My name is Jessica, and I’m kind of a loner. I relish my self-imposed, semi-exile. I’m what you might call guarded. I’m not anti-social (well, maybe just a little) I just prefer to keep some distance from the general public, most of the time. I hope that doesn’t sound rude.
I grew up in the suburbs of metropolitan Southern California, among the shadows of Mickey and Minnie, a web of asphalt and concrete, and a whole lot of people. In high school, I couldn’t wait to graduate. I wanted nothing more than to get out of the suburbs. I was heading to the city, by golly! I would live a cool, urban apartment with concrete floors. My days would be spent; sleeping in, going to school part-time, working for a few hours, and shopping often. My nights would consist of; going to chic night spots with all of the pretentious hipsters. We would dance, drink, aare nd relish in our utter coolness. Now, my twenties weren’t exactly like that. To date I have never resided in a place with concrete floors, darn.
I got married, and with matrimony came the nice home in the suburbs. A few years later I became a mom. I figured we would stay in our safe, affluent, mater-planned community. It was after all, an ideal place to be when you are raising young children. We had a lovely, spacious home, a fenced in yard, parks just a stones throw away, and all the retailers I would ever need within a 5 mile radius. I would do the weekly play dates with the other moms. We talked about the cute things our children said or did, advice given to us by our pediatricians, and the latest home improvement project we had begun. After an hour or two, we would bid one another a fond farewell, get into our SUVs and go home, and make dinner, reservations that is. It was all nice and pleasant enough, just shallow. I never felt a real connection with anyone or anything outside of my own four walls.
In December 2012, the horrific shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary occurred. That tragedy shook me to my core! It was not the first senseless, act of evil this nation of ours had to cope with, and unfortunately, it wasn’t to be our last. But those children were the same age and in the same grade as my son. And what’s more, my son was in his classroom when this happened. It made me feel very vulnerable and uncertain. My husband and I had been contemplating home schooling our son for some time. The research on the benefits was very compelling. I guess that tragedy was the proverbial “straw that broke the camel’s back” Just weeks later I took on the task of educating my son, and by the way it is one of the best decisions I’ve ever made!
Fast forward a year, we decided to leave the ‘burbs. This time for a rural, mountaintop. We went from an HOA to a dirt road. I can count my neighbors on one hand. Most of the time, 4-5 days pass before I speak with someone who doesn’t share my address. It is fantastic! The air is clean. The trees are abundant. And the peace and quiet are seldom disturbed. I am home.