Moving is weird. And hard. That’s the thing that nobody tells you: after the dust has settled and your Netflix has been setup, life in a new place is strange. There will be periods of great joy and overwhelming uncertainty. Even knowing you made the right decision, the best decision, you will still ache for what is comfortable. The past. That is always safe because we have been there, we know how it plays out. It is the future we have to guess at. Will I find a great job, will I make new friends, where is the closest Starbucks? These are all questions I found myself asking the first few weeks in our new apartment. Five months in and I am happy to report that there are seven within a 5 mile radius.
Even stranger than moving though, is going home. Or, where you once lived. You may still call it home, but the term no longer fits, it doesn’t suit. Not the way you apply it to your new city, your new life. You know that excitement you get when you buy a new piece of clothing? It doesn’t matter if it’s a shirt, dress or socks (it fits perfectly and was on sale, damn it). The thing is, after the first wash, it no longer hangs perfectly, no longer fits like it was made only for you (I’m looking at you Forever 21). Eventually, the same pants that fit so snugly have become saggy and the color on your favorite top has lost its original splendor, whites fade to gray and, oddly, so does black. That is how it felt going home. Southern California, the place I had called home for the last 25 years, no longer fit me. It was as if it was made for somebody else, somebody who liked faded whites and carb-free diets. It ceased being my home and simply became a place on a map.
People say that “home is where the heart is.” I believe that to be true, but with a caveat. Home is always changing. As we grow and become new so to does the definition. Some places, or leggings, will never fit the way they once did. No matter how many times you wash and dry, your efforts are in vain. That does not mean that we should not continue onward, upward! making our new life home. Just be aware. And be grateful. For this place may not always be home as you know it.