I was completely transported last night to a very different place in space and time by listening to a song. A whole series of them, actually. The extraordinarily talented Missy Higgins has just released a new album, so I was listening to a big Missy Higgins playlist on my computer while web-surfing mindlessly. And all of the sudden it was as though I was driving my much-adored Kia Spectra5 west along interstate 66 heading towards US 29, to go south to Charlottesville, VA. ( I no longer have the car, of course, since I moved to England!) Last night, as I write this now, and when I used to drive that route, listening to Missy found me with tears streaming down my face. I was not very happy at the time of that flashback (probably the first half of 2006); aside from the much-adored car, my life was a bit of a mess. Then again, it’s not as though I’m perfectly happy right now. I almost can’t recall being so overwhelmed with profound sadness as I was last night when I flashed back to listening to Missy Higgins in my car in northern Virginia. I’m not shy about my homesickness when it arises, but this was deeper, this was a questioning of my priorities. I came over here, all alone, for a job. I left behind people that I love and who love me. Was that a really foolish move? When I was in Virginia I felt very alone, although I had people only a few hours away and I really didn’t mind the drive. That was nothing compared to the loneliness of being in England with everyone I love thousands of miles away. Why have I allowed my life to be about my career? Why did that seem so important for so long?
I’ve recently re-connected with a few old high school friends (via Facebook, of all things!) and they’re all in Minnesota. I used to make fun of people who ended up staying in Minnesota, but maybe more than anything, this experience of living in England has made me question myself and my priorities even more–to the extent that I wonder if I’m not the one people should be making fun of. “Stupid girl, she thought jobs and travels and adventures were more important than people, than friends, than loved ones.” Who’s laughing now?