It was the first time that I had returned home since I decided that I would return home after being away for the past decade.  It was not as I expected.  Now as I have mentioned before I have been back for short visits before, but each time before I had no plan to return for a more extended period.

Throughout my visit this time my thoughts began to think about the very real possibility that in six months I will be leaving the place that I have lived for the past ten years and I will be returning to the place I grew up.  For the first time this thought scared me.  For perhaps the first time I thought of Philadelphia as home and the place I grew up was something else.  It was a place that was both familiar and strange.  I remembered that I once lived there.  I remembered that was once my home, but I was unsure if it would be again.  The person that left all those years ago is not the same person that will return.  It was as if I had the memories of someone else and I would be assuming their life, but would not ever be able to be them again.

I could not wait to get on the train in Boston and head back south.  On the journey back there were moments I sat and started blankly at the world rushing by.  I was lost.  I found myself thinking that I might actually miss Philadelphia.  I began to think of everything that has happened since I left home and moved down here.  On the trip from the train station to my home I looked out the window of the car.  Everything was familiar.  I knew this city.  I was comfortable in this city.  I felt the contrast of this with the feeling of unfamiliarity I experienced while back home.  I wondered if I was about to make a mistake.  Now, in general I don’t think moving back to New England would be a mistake, but that doesn’t mean moving back into the house I grew up in wouldn’t be.  I can’t help but see it as a set back or a near failure of sorts.  I wonder where this all is going.  I never imagined my life would turn out this way.  There were so many other things I had once imagined that would have not brought me to this path.  This was something I never considered.  And while moving back may not be a failure in and of itself, it does sort of represent all of the failures that have brought me to this point.

As I drove though the streets of Philadelphia tonight another thought entered my mind.  For so many years I often felt as if I was putting various aspects of my life on hold while living in this city.  I always had this feeling that if I remained here I went wrong somewhere.  I didn’t want to get attached.  In some ways I was waiting to live my life.  But what I failed to realize or appreciate was that I was living my life.  It wasn’t on hold.  I was just making excuses for things.  Looking back, so much has happened and my life is such that I fear returning to the home of my youth would mean giving up all or at least most of what I have become.  I fear that I will be taking a step back and putting everything on hold.  I fear that my life will change and not for the better.

Be the first to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.