Also? Arizona is HOT

Traveling for work always sounds a bit more glamorous than it truly is. This is the last national meeting I will have to attend (I hope). Because it is the last national meeting I will have to attend (I hope), I am able to ignore the shoe talk, the brand namedropping, the comments about someone’s husband being too good-looking for her... I don’t care that my hard work isn’t being acknowledged, that I am reduced to being a note-taker and snack-coordinator most of the time, that the Events Planner I’m supposed to be helping is once again playing the martyr. And this not-worrying thing? Is liberating.

I’m in Scottsdale (near Phoenix) at a gigantic resort (so gigantic, in fact, that I’ve gotten lost on the property about three times now- very professional, Q!). Yesterday morning I exited the hotel around 6 o’clock and began to walk/jog a path parallel to the mountains. I passed a lizard as big as a kitten, and several well-fed rabbits that weren’t very scared of my presence (or of the huffing and puffing). It was full sun at 6 in the morning, the breeze was crisp, the temperature was mild, and I realized a few things: 1) 6 a.m. is always too early to be awake no matter which time zone you’re in 2) boy do I hate running and 3) the itch to change my scenery has come back with a vengeance.

I ran on, passing the occasional retiree with his dog (random thought 1: I could run with Boomba every morning like this, the other dogs too, and huh, isn’t this kind of what I imagined living in New Mexico would be like?) (random thought 2: an imagined life is ALWAYS far different from the reality, isn't it?), keeping my gaze on the mountains to my left (random thought 3: boy do I miss walking out the door and seeing the foothills), thinking of the missed sunrise that morning (random thought 4: nothing compares to a Southwest sunrise/sunset), and reveling in how un-humid, un-heavy, un-TEXAS my existence felt at the moment. I remembered waking up on Sunday mornings and gearing up to hike the foothills. I recalled the 5 minute motorcycle commute to the office. I took a deep breath and grew nostalgic for the fresh mountain air we spent a year and a half taking for granted. The brown backdrop, the cacti, the sunshine… I indulged in the fantasy, as I pretended to be a Serious Jogger, of packing up our things and driving into the desert sunset to live happily ever after in Phoenix, Arizona.

But then I remembered DYING to be near a body of water when we lived in New Mexico, and how the Gulf is currently just a few hours’ drive from Dallas. I thought of the friends I’ve finally acquired, 9 years and three major moves out of college. And I realized how much I love the weight of a humid Texas morning, especially in the summer, when the air is heavy with the smell of grass and bugs and summer camp. It feels solid, substantial, the way Home should feel, I think.

I arrived back at the hotel sweaty, winded and proud of myself for the effort. Felt a little homesick, felt a little wistful for the move we won’t be making. Sure, the itch may be scratched... eventually, but meanwhile I’m content with the rose-colored Someday daydream of making another unknown city Home. For now, I’m quite happy to be heading back to the one we already have.

Tomorrow will be the last day of the last national meeting I will have to attend (I hope). Someone pop the damn champagne already.

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