Weary is a really good word.
Until this past week, I’ve never been truly weary before. I’ve been exhausted, tired, drained, tapped out, and spent. Not weary.
Goodbyes are tiring. Traveling is tiring. Road trips, while they are the experience of a lifetime, are tiring. Sitting in a car at a ninety degree angle for sixteen hours at pop is tiring. Yes — even trail mix — is tiring. And, some combination of these things, at random or in succession, leads to extreme weariness.
So, I sit here in a fog. Waiting. Waiting for the moment to hit. The moment when I’ll begin processing all this change and movement I’ve been barreling through at warp speed. But, now, I allow myself the time to rest.
I try to write about home and place. The two things that have always fascinated me the most. They are synonyms and antonyms simultaneously. And, my search for home never started by going to a place, but, instead, by searching within. You must use caution. Home and place will deceive you. I’ve learned too well how familiar things can, very quickly, become foreign.
On the last leg of our trip, as my mother and I crossed over the Pennsylvania border, she said, “This is the East coast landscape I’m used to. It’s so green and lush. It’s beautiful. And, maybe it’s not as dramatic as the West coast, but, this is my home.” Those few, short sentences, summed up everything. My hopes and expectations for this move, the place I hold and have always held for myself in NYC, the sense of myself that I’ve left behind and — the one I’m returning to.
Sometimes, in those TV shows where famous actors or athletes return to their childhood hometowns the host will say, “Stay tuned, and watch as So-and-So returns to the place that made him!” I keep thinking about that. Because, I returned to my childhood home, and, in doing so, I left the place that made me behind. But, having been re-made somewhere else, and returning back home, has its advantages. — It makes everything here look new. Better. Or, at the very least, different.
It’s an unknown feeling. An exciting one. And, when I’m less weary, it’s one I look forward to exploring.
It’s like crossing a state line into something unexpected, but, still familiar. A life that’s green and lush. And, maybe not as dramatic as the one I left behind out on the West coast. But, here I am. And I won’t look back.
Because this — this is my home. And, weary or not, I’ve arrived.