There’s something about Eugene that, in the words of Pink Floyd, makes you comfortably numb. Something that weighs on you like a massive down comforter, immobilizing you yet leaving you completely unwilling to come out from under it. It makes complaints a pastime rather than a problem, and even makes you quote Pink Floyd. The label “bedroom community” is extremely appropriate, since nearly everyone looks like they just got out of bed, stopping only to throw a fleece jacket over their pajamas. The city is, in a word, comfortable.
Even after only a week of being back in town, two days of which were largely focused on recovering from some nasty food poisoning, I found I’d slipped right back into that feeling, and found it hard to leave. Harder, even, than the last time I left. When I moved, everything was new and changing; I was finally coming down from the week of packing madness, I had little idea what I was really in for, and I was resolved to make it work. The place was just a big question mark, or at least a big gray area. This time, I knew exactly what I was coming back to, and nothing was weighing on me other than my thoughts.
As I took off from Eugene airport, I realized two things; I could have been perfectly comfortable staying in Eugene and living as I had been, and that it would’ve been a bad idea. Ultimately, I could’ve spent the rest of my life in Eugene without even thinking about it; once you settle into that groove, it’s incredibly hard to get out of it. But even if I’d just sat back and put my life on autopilot, it would’ve always lingered that I hadn’t done enough. Really, leaving was inevitable. It was just a matter of how far I went.
Days like today, when the physical and metaphorical storms roll in and it all starts raining down at once, and I have barely anything or anyone familiar and comfortable to fall back on, I miss those things and those people all the more. But I still know I did the right thing.