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Coming Home

I was crying before I even walked in the door yesterday.

Thanksgiving was absolutely wonderful.

Could I write two more contradictory sentences?

I had the loveliest time in Ohio with Greg and his family. It was the most relaxing four days I’ve had in a while (yes, even more relaxing than the Caribbean somehow). We ate constantly—his mother is a fantastic cook and seemingly always in the kitchen whipping something up. We watched a lot of movies (Ratatouille, Blood Diamond, and We Are Marshall) while sprawled across big, comfy couches. We played games (dominoes and Wii) and we took a nice walk in the woods.

It was really heavenly. I slept for long hours, got started on my Christmas cards, read several People magazines and looked at a thousand wonderful pictures of Greg and his family growing up. One afternoon Greg’s dad toured us all around Norwalk, walking through the impressive market his family used to run and pointing out the vast acres of land they used to farm. The town itself is incredibly quaint with its maple trees and church steeples, lovely old cemeteries and sweeping farmland.

And it was so much fun to be with such a big group of people. Going out to dinner we were a party of nine. And two of the siblings weren’t even there! On the last night, going to sleep by myself on a pullout couch in the computer room, I listened to bathroom and bedroom doors opening and shutting, various siblings calling out goodnight to each other. Then I heard one of Greg’s brothers knock on his parent’s bedroom door. "Mom? Dad?" he said, and tears instantly welled up in my eyes, spilling over to the pillow beneath my cheek.

I miss my parents so much.

And it was hard to come home to my life here in Chicago. I’m lonely these days. I truly didn’t realize what an incredible support network I had created in Los Angeles for myself. Following my father’s death four years ago I surrounded myself with a firm amount of amazing people. In my old life in LA, if I wasn’t in class or seeing clients, I had a dinner date every night. I rarely spent an evening alone and now I remember why.

I just feel like I’ve spent enough time alone in my life. I’m so ready to be part of something more than just myself. Going to sleep that last night in Ohio, goodnights being called out across the hallway and doors being pulled shut with soft clicks, I felt a sense of community and family and belonging…something that’s lacking for me right now in my city life here in Chicago.

And that’s why I was crying before I even walked in the door yesterday.


All of that said, I know that things will begin to get better soon. I’ve only been here for three months. I’m about to start work (more on that soon) and I’m beginning to make friends. It all takes time and the life I had in Los Angeles wasn’t something I built in a day.   

And I couldn’t be more grateful to have met such a wonderful man and to get to know his equally wonderful family.



  1. Things always get better. Kisses from Bilbao :)

    Comment by Rruk on November 26, 2007 at 3:44 pm

  2. Thanks for the well wishes, Rruk!

    Comment by Claire Bidwell Smith on November 28, 2007 at 8:36 am

  3. of course it will get better. you’re in a much better position in chicago than in la. but we do miss you here!

    Comment by pavan on November 28, 2007 at 11:32 pm

  4. Aw, Shawn. I miss you too.

    Comment by Claire Bidwell Smith on November 30, 2007 at 9:05 am

  5. Your support group from la is still out here, still *here* for you, rooting for you. I know it seems so far in those hard moments but you have a whole lot of friends who love you (even enough to stop lurking and post on your blog :)
    Hugs to you as always.

    Comment by Abby on December 2, 2007 at 8:48 pm

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