Friday, June 3, 2011

The old world.. Revisited: Meeting the family in Hot Springs

Memorial Day weekend I went to meet up with my family in Hot Springs Arkansas. They came from Effingham area, IL, I came from Dallas TX, Hot Springs is the semi-central point where we were able to find an un-booked cabin.

I hadn't seen my family since my brother's wedding last fall, and I flew in and out within about 48 hours then so I wouldn't miss any work. The day before I left, I had the sudden revelation that this might be somewhat stressful.. then I called my older sister who said "Yeah.. I'm afraid this is going to be really stressful. I'm bringing alcohol!" Then I talked to my mom who said "Honestly, this is probably going to be a big stressful deal." So on the way there, I was somewhat nervous.. and I always feel a little strange when I go to visit, almost like I'm revisiting a different world I used to live in.

But as it turned out, we had a pretty good time. The cabin was a little chaotic with all of the Hollinshead siblings minus one sister (who prob was having too much fun elsewhere) and three boys under the age of 3. It got me to thinking about how life was growing up, and how I was always surrounded by that kind of chaos and always, always people. I don't think I really realized until I was an adult and moved out how hard it is for me to continually be around a lot of people. I like people, ect., I just need to break it up with time spent alone, and really, I'm much better with individual conversations with people than group socializing. This would probably explain why I spent so much of my at-home years writing or drawing in a corner or sitting in the yard.

Seeing my family got me thinking about a lot of things, like how much I have or haven't changed, and how different my perspective has become since living elsewhere. I still don't think of it as "moving to the city and broadening my horizons".. I've convinced that country people know a fair deal about the city- they see it on tv. But people who have lived their lives always in or near a city really have no idea about life in the "middle of nowhere". Neither the media nor their need to go places generally forces them to encounter it.  They really don't "get" driving an hour to get to a town they wouldn't shake a stick at to buy used video games or the amount of planning that goes into seeing a concert when its a two hour drive each way and you're underage.

(I was once in a bar, trying to explain life in Effingham co to a guy who had never, apparently, spent any time out of the city. He said, disdainfully, "But what would you DO there, if you were there right now, what would you do for fun? Hang around some cornfield?" I looked at him, sitting in a major metropolitan area, on the same barstool he'd been on since five oclock and every night before that week. "Nah.." I said as I walked off. "You'd probably just be sitting on your ass in a bar.")

At any rate, most of the things I got to thinking about were too heavy for this blog, right now, this time of night. But the two notable concepts that can be mentioned briefly are this: a) The realization that I, myself, not my circumstances, haven't really changed that much. I'm basically the same, but being away, I suppose I've got to know myself and my natural inclinations better, and instead of wondering why I don't fit right in a certain "hole" so to speak, I've built my situation around me to suit myself. And b) for the changes I, and Thom, have gone through.. we've become more like each other than either of us is like our family anymore.

Each of those topics probably really deserves a blog of its own, but I am not ready to publicly delve into it, so for now, enjoy my sunburn, some photos, a cleavage eye view of the world, and talk about go carts and video games.