I've been struggling to put a lot of things into words lately. Most of my writing has been for job applications, and I think I'm struggling with how to apply for jobs that will take me out Petersburg.
My relationship with Petersburg, Alaska has always been a complicated one. In high school being surrounded by mountains made me feel claustrophobic. When I got to the Palouse and saw the endless rolling green hills I was comforted - living things! Open space! - and immediately homesick for the mountains I had grown to loathe. Seattle's mountains were beautiful, but too far away. New England's are easily accessible, but crowded.
I am a mountain snob, apparently. Who knew there was such a thing?
I believe having a sense of place is important. That where you choose to make roots says a lot about who you are as a person, as does where you grew up. Not that everything is defined by these characteristics. People have to live places they don't like for any number of reasons, or shrug off the vestiges of their past at the earliest opportunity. But those decisions in any direction still say a lot about who we are.
I'm in the process of deciding that Petersburg is not where I need to be. Love is bringing me back to Vermont/New Hampshire. Love for a person, and love of place. I love the culture of Vermont (New Hampshire, we'll talk about you some other time.) I love the opportunities, specifically with local food issues, rural issues and social justice. I'm looking forward to making that step up and out of this place.
As much as I'm looking forward to going someplace new, likely for an extended chapter of my life, there is one thing I know.
I will always look forward to coming back.