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Sunday, November 26, 2006
When home isn't home anymore
I got back a little while ago from spending Thanksgiving with my family at home in NY, and I'm happy to be back. Usually when I leave there, I do so with a heavy heart, but this time it was different. Of course I was more than glad to see my parents and eat yummy home cooked food, but for the first time in my life, I felt like I was at my parents' house, not at home. For some reason, I felt out of place, more like a guest. I know now what my brother (he lives up I-95 in Baltimore) and my other friends who've moved away mean when they say that when you leave for good, home is never quite the same.

Now don't get me wrong, I will be a very proud New Yorker until the day I die, but being back in my hometown just felt odd. I'll always have a strong connection to home--I talk to my mom at least once a day and still keep in touch with my friends who haven't left yet--but I see now that when you leave, most of your soul goes with you. I've lived away from home before, but always in the same state, and never actually permanently, so my parents' house was still the big H-O-M-E. Now that I'm out of college and decided to make the DC area my permanent place of residence, things are different. I can't really explain it, because I'll always be happy to sleep in my childhood bedroom for nostalgia's sake and I'll always be happy to see my mom and dad and to troll around my old stomping grounds.

I know that if the proverbial shit hits the fan, I can still move back into their house and be comfortable--I guess that's what it means to move on in life. Seeing as I'll be starting my own family at some point in the future, my house will be the same way to my kids. My mom had a rough time letting go when I moved almost a year ago--I'm the baby of the bunch--but now that she sees and has internalized that I can make it on my own, she supports me wholeheartedly. That's strangely comforting, seeing the shift in our relationship from parent to friend as I've stepped out completely on my own. I guess she and my stepdad know that they did their job raising us well. We're self-sustaining adults who know that our parents, not their house, will always represent home and that soft, comfortable spot.

I'm looking forward to visiting again for Christmas, but this time I won't be going back like a college student going home. I'll be going as an adult to see her parents and reminisce on "back in the day". Just like my parents did when they left home, their parents before them, and like every person that's ever grown up. I miss my parents, I miss my family, but I'm home now.


Blogger honeykbee said...

I can totally relate to this. Sometimes it's difficult to determine which "home" is "home"!

Blogger Gunfighter said...

Well said, Tasha.

I rarely go to my New Jersey hometown anymore, and when I do, it is like looking back in time.

The DC area is my home now, and this is the place I look forward to being.

Blogger Tasha said...

That's exactly it, GF. If my parents didn't live there, it would be hard for me to find a reason to go back.

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