on issues like the 2nd Amendment, Right to Life, and the preservation of the definition of marriage.  At times it is exhausting to feel like you are always fighting to hold true to what you believe when your community is moving in a vastly different direction.

So I dream of Tennessee sometimes.  It may be that the grass is just greener here.  But when I first arrived I took this picture on the dock and Instagramed “my boots feel more comfortable in TN.”.  It was a double entendre.  Cowboy boots go with anything from jeans to a dress in Tennessee... but I also feel more comfortable in my boots, in Tennessee.



Frogcreek said...

I think you should feel comfortable in your boots everywhere. Be happy and in peace with everything you do and believe, because those beliefs are only true to you. Everybody has different beliefs for different reasons, and nobody's are facts. They just work for them. You are always going to be a minority in some part of your life somewhere. It just feels good because you are some where different, I think. If you settled in there, you may have more people on your side for some things, but something negative would come up, because there is no perfect place. The only place you can truly feel safe and perfect is in your own heart.
But Tennessee is pretty spectacular and even though I would be a minority there, I would totally live there!

Karen said...

I don't know how your life is exactly but I rarely feel 'stressed and pressured'. Keilee and I have talked about this so often. We lead a calm, relaxed life most of the time. As for me, I would love to see you and your family move to Tennessee. Cause we could see you! Often! I have had friends over the years come to Alabama and all of them, every single one, mentions how much friendlier people are here. That is one of the first things I noticed in Cali. No one looked at each other when they passed on the streets or in the stores. Tennessee is a beautiful state.

Jessica said...

Karen, I don't mean to complain. Both Greg and my Mother have mentioned to me lately that the stress of life is getting to me but I did not see it until I stepped away from my day to day life. I can't control that Greg works in a stressful place, has a stressful commute and we don't get to spend as much family time as I would like. I can however, make some changes in my day to day routines that are for the benefit of the four of us. Nothing major, just intentional.

If it did not mean leaving my entire family, I would pack us up and move to TN in a heartbeat. People here don't really look at each other here either. They never say hello as you pass by or ask how you are. Here I have to ready myself to go in stores like Target, Walmart and the larger grocery stores because I find it too much. Silly me forgot a prescription at home and my doctor called it in to a Walmart near my in-laws. It was super easy and the woman was very pleasant. I walked out and realized that what I do at home to get through my day to day life is simply not necessary there. It is much better on your soul. Each time I go to TN, I end up resenting the little things that I don't like about CT a bit more.

Anonymous said...

Beautiful pictures and a great post...about something that I'm not sure I've thought much about. Maybe we are just accustomed to a slower, less stressful pace here where we live, but I definitely don't want to take it for granted! I'm glad you had a chance to find rest and peace in TN. And I'm with Karen- if you moved, you'd just be that much closer:) In fact, we'd be next state neighbors!

Jessica said...

How cool would that be!! TN opened my eyes a bit to how I want to be. Even on our way home we stopped for sandwiches in VA and we got them to go. It took soooo long. I was getting impatient and Greg had to remind me to breathe and not worry. Losing 30 minutes was not a big deal. I need to tie a string around my finger as a visual reminder to slow down and not get caught up in the pace of life in a city.

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