“I’m flying back home to Michigan for Thanksgiving.”
I caught myself saying that when others asked about my Thanksgiving plans. It’s not entirely inaccurate.
The truth is, Michigan will always hold a deeply special place in my heart, but it’s not home anymore.
Florida is. It may have taken an entire year of adjusting, but 3.5 years later and everything about it feels like home. I’ve settled in.
While in Michigan this past week, I sat at a table, in the city I used to live in and shared so many fantastic memories. Here I was, surrounded by 4 of my close girlfriends catching up and, most importantly, leaning on them for support during what can only be described as the toughest time I’ve had during the whole of med school for the hubster. This last year of med school has taken a toll on the hubster, myself and without providing nitty, gritty details, has really tested us. It’s been rough. I needed my support system and I had it right in front of me.
And yet, my heart felt tugged between 2 places.
I loved being able to see my close girlfriends face to face, but I’ve in a way, hit my stride while living in Florida. I’m happier and more confident in my career, my hobbies and resolve to fulfill my dreams. Moving 1500 miles gave me the nudge I needed to find my own path.
Going “back home” reminds me of how much things have stayed the same, but also have tremendously changed in my absence.
I flew back to Florida late last night while the hubster stayed in Michigan to shadow in the ER. As we made our final decent, I watched the dots of streetlights end once they hit the Atlantic Ocean. The humidity slapped me in the face as the automatic doors at the airport opened so I could go pick up my car. I hopped in my car with my preset stations and swore at a couple crazy Florida drivers who insist on driving like aholes.
I was home. For now.
Can home simultaneously be in 2 places?
It sounds like you have a lot more on this topic hidden under the surface. I’ve never experienced this part… the moving away. The farthest I’ve been is East Lansing. Sometimes I wish I had taken that time to experience something new… and other times it is nice to know my surroundings and have familiar places. But Pete and I were just discussing on how less and less people come “home” to visit anymore, as the ties that bound them have disappeared.
Caroline Peterson says
Perhaps, yes. It’s a fine balance of keeping things private and also sharing struggles. I think you and Pete are right, as the ties that bound disappear it’s tougher to go back. None of my family is in MI anymore, but my friends and in-laws are. More importantly, how wonderful was that weather in MI on Tgiving?! 50 degrees?!?!
Girl I go through the exact same thing whenever I visit Michigan or Arizona. Knoxville is feeling more like home than it ever has so it’s weird going back. You’re more of a guest. And life has gone on without you. But at the same time, with your close friends, you can pick up right where you left off. It is definitely a weird and delicate balance.
Caroline Peterson says
Do you? That makes me feel better, I mean, not that you struggle with it – just that I’m not alone in thinking it. Definitely a delicate balance. Good way of putting it.