Despite the chaos of being picked up by a tornado, dropped in a fairyland, and melting the crazy green with who was chasing her, Dorothy’s life was fairly simple. She knew where she was from, and even though she wasn’t always sure where she was in Oz, she had a
clear yellow path to follow, and she knew where she was going – home. Why? Because there’s no place like it.
While that is a lovely sentiment to be sure, it’s not that easy for all of us. Sure, there’s no place like home, but you have to know where your home is. For the first time in my life, I don’t. I’ve left home several times before, but those times always felt different because I knew no matter what Lexington was my home. It was always where I felt the most like me.
This past visit was different. While there really is nothing like waking up in your childhood bed, and seeing my family and best friend was just what my heart and soul needed, I didn’t feel like I was able to slip back to being just a southern girl, because that’s no longer who I am. The roads I used to know by heart and the routes I could drive almost in my sleep were suddenly foreign. I had to think about how to get to places I’d been hundreds of times. I no longer took comfort in driving down small, tree-lined back roads. Even going to the mall seemed like a foreign experience. I feel as if I have outgrown my hometown, and I don’t know how I feel about that.
Just as I’ve been growing up, so has the rest of my family. I wouldn’t trade a millisecond of the time I was able to spend with them, especially with my parents who were generous enough to take time off work to be with me, but we all have our own lives now to worry about. We will always be family, but once you start creating your own family, your original one naturally becomes less of a priority. I’m obviously just as guilty, as evidenced by how often I go back to SC.
And this is my conundrum. Where is home for me? Brookdale is my parents’ home. I visit twice a year if I’m lucky. It’s my childhood home, but it’s no longer my home. At the same time, where is my home in Denver? Though I have definitely transitioned from a Carolina girl to a Colorado girl, I’ve lived in five places since moving here four years ago. Those were my houses, but none of them were my home.
I think that’s a main reason I’m ready to make the Big Move with The Mister. If home is where the heart is, I know where my home is. It’s with him, in our house. It’s why I enjoy spending time at his house right now – it’s the closest thing I have at the moment to my home. I don’t know if growing up ever gets easier, but it certainly hasn’t been boring.