Last weekend was my first time home since arriving at college.
That meant over 2 months away from Oregon and it’s downpours, disdain for umbrellas, and birks with socks.
Anyways, this trip had been a set a month earlier. This meant a countdown that all my Cali friends grew to know by heart.
When the day came, I couldn’t contain my excitement and talked my Uber drivers ear off on the way to the airport. The old lady sitting next to me on the plane laughed at my excitement, but I couldn’t help it; I had people waiting for me on solid ground.
Oregon did not disappoint. I was welcomed home with fog, pouring rain, a beaten up subi, and a new and less snazzy PDX carpet. I don’t think I’ve ever loved a rainy drive down The Gorge as much as I loved that one.
Going home was surreal. It was like I was sleepwalking. Nothing felt completely real at first. Finally, I was home. Home with my parents, boyfriend, puppy, and car that I had missed so much. Everything was the same, but yet I felt different. Not bad, just different.
At first, I worried that maybe I didn’t fit at home anymore, but that wasn’t true. My car still listened to my ever command, every turn took the same way, my parents smiles had not changed, my puppy still loved belly rubs, and my boy still laughed at my crappy jokes.
It took me a couple of days but I finally came to the conclusion that home hadn’t changed, and I hadn’t changed, but my view had changed. After living a life separate from the one I knew in Hood River, I realized that it was natural for my home to feel distant from me. It was okay that my sink was suddenly way too big, and I couldn’t remember which drawer I put socks in, because what mattered hadn’t changed.
The people and places I loved hadn’t changed. The safe feeling Hood River gave me wasn’t gone. I was happy there, but I was able to see that I could be happy here in my tiny dorm too. What made Hood River so special was the relationships that flourished there. So, I discovered that home was the cliche I’d always heard… Home is where the heart is. My heart is in rainy Oregon, and always 70 degrees California. My heart is with my dogs on walks by the river, at the dinner table with my amazing parents, curled up on the couch with my boyfriend watching “Friends”, hunched over my desk writing scripts while blasting Adele with my roomies, and in a shed with my girls listening to trashy music and dancing horribly. Home is no longer one place, its all over, spread out through states and countries.
I already miss Oregon and the people there, but I get to go back soon. However, this time (even though I am counting down) I am less anxious to come home than I was. Because I figured out how to have home here with me, or at least I’m learning to. But there is nothing better than coming home, however you do so.
I’ll see you soon hr, and I can’t wait, but I’m going to soak up the Cali sun while I wait.