A plethora of emotions swirl through my bloodstream and a series of thoughts swarm the forefront of my brain when I think of home. A straightforward yet very convoluted concept leaves me dazed and confused as I sit in yet another airport terminal. “Where is home? San Diego or New York?” inquires a chatty middle age woman. An almost quixotic vision of my home envelops my mind: the palm trees swaying in the breeze, our two border collies running out the front door, a sunny San Diego day with no sign of clouds for miles – perfect weather for a day at the beach. However, as soon as the pieces come together in a romantic landscape, they fall apart and are replaced by the harsh grey of steel skyscrapers, dark skies, throngs of strangers in crowded intersections, whaling sounds of sirens and the smell of sewage. Two very different images play out in my mind, yet images of my two homes nonetheless.
“I’m going back to school right now” is all I can mutter as the early morning fog clears from my head. I want to scream, “I don’t know!”
I have sprinkled the seeds of my heart over four continents and have yet to claim a single place as my stomping grounds. It’s the typical military child’s dilemma. Is the place where I spent the most time a home, or is it where I feel most at “home”? Is “home” wherever we are or is it where our family is? Is it where I went to high school or where I have the most friends? A number of questions need addressing and I don’t even know where to begin; Australia? England? Spain? San Diego? New York? Japan? I’m starting to think I’m entering into my quarter life crisis.
As I set the anxiety aside, a trait I’ve perfected over the years, through the fifteen houses I’ve called home, I begin to realize the source of the problem, an identity crisis maybe? No. A severe case of “growing up”? Perhaps. The fact of the matter is that the past nine days in San Diego was brief, however it made me realize how lucky I am to have this “home” to visit as begin the next chapter of my life, which includes LSATs, job hunts, more apartment searching, and a thorough examination of both heart and soul. As I propel forward into the next stage with my peers, I have to acknowledge that with this exciting and nerve-racking transformation into a “real person” complete with a “real” job and responsibilities, is that there are other changes to adapt to as well which include less frequent and shorter visits to our family’s house and transitioning into making my new “home”.
I’m well prepared. I can tell just by looking at my two parents who have graced numerous residences with their presence. They have equipped me with the tools to succeed both professionally and socially as I transition this last year of college into an adult. It’s a looming and distressing process but I welcome the challenge, just as I’ve welcomed every new home into my heart.
Going home makes for difficult, long-winded, pathetic goodbyes when it’s time to return to your other “home”. It doesn’t take rocket science to understand that goodbyes are nearly as challenging as the first “hello”, but the promises of another visit comfort the five-year-old inner self. I however, have no return ticket, no promise of another visit to my teenage decorated room, the sandy beaches, and the glorious Mexican food. It’s an inevitable feeling not knowing what’s coming, but it brings forth the more important question, “Who do you dare become as you leave your house and create your new “home”?”