going home

Going home is weird. 
Or is it coming home?
I am never really sure how I am supposed think about it.

I grew up in Illinois. Most of the first 21 years of my life were spent there. So I guess you could call that "home" even though I now live elsewhere. I still love the feeling of exiting off I-90 onto East State Street. Turning left onto Perryville and looking around me to see all the changes that have taken place since I've last been there. Turning into my neighborhood and then eventually into my driveway to see the warm glow of the lights and heat radiating from my childhood home. Walking in those doors is still so familiar and never ceases to put a smile on my face. I love cuddling up on the couch by the fireplace or watching a football game with my dad or a chick flick with  my mom or just sitting in the kitchen while we take turns cooking meals and then eating them together. Or family game nights, those are my favorite. No one in the world can make me laugh like my family. 

I guess going home is really therapy for me. It is the place I can truly be myself. I don't have to worry about what's next, where I am going in life, who I am or how I am perceived. I am with those who know me best and love me at my worst. I am comfortable. I am content. 

But it is also weird. Because you have to run into those people that you have not seen in six years and have that same conversation over and over again "what are you doing now? are you married? blah blah blah" and then you have to ask the reciprocating questions even though, let's be honest, 90% of the time you don't really care. And part of you feels judged and insecure no matter how happy you are with your life, because it is not normal to be single and vote democratic. So you start to avoid these people and the places you might see them, and you begin to just hang out with the same three people over and over again (two of which live with you in LA).

So I guess there is always part of me that is excited to return to California. Where I struggle to pay rent and figure out my life and go on terrible dates and sit in front of a computer 40 hours a week. I mean, I have a lot of really great stuff going for me too (insert conversation about the weather), but life can be hard at times. Sometimes I think it would be easier to pick it all up and go back to Illinois where I am known and where it is comfortable and where eating hotdish every night is NORMAL, PEOPLE. 

But something holds me here. Because California has become home. Because someone once told me that home is wherever you are. So I make my home in a tent in Yosemite or in an orphanage in Chihuahua or in a hotel in Nepal or in a back house in California. Because location is not what makes something "going home" - I am what makes something home, and the people I choose to make company with is what makes something home. Where I choose to invest in community and life and love is what makes something home. 


charissa said...

what the hell is hotdish?! GIMME! also, i like that you are here-home.

Stephanie Rodgers said...

I liked going to your home too! (IL) :) And I also loved cooking meals and game night was my fave too! hehe

Facing Sunrise said...

i like that cha wants hotdish so hard even when she has never heard of it.

also, i like this post.

also, california's weather.

also, you.

WanderingellimaC said...

@charissa: i am fairly certain you know what hotdish is since i have cooked for you so much. but i am willing to show you IF you endure the bachelor again :)

@Stephanie: those were the good 'ol days!!! miss you little sis!

@Facing Sunrise: i like you.

theurbanboy said...

This is a great piece. Really enjoyed it and TOTALLY VIBED with the whole description of home sights and sounds and feels, albeit the details are different with Indianapolis.