going home

what does it mean to go home? every time i go i wonder about this question. to me, home is driving north until i reach the pennsylvania welcome sign. driving through the fort pitt tunnel to one of my favorite views at the end. the city of 3 rivers, and five generations of my family.

going home is kind of like this for me:

it tends to feel like i'm looking for a piece of myself that got left behind. like my roots are still in the ground up there, and when i get that air back in my lungs i start to feel more like myself. [this is precisely why i think i had two of my best runs of training up there this past weekend - despite all the hills that my legs are no longer used to running.]

most of the time i feel a bit torn. no matter which direction i'm traveling through the mountains, part of me is leaving and part of me is going home.

anytime someone asks me where i'm from, i still say pittsburgh. i probably always will. even if we never get to move back there, and i live here, or somewhere else for longer than the 22 years i spent there. nowhere else will ever really be home.

there's just something about home. something healing. because home doesn't just bring back the memories, or the nostalgia. it doesn't just include the places and the people. it also brings back the sense of indestructibility that came with being a kid. it allows me to remember that at one time i truly truly believed that anything was possible.

i had a sense of optimism and wonder that overrode everything else. going home means going back to a place and time when i wasn't as battle-worn and jaded. in a strange way it reminds me of the things that i hoped for, and that i still have reasons to continue hoping.

sometimes when i'm home i drive past my childhood house. the place where i spent the first 18 years of my life. and so many times i've wanted to stop and ask to have a look around [just like she does in the video...]. i want to go into the back yard, and climb up on top of the monkey bars just like i used to. i want to play soccer in the back yard, swing on the rope swing, wade in the creek and catch minnows, sled down the hill into the neighbors yard, roller blade around the basement, and jump in the big piles of leaves we'd have each year.

because sometimes going home is really just a way to find yourself again.

what does home mean for you?


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