Does there come a point where “home” is no longer the place you grew up?
I’ve always considered Scranton my “home.” It’s not just my hometown, but it’s where nearly my entire family is, where I spent the vast majority of my life and where I envisioned myself visiting every year, mulitple times perhaps, for as long as I lived.
That small corner of Pennsylvania is the place where I hold more memories than I could list, from my first kiss to my first car, my first job and my first love, the bestest of friends and the worst of them at the same time. I remain defensive of that place – i.e. The Office and one SNL skit in particular (::coughcoughJoeBidencoughcough::) – and yet proud of its accomplishments, regularly reading the news that streams from “The Electric City.”
And yet, the last few weeks have made me realize the detachment that truly exists.
Without spilling paragraphs of babble onto the page, in a nutshell, my parents are moving to Mooresville, NC. Yep, my mom and step-dad (I consider them my “parents” despite my dad and step-mom) will soon be relocating their lives to the place I settled into two years ago this month.
And with that move, I foresee fewer visits to Scranton. I can already sense less of an urgency to travel the 500 miles to see those familiar faces and sites, which is unfortunate because there is truly so much I love about that place. Yet part of me knows – not just “feels,” but undoubtedly knows – that very few of those people, sans my family (so I hope), will ever make the effort to venture to NC for me. It’s sad, but true, and as a result, I can’t help but think to myself, “why should I bother making the effort for them if they wouldn’t do the same for me?”
Maybe I’m being selfish. Perhaps a little juvenile as well. But that’s sincerely how I feel about the situation. I digress…
My mom is my best friend, hands down, and with her here in addition to my step-dad and possibly my brother in another year, my reasons for traveling north diminish. If they weren’t heading to Scranton for Christmas, would I go without them? Doubtful. Would I ever drive nine-hours for a holiday if my closest family was in my own backyard? Unlikely. And with all of those thoughts, I sense a strong disconnect to that “home” and an eagerness to share this new one with my family.
Is that strange? Is this temporary? Is my stance entirely skewed toward selfishness (especially considering the majority of my family will still be in Scranton)? Or is this all a natural, yet exceptionally unfamiliar, part of venturing away from the nest, creating a new home and growing up?
Someone, somewhere coined the phrase “home is where the heart is.” Is it possible that my heart is with my mom and home will forever be wherever she is? ‘Cause right now, that seems the most fathomable deduction.
Can anyone out there explain this emotional progression to me, because clearly I’m one confused 20-something.
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