04 January, 2012

Home sweet home sweet (bittersweet) home

The truth is, you can have two homes.

I've struggled for years now as to "What is home?" When I moved to Seattle, there was a long time where I spent my time pointing out all the ways in which Seattle was lacking. Inferior infrastructure. Inferior pizza. Lack of anything really "old." There was a long list. It went like that for a few years. And then, at some point, for a variety of reasons, Seattle became home. And suddenly, I dreaded Boston. For completely different reasons, however. It was not that I changed my preferences about pizza. Or mass transit.

I developed an aversion to the pressure of visiting family. Of having to stay in the uncomfortable, tiny bed of childhood. The deep immersion into family which I had told myself I was happy to be away from. The weather. Hot or cold. The feeling that a family visit was not really a vacation, and there's only so much vacation time. So, for many reasons, Boston became a dreaded trip, and a place I could never imagine myself living again. Each trip was short, and rushed, and felt frantic and tiring. And when my mother died, it felt like Boston had become repellent to me. I did not want to return. Ever.

Then, my situation at work became such that there was an opportunity to travel to Boston periodically. And suddenly, my attitude began to change. Visiting Boston meant visiting Boston - the city. Working in the city. Staying in the city. And visiting family and friends as a part of the trip. Now, Boston became a trip to a really cool place I used to know, without being too deeply immersed in the things that made me uneasy. And that made me develop a new fondness that may have even exceeded that which I had when I left.

In the course of about a year, I think I visited Boston four times. It was a period of transformation for me. I started to feel more connected with family. I started to feel more connected to my history. I felt connected to my roots.

And then I left the job where I was afforded that opportunity to visit home on a company dime, and stay in fancy hotels, and eat on a per diem budget.

And I haven't visited since. Instantly, my aversion to visiting has ratcheted back up again. I don't even know when the last time was that I visited, but I believe it may have been about a year ago. And, as before, the longer I go without visiting, the more I don't want to go. And the longer I go without visiting, the more it becomes imperative that I visit sooner rather than later. And that, again, makes me want to move to Irkutsk.

So where is home?

1 comment:

  1. Perhaps home is in Irkutsk? Do they have toasted coconut donuts there?