I am probably not your typical twenty-something. I do not want excitement. I do not long for the rush of the big city, the adrenaline of packed boxes and a newly signed lease for a shared apartment seven cities away. I do not yearn for the clunking whir of train tracks rushing beneath me or an airplane engine revving to life under the wings. I do not seek the fast-paced, the tight-scheduled, the not-enough-time-but-hey-it-was-worth it.
No, I do not want excitement. I want to be fulfilled.
Now, I don’t mean – oh god, no way in hell do I mean the little-house-on-the-prairie kind of life. I do not want monotony. I do not want the same plodding expectable, day after day, hour after hour, minute after minute. Dear lord, I would go bat shit crazy.
I think, more correctly, perhaps, I should say that I want roots. I want ties that are stable but are not limiting, that support without restricting. You see, I’ve done the whole tear-yourself-away-from-everything-and-throw-yourself-upon-the-world thing. And it sucked.
Perhaps I was just forced upon it with the wrong footing. You see, every time I’ve been forced into an unexpected journey, a total life reorganization, it’s because I was sick. I had to pluck myself out of where I was and ship myself off to treatment, often without parental support or any idea where I was going. I just had to leave. That was all.
And then, when I returned, chose to come back to where I had left rather than stay in treatment longer because I felt that I learned what the journey had to teach me and my heart was aching for the friends I left behind, I realized, finally, that it is not a what or a where, a something doing or somewhere being that really define my happiness. Because, you see, I grow my roots in people.
And then they all graduated. Or went away, for some reason and for some time or other. My roots were torn up, leaving me gasping for air and starving for the water that had been holding me up. It’s hard to enjoy adventure, when you can feel yourself withering through the whole thing.
Excitement becomes mere pain, new becomes a strangeness that rubs and chafes the heart. Adventure is no high, wild dream but a slowly executed torture.
I do not mind exploring. I just want a home base to come back to. I want to know that there is still a place – even if that place is not so much somewhere tangible – where I can still know that I belong. I would not mind the packed boxes, the newly signed lease, the road trip, the excitement, the strangeness – as long as through it all, there’s a hand holding mine.
Because then, home becomes a place that can be carried with you.
Because then, home is the place where you are not empty, but fulfilled.
Because then, home is the place where you are not alone.