Coming back to my town felt like moving through dimensions.
I moved away from home last year to start university, and the thought of coming back for a long weekend in November was devastating to me. In the wake of my Big City Lyfe Experience, it felt like my time at home had all been setting me up to be satisfied with averageness and I had only just started to see the options on the outsides of that world, and coming back would be some kind of relapse. I was dreading the idea of having two not-quite-home bases and having to mentally prime myself before going back and forth to either place so I didn’t lose the perspective I’d felt I’d so painstakingly gained in the “real world”.
But after a while, the city didn’t really end up feeling any more like the real world than my town did. In this interview for a body image thing Style Like U is doing, a model called Ashley Smith explains how she travels a lot and her body is the thing that is the constant, the home. I liked it because it made me feel like a portable dollhouse. Like not just my physical body, but I as a whole can always be at home because I am my home.
Anyway, I guess I TOTALLY understand how Dorothy felt when Glinda told her that her way home was inside her all along but didn’t tell her until she had put all this effort into finding outside help. I get why Glinda did it. Trying to understand all the parts of an incomprehensible and new world helped me understand parts of myself. Dorothy wouldn't have wanted a home so badly if she had just popped over to Oz for like five minutes. I didn't think about the idea of home as much as when I felt like I didn't have one. Being confronted with so much I didn't know right after high school graduation, when I'd felt like I knew everything, taught me to learn and gave me freedom to rebuild my home how I wanted.
I spent high school being afraid of the unknown. I think me associating that fear with high school is what made me so eager to leave, and to leave my fear behind in the process. And indeed, if I learned anything from my first year of university, it’s been that the things we don’t know sustain us just as much as the things we do. There’s so much to learn and so much to do with what we learn and so many things to experience that I can’t believe I was so tired of life at 16. But I think high school is the ultimate drawn-out-anticipation, waiting-for–your-life–to-begin kind of time, as many have noted and captured so well-We Used to Wait, Wasted Hours, Sprawl II, You Are A Tourist, Goodbye Yellow Brick Road, Landslide, Buzzcut Season, Fifteen. It has a haziness to it. But I don’t think there’s anything I could have done to lift the fog I didn't know was there, and I don’t think I would have wanted to. Though I might only think that because my anticipation hasn’t been tarnished by disappointment. Anyway, it’s slow, but I feel like the fog of anticipation and boredom lifts a little every day and I can see things a little more clearly.
There’s nothing wrong with living in our minds and perceptions. We all do, really. There’s a freedom to it that makes up for its loneliness. We can do whatever we want with the portable but permanent homes we’re given (bonus props if what you choose to do is help people whose circumstances don’t allow for the opportunity to do what they want). It’s a small world we all make for ourselves within the huge and unknowable one. Nobody can ever know everything, and whether we get scared of that or make friends with it, it’s true. Since the unknown and I have become friends, the back and forth between places, instead of a weird vortex, has started to feel more and more transcendent. I can see me, myself, my perception and my world as my home, so I’m not getting uprooted every time I leave- I’m getting a chance to grow more. Tree metaphors are great. I don’t know that much about trees although I use plant life as easy figurative language a lot. It’s OK. //