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.