Tuesday, August 25, 2009

You Can't Go Home Again

They say you can't go home again. But my question is--why would you even want to?

Now, I don't meant home as in my parents' house. That's always a nice place to visit (though I wouldn't want to live with them!). I am talking about home--the place where you grew up or the place that was your stable place. Some people don't have that home; I do. I grew up in the same house in the same town and lived there my entire life before college.

Part of me has kind of cursed that idea of home. It's been hard. Having such a stable place has made it hard to move other places; no place else seems quite the same. In my life, I have gotten homesick to varying degrees. When my anxiety gets at it's worst, I want to be "home"--closer to my family, closer to that which is familiar--so badly that I feel like I'd do anything to get there.

However, recently, I am coming to the realization that I don't want to go home. I miss my family; I do wish I could live closer to them, but the actual location offers very little for me. The people that were once my friends and acquaintances--the people that once made up my life--seem so different from me, now. We have very little, if anything in common.

I try not to think of myself as evolved or enlightened more than others, but I would lie if I didn't recognize that my education and life experiences have greatly altered how I view the world. I have seen places beyond that town of 3,500 and have met people and heard their stories. I am not scared of difference or change, but I'm not sure I can say the same for the people who have stayed there. I hear fears of threatened freedom and uninformed disapproval for political administrations and ideologies that fails to extend beyond "I don't like____."

I have changed a lot since I left "home." I am somewhat ashamed of how narrow-minded and uninformed I once was and how freely I managed to express my opinions in spite of that. Yet, "home" doesn't seem to have changed at all. It seems static, and the people seem content with tunnel vision that blocks out the rest of the world.

Coming to these realizations has made me feel kind of guilty, but it has also made me feel free. As I said, I want to be closer to my family. I want my children to be regularly involved with their grandparents. However, when I am reminded about what "home" is really like, I have no desire to go back, and to give myself permission to recognize that is oddly liberating.

I'm going through a period in my life right now where, with the freedom of these realizations, I am experiencing the strong desire to see what is next. Where is next? The possibilities are kind of exciting, even if they are a little scary. My heart is experiencing wanderlust. I know that there is more beyond this place that has become my new "home," and I have the impulse to explore!

So, they are right--you can't go home again. But even if you could, why would you even want to?

1 comment:

  1. "I try not to think of myself as evolved. . . " Good sentence - well said and I apprecite your honesty. It reminded me when my Mom told me I had become to much 'head' in my faith and not enough 'heart.' She saw this as a negative and I took it as a compliment. Not that I'm suggesting faith should be all of one or the other either.