Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Am I coming home...or leaving it?

I wrote this blog while flying home for the Holidays:

I am currently on my flight home.  It’s 2:15 in the morning in Baltimore.  It’s been a long day.  But I’m so close.
This has obviously been my first time coming home since I started living in Baltimore.  I wonder; has anything changed?  Have I changed?  Have my friends changed?  I’m confident that the answer is yes, so the real question should be, what is going to be different?
I know that my friends will be expecting me to go back to living in the same way that I did before I left.  This cannot happen unfortunately.  Actually, I’m not even sure if I would want it to happen.  I have seen too much, I have experienced too much in the past four months to pretend that I have not changed as a person.
When asked if I think I have changed I know what my answer will be.  It’s the only answer I ever give when I’m asked that question.  I answer, “I hope so.”  
One of my favorite things to look back at is how I was just a year before and to examine the ways that I’ve changed, that I’ve grown.  It is remarkable to think that every time I have done this I realize that I have changed profoundly and that the person I am now is the best person I have been.  Yet I know there is still much learning and growing to do.  It’s a never ending journey, and it’s affecting me profoundly.
So how have I changed?  I would say I’m more aware.  I always spoke about the atrocities of the world but I never experienced them first hand, or really had a vested interest in them.  I would complain about homelessness, and war, and all the other issues facing our world, but I wasn’t do anything about it.  I can finally say that now I am.  I am also more committed to the idea of living simply, as I wrote in my last entry, even though there is tremendous room for growth.  I would also like to think I have become a more open person, a more loving person, a more patient person, but I know I also need to work on my dedication to my community, and to strive to grow in my spirituality.
But will I maintain these changes when I spend this week at home?  Again, I hope so.
I’m not sure how I feel about this idea of home.  One of my favorite quotes from the movie Garden State is when Zach Braff says he no longer has this sense of home, a place where he truly feels comfortable, like the place he grew up. Instead he just has a place where he can store his stuff and return to a couple times per year.
I’ve come to the realization that this statement accurately reflects my concept of home.  In that I don’t really feel I have one.  Of course I have my mom’s place, where I am always welcome and love being with her, but things have changed in recent years.  This is no surprise.
I haven’t felt at home in Salem since my father passed, it is always a struggle for me to return.  I no longer have the house I grew up in, my own room, decorated exactly how I left it.  Instead I have a storage unit, holding onto all my childhood memories.
But how do I get this feeling of home back?  It’s something that’s been lacking for so long that it seems like I’ll never have it again.  I loved all the living situations I was in during college, and I love my community in Baltimore, but I don’t think anyone I lived with would describe them as homes.  We just have a place to stay for a year while we’re busing doing other things.
Home can be in other things though, and I feel like I have pieces of that throughout different areas of my life.  Returning to Oregon after a crazy four months away has really helped me to see how dependent I was on my family and friends before leaving and how much I’ve missed the conversations, the laughter, the hugs.
So maybe I won’t have a home in the near future.  I think I’m ok with that.  I am going to bring my idea of home back to Baltimore with me and use it in my everyday interactions with people.  How I live my life for the next eight months through the ideas and values I was raised on, will help me bring myself closer to my roommates, the other JVs, my clients, my coworkers.  And maybe, just maybe, I can once again have the sense of being home.

No comments:

Post a Comment