It mattered, I had tried telling myself that it didn’t and I could move on. But the truth was, I couldn’t hide from the way I felt about that little town. Well, now I can’t hide my feelings. When I lived there, I was an expert at it. I suppose it’s time I be honest with myself.
Two years ago, my law firm told me there was a little town hundreds of miles away that needed help organizing their brand new law firm. And who was randomly chosen but myself. Now let me set the picture for you – I am no hick girl, and realizing that I had to go down to that hickville law firm made me sick to my stomach. I mean, that place is the epitome of nowhere. Where would I buy my shampoo? My salon brand shampoo cost 15 bucks a pop, and I highly doubted Waterville’s little General Store carried that.
But, as my boss reminded me, I was “on assignment” and there was no turning back. And so I turned away from my New York life and said a hesitant hello to my new hickville home.
I was right about the shampoo. The general story only sells two different kinds – men’s and women’s. And, when my last bottle ran out, I traversed to the nearest high end salon – 157 miles away – only for them to tell me they don’t carry it; it’s probably only a New York thing. New York was another day’s drive away, something I surely didn’t have time for, and I trudged back to my room in the Waterville Inn.
I hated that the grocery story only carried when brand of everything, and that there was only one movie theater in town that played one show each week, and that the number of cows in the nearby fields were double that of the town population.
Everything there is so tiny. Except people’s hearts – their hearts are huge. Mrs. Hugo, the lady who ran the inn, asked me on my first night there if she could make me casserole. She knew I was from out of town and told me I needed a “real home cooked meal” to “fatten” me up. Then the kids that always played in the park told me the neighborhood gossip. “Old Mr. Klondike was flirting with our second grade teacher again.” “You know that couple walking across the street, holding hands? Heard they’re fixin’ to get engaged.” They told me all about the who-likes-who of Waterville, as if we were all best friends having girl time.
Just so you know, I survived my assignment. (Spoiler alert, sorry.) Thing is, I’m on the road now, on the way back to my New York firm and New York apartment and New York shampoo. But the thought of going home to New York only brought stress and images of my chaotic life. The peace I had felt while living in Waterville, on the other hand, was nothing like I’d ever experienced.
I always thought life had a formula for success and personal peace. A fast pace and no time to think and continuous work would no doubt equal peace. But that formula I had tried in New York never equaled what I wanted it to.
I paused at a stop sign longer than normal in order to think. If I stayed in Waterville, I could still do what I love – practice law. And I can live with kind people, and hundreds of cows and off-brand shampoo.I made a U-turn and sped back to my lovely hickville home.