I’ve never really known where home was. We moved so much when I was growing up, I never had a home base or a home town. The sports teams I follow are from PIttsburgh. My best friends from my childhood are from Alabama. My high school diploma is from Ohio, and I spent the last four years living in Boston.
When I say I’m “going home” for the week, what I really mean is “I’m going to where my parents live.” Right now, that is Delaware. I lived here for a couple months after graduating last year, but I don’t have any friends here. I have no old hang-outs to visit, and I basically hang out with my parents and work-out at the JCC when I come here. It’s not home, except for the idea that home is where my parents live.
When I told people I was coming to Delaware this week, I said I was going home for the week, but being here and in Pittsburgh at a family reunion for the weekend, I realized, I’m not at home. I love my parents more than anything, and emotionally, yes, whenever I am in their house, I will feel some sense of home, but I had a surprising realization last night.
When I fly back to LA on Wednesday, I’ll be going home. I’ll be going to the place I feel like I truly belong at this point in my life. I’ll be going to the little home I’ve created with my best friends in our apartment. I’ll be going to the place where I can grab dinner and a movie with my sister at a moments notice. I’ll be going to the place I can drive around without thinking. I’ll be going to the place I feel comfortable and happy and settled. I’ll be going to the place I can’t imagine moving from any time soon, which is exactly the opposite of how I thought I would ever feel about Los Angeles.
The first time I lived there, I thought it was pretentious and loud and too spread out and too sunny. (Odd, I know.) Now, I’ve embraced and conquered (at times) the traffic. I’ve made amazing friends who always keep me busy when I want to be. I’ve found a job I’m (almost) really good at and that I feel fulfilled in. I’ve learned to love the constant sunny and 70 degree weather. I’ve found an apartment that feels cozy and comfortable and (almost) decorated, and I’ve found (for now) a guy who indulges me in seeing Toy Story 3, takes me to Dodgers games, enjoys hanging out and doing nothing but watching movies and eating pizza, and who doesn’t make me feel nervous or self-conscious or crazy about anything I do, say, or feel.
I’ve had a great weekend with my family, revisiting my favorite childhood theme park, Kennywood, hanging out at a waterpark with my cousins, and dancing to a super local Pittsburgh band at a hotel bar with all my aunts and uncles, but I am really excited to go home.