I drove to DeKalb yesterday afternoon to meet my friend, Jason, for lunch at Portillo’s. I know I’ve posted about Jason before, like here…and here. We’ve been friends ever since that long day of orientation at our new jobs. Since I’ve moved, I really miss my friends (Jason, Megan, and Sheryl). Everyone is so busy with family and careers, and the physical distance between us makes it even more difficult to see each other. We rely on e-mail and phone calls. So this past July, I added on an extra day of vacation when I went to see the neurologist, and I met Jason for lunch at one of our old “lunch spots.” It was such a blast, that we made plans to see each other again. This time, we met in DeKalb at Portillo’s – um, that would be another one of our old lunch spots (yes, we went out to lunch A LOT when we worked together!).

The conversation was fantastic (as usual), the food was great (you can’t beat a true Chicago-style hotdog!), and it was nice to get out of the house and do something for myself for a change. We had lunch, talked for a long time, and then I gave him a quick tour of the NIU campus. On a whim we decided to find my thesis in the library. Actually, I said it as a joke, but Jason seemed like we was truly curious.

Time passed a bit too quickly, and it was time for me to head back home. We stopped in Portillo’s once more to buy some chocolate cake and then said our goodbyes. It was cold and damp and the drive home seemed longer than the drive in. I was tired and the grey sky and light rain was only making it worse. I started thinking about how much I miss my “old life.” This isn’t to say that I regret marrying Patrick, because honestly, I can’t imagine anyone else being a better match for me. But I do miss my family and my friends and my “history.” I spent 30 years living there, and everywhere I go is a reminder from my past – the park I played at as a kid, places I went with friends in high school, the mall where I had my first job when I was 16, the bookstore where I met a boyfriend that I thought was my soulmate, and the driveway of my parents’ house where he cried when he broke up with me.

This has turned into a bit of a bummer of a post, but the combination of being with Jason and being on that campus just brought to me a wave of nostalgia – combining different parts of my past all in one day.

On the bright side, Jason and I agreed that we need to try to get together every couple of months. I’m glad because I really do miss him.