I watch the sun determined over the gray glooms on the horizon. From the airplane, its nearly surrealearth and sky one blur of colorgrey, amber, pink, blue, a hint of yellow-brown. Lately, Ive been on airplanes probably more than I should, traveling back and forth from the cities I grew up in, the place my sister lives, the city I went to college, and where I live now.
Sometimes I feel like Im always in motion, spreading myself between individuals and regions I adore. Trying, so desperately, to understand the link I have between each spot and my nerve, between the person I am in each metropolitan, each township, and each relationship Ive kept and left behind.
Its been a year since Ive left the Midwestwhat has always been my home. Its been a year since I assembled my life and loaded it into a uhaul truck, hitched my little automobile to the trailer, and watched the city where I grew up fade in the rearview reflect.
Its been a year since I supposed my goodbyes, since I strolled down the gravel paths in my college city, since I hugged one of our friend, since I unpacked my entire existence in a city two thousand miles from what I used to call home.
Thats what I call it: the feeling of not really knowing whatever it is you fit. When youre tied to a home youve ever known but abruptly experience more comfy somewhere brand-new. When youre connected to more than one location, considering both of them where you belong . strong>
Its always strange when I board an aircraft, when I experience the mechanical body lift underneath my own, when I watch the houses and cars and boats and people suddenly become specks, when I get that giddy apprehension of heading somewhere I used to belong.
Thats such a strange emotionreturning back to the place youve left, trying to make sense of whatever it is you fit. You never know whats waiting for you at that airport. You never know what to expect when you land.
As humen, were always moving, ever changing, ever claiming brand-new places and spaces as ours. We find ways to fit. We generate brand-new lives for ourselves based on context or people, on relationships or associates or feeling or desperation.
And suddenly where we were doesnt seem to hurt just as much when we think about it. Suddenly were not swallowing chunks in our throat when we think of dwelling. Suddenly dwelling is transversal, malleable, dependenton who and where we are . strong>
We leave our hometowns for school. We take chores that conduct us to new soil. We follow people and fervours. We leave our worries behind and shamelessly seek change.
And we develop residences in the person or persons we fulfill and enjoy, in the places we reconcile, in the locations where we choose, yes, this is where I belong now.
Isnt that beautiful? But scary too. Frightening because as we leave where weve been, as “were leaving” what we know, theres a bittersweet taste in our mouths.
Because where reference is return, its no longer home.
Its no longer aromas and feelings and remembrances we recognize.
Our old homes are changed, paused, frozen in time with the last kiss we shared, the last words we let slip from our lips, the last photo we snapped, the last goodbyes . strong>
And in some manner, these homes, moments, slivers of occasion are no longer home. Not anymore.
I watch the sun give, watch the clouds float in and out of focus, divulging blinking metropoli daylights below. Its the hour between sundown and darkness, where the sky hasnt yet been swallowed by night.
I imagine my mother, stands ready to head to the airport to pick me up, or my best friend, planning her wedding in the city Ill travel to next. I think of my sister, in another state, settling into her new life, her brand-new dwelling away from me. I think of my little apartment, my little suspension plant I imparted to my neighbor to liquid while Im proceeded
Is there a distinct differencethe past home, the new homeor will I ever feel like these two parts of the world are mine ? strong>
Im not sure this is right I fit. Im not sure if I should hold onto the fragments of my past, the memories of the city I grew up, forever rooting myself to Midwest soil. Im not sure if I should leave those parts of myself veiled, simply excavates up when Im returning back and the rest of the time claiming a brand-new metropolitan, brand-new identity.
And what about now: Am I returning back home or simply visiting the place I used to live? Will my old-time residences forever be a part of me, characterizing my track, my future? Or is where I live currently the only place that they are able to, that should, write my narrative?
Not necessarily fitting into one place. Not necessarily knowing where to belong. A sense of got lost, have taken place between to physical places, between two ways of reasoning, between two ways of lovingwhere youve been and where you are.
I have residences in people, in remembrances, in townships, in coming back, in starting new.
Maybe there is no set answer to where I belong. Maybe none of us really know, or have one given home that forever remains the same in our thinkers and hearts. Maybe its not about trying to figure out where I should be or belong.
Maybe my heart is free, making ties each time I leave, and every time I return.
Marisa Donnelly is a poet and writer of the book,, available here.
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