Home is Where?
Well, it didn’t matter. He’d had enough. He wasn’t going to try to understand anything anymore. He was going home.
Except that wizards can never go home.
-Terry Pratchett, Sourcery
I come back to that quote every once in a while. When I first read Sourcery, back in high school, I breezed right past it; during a more recent read, it jumped off the page and lodged itself in my brain, and so far, despite my best efforts, I've been unable to kick it out.
Home is something I think about a lot. I've moved so many times that it's taken on a sort of hazy, unfocused quality. There's my hometown, where some of my family is, the place when I spent my childhood. There's my mom's home, in a town I've never lived in. Is it Seattle, where I graduated college? When I say "I want to go home," what do I mean?
This isn't exactly an original line of thought, but it's something that always comes up after I visit my family. Almost exactly a year ago I wrote (if I may me gauche and quote myself): "So all this musing begs the question: where is my home? Seattle, Port Townsend, Sequim...I felt like a visitor in all three. In Korea...I will always stand out; that's okay with me, but [will I] ever find a place I can really put my roots down[?]"
I wish I could say things have changed drastically, but wishes, fishes, et cetera, no I can't. If anything, Seattle/Port Townsend/Sequim (hell is a triumvirate?) felt less like home on this visit, while Korea has remained largely the same; comforting, more settled perhaps, but not yet entirely home. While no part of me wants to move back to Seattle and live out my life as a Seattleite, there's something sad and nostalgic about letting go of that avenue.
As a child, I always liked to imagine what my life would be like in the future; this continued throughout university, and frankly, I still do it. Back then, my only examples of Cool Adults were in Port Townsend and Seattle, so most of my imaginings were very Northwest-centric. Maybe I'd live in one of those interesting old houses with hardwood floors, with a dog or a cat and a yard and a local coffee shop where I knew the owner. I'd drink tea on gloomy winter afternoons and try to survive until spring. Not a bad life.
That's not the life I want anymore, but even so, it's hard to let go.
Part of what moved me further away from my old roots this past year was, I believe, the fact that I've been living in an apartment that I really feel is my "place". For the first time in my life, I'm living by myself and in an apartment that is actually big enough for me to decorate and set up entirely in my style. Open space, nerdy posters, color coordination--I've been living the dream.
But alas...I have to move. I'm trying not to freak out, but when I first got the news, I was hard-pressed to keep my anxiety at bay. What about my furniture? My cat? Will I have to leave a neighborhood I've learned to love? I only ever expected to live in this place for two years, but that second year was sort of the point. It takes a while to really settle into a place, but once I'm settled, I'd like to...you know...enjoy it?? Is that too much to ask? Apparently yes. Yes it is.
I'm really nervous about this move. Last year moving was fine, because the goal was to move from a place I didn't care for to a better place. Nowhere to go but up! Now I'm moving from a place I love to...where? Who knows. I don't even have much control over the apartment-hunting situation. I am grateful that my school is helping me, I'm lucky to not have to pay rent, but even so...the older I get, the more I grow into my control-freakiness.
Well, at this point, there's nothing I can do but worry needlessly, and as much as I'm trying to do that less...it's an ongoing process. Here's hoping I get lucky and move into an even better place, and someday, just maybe, I'll finally find a place to go home to.