I sometimes wonder if I like going home less because I know I'll inevitably have to leave. I don't miss home until I'm leaving it.
But the word home is confusing. I bought a house in Richmond. I spend almost all of my time in Richmond. I work in Richmond. I have friends in Richmond. I am happiest when I'm am in Richmond. I love Richmond. I'm at home in Richmond. But home, to me, is Connecticut.
I think about this paradox often, even more so as I get older. Leaving home at 22 for a city far away is exciting. But at 25, it's also a noticeable distance. While people can drop home on Sunday for dinner with their parents, I settle for a conversation with my parents as I circle a lake during my lunch breaks. It's nice, but hollow in comparison. But it's also hardly an option to return home at this point after seeing what's out here.
If there has ever been a place that I've been in love with, it's Richmond. Sidebar: if there's ever a city I've had a crush on, it's Berlin. But yet when I speak of where I'm from, even when out of the country, I say Connecticut. When I refer to the house I bought, it's my condo. When I refer to home, it's Connecticut. Mind you, I never paid a day of bills to that home, yet it holds so much meaning to me.
So much meaning, but to be honest, I really wanted to leave home. I needed to leave home. And I don't regret it at all, but it's unsettling that no matter how long I'm away, and how happy I am, home will always be a word associated with Connecticut.
There are cliched sayings like, "Home is where the heart is," and maybe that's why I feel a bit homeless (not in the outdoorsy sense of homeless obviously) in Richmond. My family isn't here. A piece of my heart is still rooted 8 hours away. But then again, all my friends are here, and not just friends but the kinds of friends that have (sigh, another cliche) become family. By all logical explanations, Richmond should feel like home.
Sometimes I try to linguistically tell myself that Connecticut is not home, but but that logic doesn't change the way I feel. Connecticut still feels like home. Will my hometown always feel like home?
Do any other transplants ever feel a bit of a drifter? What's your remedy for the home complex?