Home is not a place.

Being in DC has been great, it feels like a warm bath: comfortable.  Seeing friends has been wonderful and the familiarity is refreshing.  Soothing even.   Yet the inevitable has begun – forgetting street names, getting lost, noticing all the new bars, stores and restaurants that have popped up since I left.  It’s happened everywhere I’ve lived, but after almost 10 years of my adult life here and having left less than a year ago I am a little bit surprised.  I believe the brain can only retain so much information.  I barely remember any street names in the town where I grew up, though I could get to my parents house with my eyes closed.

I am having a hard time coming to terms that I’ve left at all.  This is where I have some of the deepest connections, yet I’ve chosen to leave. And I don’t see myself coming back here.  So it feels like a home I’ll never return to.  Leaving California to come here was difficult, but this feels different.  I was in my early 20’s and hadn’t established myself at all.  I guess you can say this is where I became what I’d call an adult.  My plan was to be here for 3 months, though through a turn of events 9 years passed by.  I spent some very formative and meaningful years here; some of the most rewarding and difficult years.  How can that not be significant?  A question that often runs through my mind is what do I hold on to and what do I let go of?

I feel so far away when I’m in Hawaii and it is indeed far away.  I wish it were different, that Hawaii was within a short drive, but that is kind of ridiculous.  I’m further away from DC than most of Europe and the same exact distance from California as when I lived here.  I thought I was moving closer to California, but it’s the opposite spectrum of DC, reaching far into the Pacific.   I do love Hawaii and it suits me well.  I believe it was a good decision overall and I have no regrets.  I do wish that life were somehow different and no matter where I went I could bring those I care about most with me.

I leave to Mozambique Monday and I’m sad to go.  At the same time I’m relieved.


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