“With people like us, our home is where we are not.” -F. Scott Fitzgerald
“One always begins to forgive a place once it’s left behind.” -Charles Dickens
Why have we not yet invented a way to be in two places at once? Why can’t I have the security of my steady job where I learn and excel and everybody knows my name and I can show up and clock out whenever I please, and the listless adventure of spending a summer—my last, before this whole “real world” thing takes over my life—in Tampa with my dad (who’s already missed out on more than half of my life,) and my best friend, all at the same time?
I’ve always been a homebody. Friends want to hang out? Sure, come to my place! Long day at school or work or stuck in traffic? I just want my kitchen, my shower, my bed: Mine. Home has never been a mere convenience to me, but a highly valued possession. Simultaneously—and however ironically—I’ve never hesitated to leave home for the sake of adventure, spontaneity, escape.
So doesn’t it make all the sense in the world to pack up my life and move south for the summer, taking advantage of my last opportunity to spend time with my dad and (possibly) the last time I’ll live with my best friend for any extended period of time? Hint: That was rhetorical. The undisclosed answer is yes; absolutely; without a doubt; what are you waiting for?; get the heck out of here.
I’m not afraid to leave home—in a sense I’m actually going home, leaving one home for another. There is something, though, that I can’t deny, can’t smother into the back of my mind with happier thoughts: I’m scared to death of missing something. Buffalo is—and always has been, and will be—Home. Home is where my friends are (some of them, still, anyway) and my family is (most of it, anyway) and my job and my school and my church is. Home is where I built my entire life–from the ground up. In a way that is equally as vain as it is humbling, I hate that the world will keep on turning without me. I don’t want to miss the laughs, the opportunities, the beautiful summer nights in Buffalo, the Thursdays at the Harbor, my nephew’s 8th grade graduation, the birthdays, the bonfires, the drive-in movie nights, and the midnight adventures with the same old people in the same old places.
Except this year, nothing would’ve been the same anyways. I’m just another thing that’s changing, evolving, leaving, moving on. I’m moving on. This is my dry-run at life after college. I’m leaving home, I’m taking off, I’m giving myself another chance to discover who I am, what I want, and where I’m going, but in order to discover something new, you have to go somewhere new, do something new, and be something new. I’m taking refuge in the fact that in three months, home will still be home, and it will always welcome me back.
Stop that clock–it’s stealing all my time.