Friday, 3 May 2013

Home is _______________.

Lin Yutang said “No one realizes how beautiful it is to travel until he comes home and rests his head on his old, familiar pillow”.  I think this sentiment is fairly common- as cool as it is to see new places, traveling can really help you appreciate the aspects of your every day life that seemed un-extraordinary prior to your departure.   Lately, I’ve been finding it increasingly difficult to pinpoint where exactly I consider home.  When Matt picked me up from “Bahsten”, I told him how I was surprised that hearing the accent took some readjusting and caused me to furrow my brow the way I used to do three years ago when figuring out how to decode the southern drawl.  My friend laughed and said, “you have no home”.  I replied and said “maybe so.  Or maybe I’ve got many homes”.  He was semi-skeptical and perhaps for good reason… maybe home, by definition, should be a singular place.  And for me, to pick just one- well I barely know where to begin.  

I was born in raised in Farmington, CT and my parents still live in the house I was raised in.  So that seems like a good candidate and there’s something to be said for being where your family is.  But lately, flying in for Thanksgiving and Easter, my sister hasn’t been there, my brother comes in from New York and it seems more like a highly recommended rest stop on the race track of life- re-fueling, re-aligning but kinda cold and gray and not somewhere I’d really want to hang out for an extensive period of time, although I still have a bunch of friends that I enjoy.  I guess I just don't feel much of a connection to the physical place.  Especially when my parents discuss their post retirement plans of trading in the house for the trailer and camping in the backyards of the kids’ houses, probably settling in the South somewhere.  
Rhode Island honestly may be a better candidate.  Between getting my undergraduate degree at Providence College and spending four summers at Roger Williams University in Bristol, RI working at “nerd camp”, I’ve spend far more time in Rhode Island than Connecticut since my high school graduation.  Coming of age in Rhode Island formed me into the person I am today- it’s where I made some of my most significant friendships, fell in love and really learned to stand on my own two feet.  But no one is there anymore- the college crowded dispersed to Boston, New Haven, New York and the summer gang, were visitors to begin with.  So Rhode Island’s knocked out of the competition.
And then there’s Raleigh, where I live and go to school now.  If location, climate and amenities were everything, the Triangle would single handedly take the cake.  Moving to Raleigh felt like finding my favorite pair of blue jeans- I love the weather, love the Greenways, love the favorite places I’ve found over the years (my causal church where you sit on folding chairs and the community and the homily are the focus of the service as it should be, free Sunday yoga crowd, Tuesday meditation crowd, drinking wine  at Sip, seeing the same faces at the State pool) and the new things and hidden gems that I continue to discover.  The people I've been are fun but the city is filled with “mutts” from all over and carpetbaggers and most people here don’t really know me or where I came from and the ones that I start to get close tend to disappear.  So although I love living here, there’s not enough history in this place for me to call it home either.  And when I was just in Boston stupidly without a jacket (because when I left Raleigh it was 80 and gorgeous and the last thing I expected was for it to be 40 and freezing rain in a place a short flight away), I had people who loaned me boots, sweaters, jackets and scarves to make sure I was snuggly.  When I was in Brazil, I gained a second set of parents with Reva and her husband, who treated as one of their own, even extending an open invitation for my parents to visit whenever.  And of course the people in India who held me when I was puking and gross even though I only knew them a couple weeks.  I doubt I could expect the same in Raleigh (so much for southern hospitality!).
So, I guess I am homeless (or too picky) and maybe that’s why I’m so restless.  The last few weeks I spent here were really nice and part of me kinda wants to stay here this summer and start growing some roots. 
Having a pet (even if it is “just” a hedgehog), having a roommate who is going through major surgery that I want to be around for (if any of you communicate with higher beings and don’t mind adding her to your prayer list, I’d really appreciate it.  She’s so strong and she’s a rockstar so I’m sure she’ll make it through with flying colors, but it can’t hurt) and realizing that some of my Raleigh friends aren’t going to be here when I come back (good luck in Australia, Eliot!  I’ll update you on how California goes) makes it harder to leave for the summer than it has been in the past.  But I know if I don’t go now, I won’t die satisfied.  So I’ll leave you with what has become somewhat of my theme song of late.  Sorry this post is so long… I promise I won’t be this sentimental all the time!

“Leaves are falling all around, It's time I was on my way.
Thanks to you, I'm much obliged for such a pleasant stay.
But now it's time for me to go. The autumn moon lights my way.
For now I smell the rain, and with it pain, and it's headed my way.
Sometimes I grow so tired, but I know I've got one thing I got to do...

Ramble on, And now's the time, the time is now, to sing my song.
I'm goin' 'round the world, I got to find my girl, on my way.
I've been this way ten years to the day, ramble on,
Gotta find the queen of all my dreams.

Got no time to for spreadin' roots, The time has come to be gone.
And to' our health we drank a thousand times, it's time to ramble on.”