Monday, November 19, 2007

Where the ____ is?

Can home not refer to more than a plaque with five numbers?

I had a few topics that I'd been dying to write about all weekend, including adoption, the complexities of the human personality, and the beauty of life's unpredictability (maybe I'll get to them), but all I can think about is how good it feels to be back in my apartment. I felt relaxed the moment I stepped through the door with my overstuffed backpack and laundry hamper full of newly-dirtied clothes. There's just something to be said about having your own space to be. I have four different papers to write, a test tomorrow to study for, and notes of missed classes to find. Yet, somehow, it all seems more manageable than it did 300 miles earlier. Here, in this room, I'm invincible.

Strange thing is that I loved my visit home. I left my university Thursday night after my last class was done and was planning on returning early enough this morning that I would be able to make all of my appointments. However, that plan of action had me waking at 5:00 AM for a 4.5 hour drive through the fog, so I postponed my return until later today and arrived just late enough to miss my last engagement. In short, my weekend was filled with an 6 week old nephew, 17 month old cousin, two aunts' new puppies, and delicious food. The weekend over all gets an A+, even including the drive.

As I entered the city limits of my current residence, I picked up the phone to make the traditional, complimentary "I've made it safely" call to my mother. And then I made the awkward mistake of saying, "I've made it home safely." Nothing was said, and she probably didn't care, but the slip had me thinking about what I actually consider to be home. The way "home" is used it seems to refer to a singular place. But maybe that's the problem; we tend to think of home as a physical place with an address and a porch swing.

I often refer to home while at college meaning where I grew up and vice versa. Certainly they can both be my homes. Maybe home is where you feel drawn to. It's more difficult for me to feel a longing for my apartment when I'm just across campus compared to the serenity it seems to offer while I'm surrounded by an exhausting, but loving, family. I think it's pefectly fine for the idea of home to be more fluid; ebbing and flowing flowing with my own location. Now, sitting in this chair, in this room, in this apartment, in this town, I'm content. I'm home... for now.

One of my favorite movies, Garden State, has a wonderful quote about home:

Andrew: You know that point in your life when you realize that the house that you grew up in isn't really your home anymore? All of the sudden even though you have some place where you can put your stuff that idea of home is gone.

Sam: I still feel at home in my house.

Andrew: You'll see when you move out it just sort of happens one day one day and it's just gone. And you can never get it back. It's like you get homesick for a place that doesn't exist. I mean it's like this rite of passage, you know. You won't have this feeling again until you create a new idea of home for yourself, you know, for your kids, for the family you start, it's like a cycle or something. I miss the idea of it. Maybe that's all family really is. A group of people who miss the same imaginary place.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Genesis 1:1 : "In the beginning..."

What if we came hardwired with the answers to all of the questions?

This isn't my first blog. I actually started that blog almost two years ago on a different site. I kept up with it well for a few months before life pulled me away. I was reminded of it today and went back to read each entry. It was like a was reading someone elses work. A child's. I wrote those entries before my visit to France, I began my Religion courses, a whirlwind of a relationship that went up in flames, becoming a brother-in-law, becoming an uncle, my life-changing internship, and I made plans to spend a year in Northern Ireland. Sufice it to say, I am able to humbly see an ample amount of growth has occured.

I was annoyed at my play-by-play entries that chronicled each day of my life, my childish ramblings, and my lack of depth. The entries were un-reflective and only grasped the surface of my life. A constant friend and avid journaler was reading along with me and replied to my frustration, "Ok this is a lot like journaling (ok it practically is journaling) and rule number one is that you can't judge your art. Because it's your life." Her response really got me. I shouldn't judge any growth I've experienced.

Growth is good. I feel as human beings we should strive to better ourselves and deepen our understang of the world around us... constantly! I find myself seeking out experiences that I believe will boost this growth. I won't go as far as to say, "Oh, I don't regret anything because it's made me who I am!" This can be true for some, but I feel there are some experiences that tear people down. Of course, a lot of that is how you respond to experiences. The point is: If we don't try learn something from our past experiences, they are near worthless. So, while it can be frustrating, annoying, and even dissapointing to look back on myself at points in my life, it's neccesary to appreciate where I am, to enjoy this moment, to better understand the present me.

That's why I've started this blog. To poke at my skin and say, "Hey, what's under there? Come on, you've got things to say!" To ask some hard questions. So the future me can look back and say, "Oh, I remember that guy... and while he's got a lot to learn, there are a few things he can still teach me. If all of the answers and lessons were laid out for us, life's wonderful, awkward, painful, beautiful experiences wouldn't be nearly as rewarding.