The place I call home is not where I was born, though I do have extended family from the area; perhaps that gives me the ability to fib and establish roots. The place I should call home is a place I ran away from years ago – leaving behind everyone I knew for everything I wanted.
This weekend I returned for my grandmother’s ninetieth birthday; three days to see everyone and catch up on years worth of life that has slipped by us. My grandmother is one of the most important people in my life, but she like everyone else had to be left behind for the things I wanted; some call that selfish. It was a bittersweet reunion, she’s grown old, not just in age but in health, mental faculties, etc. and it’s depressing. We only had three hours together before my ride had to whisk me away and I was off to the next adventure of the weekend. Not without her assuring me that I was her “favorite grandson.” This satisfies my need to be the best and be provided kudos. Leaving, I couldn’t help but wonder if this would be the last time I’ll ever see her…
Then there were the friends of my former life, so many of them in the exact same position as when I left six years ago. My life is nothing like it was six years ago, assuring me that I made the right decision in leaving. But…there is that one little voice, it says, “what if?” What if I had stayed and continued on this trajectory? What if I didn’t leave these people behind, but continued in the pursuit of my dreams locally? I don’t think things would have turned out better, they would have been, and would be, far easier than they are today – that doesn’t make it better. The drama we discuss is more or less the same, new characters, same situations. It’s a familiar comedy for which I am no longer cast.
The friends I saw this weekend are people I would never want to let escape the vise like grip that is my friendship, but the years are passing and our paths are moving farther apart. We are at a point where I can’t be certain all of us will remain friends for another five, ten or fifteen years. A few I am certain will remain, but babies, marriage, and so many other factors have come into play that the random friend living across the country is easy to forget. It’s not all on them, I’m as guilty, my focus is work and writing. I want stories, books and blogs; this doesn’t always translate into people unless they fit a storyline in my mind. it’s easier to let go and forget than it is to invest and retain the friendship.
Though I’m feeling nostalgic and a little sad, I’m happy to be going home. I wish I could bring this group of people to New York and set their lives in motion to satisfy the selfish part of me that doesn’t want to let go. In six hours this feeling will be washed away as my work day begins and everything instantly returns to normal. As if this weekend never happened we will all move ahead in our lives. We can sum things up to a few keywords: Friends, bars, memories and beds.