Sunday Reflection: A New Reality

[Photo cred: Alyssa Filipek]

I’m on a plane, heading to Pennsylvania for the first time in seven months.

I grew up there, spent my summers between college there, and lived there while transitioning from college to my first full-time job.

I haven’t spent more than 4-5 months away from home, until now. I know I sound like a kid talking about her first time away at week-long summer camp, but when I think about my mom who hasn’t lived more than an hour away from her childhood home, I realize not everyone has gone through this.

Some people only need a short car ride to get to the people who heard their first words, taught them how to walk, held them when they came home from school crying and met their first best friends.

My reality is different.

I was musing over these things with my roommate, also a transplant with the same new reality. She told me, “You make family here (Colorado). This is your home now.”

When she said that, I felt like I had been tricked into living in Jamaica when I only meant to stop by for a two-week vacation. (I know that sounds good in theory but after the novelty wears off, I think I’d be upset.)

Going “home” now means going to my house in Denver, Colorado. Going to Pennsylvania means visiting “my parents’ home.”

It’s not bad, it’s just different.

Some day, every home I’ve ever known will be strange. I will have my memories and my nostalgia, but I will not have the people that made them with me.

But I will also have my new family. I don’t know who they are, but I trust that I will have them and love them deeply.

And everything that has been in my life will continue to be there, just in a different way, in a different form.

I guess this is the start of understanding that.

It has started with my childhood bedroom getting re-painted, my desk being discarded, and every room in the house getting tweaked in some way. Currently we have no stove or oven. There will be something new in their places soon.

I guess this is the start to understanding that life can be good, even when the best things we’ve known (which seem like the highest good), are far away or gone. They are never really gone. They are absorbed into us, and we love new things out of what we’ve gained from them. The way we love has changed, and the way we know we’re loved has been told to us by those who loved us first.

How about you? Have you made any big moves? How did you react?

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  1. I felt the same way when I moved into my own apartment and moved away from home. Except that I was incredibly excited because at this time my parents weren't supportive of my education. I know though for them it was really hard when I said, "I'm going home now" and that mean I was going to my own place and not theirs.