Sunday, March 7, 2010

"Find Something That's Real And Make It Your Own" (36/90)

It’s almost 11 a.m. on Saturday and I’m sitting at home in Tampa.

My mom is in the kitchen making a big breakfast. She’s spoiling me on my first morning back. If I’m telling the whole truth, I must admit that she’ll spoil me for the entirety of my trip. She’ll cook meals too big for just the both of us, take me shopping and wake me and tell me to get in my bed when I fall asleep on the couch.

 I’ll have to convince her to relax, and remind her that this is home.

 It’s hard for me to believe that I left this place where I sleep in my queen sized bed and wake to the warmth of the sunshine on my face, the birds chirping and the sound of a gentle breeze dancing through the moss hanging from the trees outside. And I wonder if there are things about it that I am not remembering. Things that made it easier for me to leave.

And I know that there are, although I’d rather not spoil the joy of this moment by searching my heart for traces of those things. The pains that pulled me back to my first home.

I remember my first morning back in Indiana. It was a warm July day in 2008.

The morning my Dad and I sat with my Mom at Cracker Barrel. And I, all of the sudden, was feeling sick. I didn’t get a wink of sleep the night before, as I was busy packing my belongings into boxes. I threw away many things that I shouldn’t have in my haste and I have been glad to find that my Mom kept many of the things that I left behind.

I remember my parents being worried that day. I could see it in their eyes as they sat on the other side of table. They couldn’t quite figure me out as I sat their sick, but emotionless.

It was a quick decision, I thought for only a few weeks, applied to Ball State in March, was accepted and moved by July. It didn’t really require much thought. I knew what I was after.

I was running.

 I remember walking through the door after the grueling overnight drive with my Dad in my 2-door Cobalt with my belongings filling every inch of the back seat and trunk.

After a fever wiped me out for the duration of the trip, I drove us the last stretch home, from somewhere in Kentucky to the driveway. I remember being exhausted but excited for the newness before me.

The life that unfolded over the past two years was not the life that I imagined. Not the life I’d hoped for when I was longing for some sense of familiarity. It took a long time for me to settle in. from the little things like the bed that felt nothing like mine, to the much bigger things like the hauntingly lonely weekends.  

 Nevertheless, it became mine.

I’m not even two full days into a nine-day trip and I am sickened by the thought of going home. I love my home. Both of them, but for entirely different reasons.

One holds the memories of my childhood, the other the memories of my teen life and the beginnings of my young adulthood. Mom is in one, Dad in the other.
The city keeps me charged, inspired and sassy while the country makes me feel comfortable and stable. All of these things are necessary in my life, I have found.

It seems that while I am anxious about finding yet another home, one that requires less choosing, there is choosing still to be done. What I want is a fusion of these lives.

I don’t know where to find that. Or if it exists. And I know that there is only danger and disappointment in trying to recreate the past. The choice then becomes one between what I want and what I need.

And I think what I need is something entirely new. 


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