On coming home…

Funny thing about me is, home is wherever I’m not. Or maybe, it is wherever I am?

I grew up about half an hour outside of Cleveland and moved to Columbus when I was 17 to attend school. I’ve lived here ever since, save for a summer internship in DC during law school. (Side note: I will always first type “lawschool” or “highschool” and have to see the red squiggly line to remember that those are two separate words. Every time).

Within the first few months of living here in Columbus, it was home. But still, so was Cleveland. On Fridays when someone asked me my plans I’d tell them I was headed home (meaning to Cleveland), and on Saturday when my grandma asked me how long I was staying I’d tell her I was going home (to Columbus) on Sunday. Even during my extremely fleeting time in DC, I recall coming home (to Cleveland) for a visit and remarking on the way to the airport that I wasn’t ready to go home (to DC) yet. Weird.

I drove home (to Columbus) tonight from spending Christmas at home (Cleveland). The traffic was terrible and so was the weather. It wasn’t snowing at all when I left but by thirty miles into the trip I could barely see a hundred yards in front of my car due to all of the snow. I just wanted to get “home” so badly and I realized that I really throw that word around. Long slow trips in bad weather give you time to think.

I wonder when, if ever, the transition will come in my mind where only Columbus is really home. It didn’t happen when my parents moved from the house I grew up in. It didn’t happen when I got a permanent job here and (finally, after six years) got a Columbus cell phone number. Now I’m buying a house and marrying a boy (man) whose job requires he stay in Columbus. This may be the first house I make a “home” (confession: I have lived in my current rental for 18 months and have not hung one photo or piece of artwork in my bedroom). Maybe this will finally flip that switch in my head. Or, maybe, everywhere is still home. And that’s okay too.

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