Monday, February 20, 2017

Ode to staying in touch

As I once again start gearing up to transition jobs, I’ve been thinking a lot about the transient life I’ve been leading. Every few months I meet new people and we form a new community complete with our own inside jokes and memories. My current job is slightly different. I did want to work here for the community – I live and work with the same group of awesome ladies, and there’s a networks of four huts total, each with a few people who I have come to know over the past couple of months. I haven’t forged deep relationships with the other hut people because I just rarely see them, but we share an interesting job and there are always stories to share.
The real reason I took this job to be back in Maine, and bide my time here while I figured out what would come next. After I ended my life-changing experience of living communally with 28 others at Bear Brook, I wanted some time to recharge. I wanted a job that was interesting but not mentally taxing. I wanted to have time to be in touch with my network of friends spread all across the country. Time to write postcards (one per day, at least, and I’ve stuck to that!) and even time to write lengthy and important letters in this cozy mountain hut that I currently call home. But most importantly, I wanted to be close to people I was already close with. I was reminded of this last week when I popped by Bar Harbor for a quick 20 hour visit. I stayed at my friend Eloise’s house, and we stayed up catching up and chatting about all kinds of things, including how much we cherish time spent actually visiting people. I do it all—I call, text, snail mail, email, facebook stalk, snapchat… but really nothing compares to visiting someone in person. To get a chance to see their room and their collection of trinkets, to hug them, to see their expressions when they tell you a story, to cook with them (or in the case of most of my recent friend visits, to eat the delicious food they cook for you), to bring them gifts from your travels or current home, to go on a new adventure together.  
I feel lucky and stretched thin at the same time, because as I bounce from job to job and land in various wonderful communities, I feel more and more desperate to keep in touch. I’m grateful for this time in Maine that I’ve used to see most everyone I know here, mostly from college. Even if we just spent an hour together, it was still time in-person. I hadn’t quite realized until I moved back to New England that I had a really amazing community here. I can drive to most any part of the state (well, coastal areas let’s be real) and find an old friend to have coffee with. That’s pretty neat, and something that takes a while to build. When I move Westward to start my new job in Idaho, I’ll be missing these Northern friends more than I think I can realize at this point. I didn’t mean to come back to New England at all, but I wouldn’t trade my 10 months in New Hampshire (which led to my current winter in Maine) for the world. This area draws people back, and sometimes they just never leave. I have always said that I didn’t want to be drawn back to Maine, that I liked living here for college but I’m outta here and on to new faces and places. But jeez, I’m just feeling really glad that I ignored Past Annie and let New England draw me back for another round.

But, I have a lot more places I want to see, so I’m making the decision to cut the cord of familiarity and that rugged rocky Maine beauty and head out to find my next community. I’ll be once again living communally at a remote base and on the trail with a trail crew corps in the Salmon-Challis National Forest in Idaho.  The lure of my next chapter in the great West makes it difficult to feel present here in Maine, but I’m going to try. And you can bet that for my last month here, for my trip down to DC, my measly day in DC and on my road trip to Idaho in April I’ll be stopping by to see as many friends as humanly possible!

No comments:

Post a Comment