In 48 hours, I will be on my way home. I will be driving 12 hours to head back to the Maritimes, head back to my first home.
Home is an interesting concept. Where is home?
Is home back in the Maritimes, where I grew up? It would make sense, because my family is there. But it doesn't really feel like home anymore. I tend to feel anxious when I go back. I feel like a stranger in my own hometown. Maybe it's because I've been away for so long... If it's home, should I really feel so strange and uncomfortable when I'm there? And why do I keep going back and keep putting myself through this?
Since 2002, I've lived in Ottawa, an amazing city, in my humble opinion. Almost 10 years ago, I started a new life here. I followed my heart to a city that I fell in love with back when I was 13 years old. I feel like I've made a home here. No, I don't mean that I own property and or that I have a mortgage. I don't have any of those things. I have a great job, awesome friends and an amazing man in my life. All those things are here, around me every day. That definitely makes it feel like home. I've made myself a home here, in this city. Not in the space that I live in (a tiny, one bedroom basement apartment) but in this entire city.
When I go back to the Maritimes, people ask me if/when I will be moving back. I feel bad, answering this question honestly, because I have no intention of moving back. When they ask why, I find it hard to explain it to them, especially since most of them have never left their hometown. They don't understand how powerful it is to leave a small town and establish yourself in a big city. It's something that you cannot describe. When I left, I felt something that I had never felt before: freedom. Freedom to be whoever I wanted to be. Once I tasted that feeling, I knew that was it.
Despite the strange and uncomfortable feelings that come with visiting my hometown, I do go visit once a year, usually for 3 days. I have never been too close with my family but it's still nice to see them or reconnect with old friends, despite how awkward it is when you realize you have nothing in common anymore.
So here I go, back home. I sure will miss home while I'm gone.