When you spend frequent, fairly extended amounts of time away from the place you consider home, you came to find a definite sense of serenity in the warmth of your own bed or the reliability of butter to make cookies with in the fridge. It becomes a place you come back to after dealing with a crazy vacation or a long day. Living in the same house my whole life, sans a few months when I was 9 while it was being remodeled and technically living in a residence hall this past year at school, my home has never wavered. I have never not known where I would always belong and be loved. And while the latter will always be true, I hope, the former seems to have changed.
Maybe it was the fact that I was meant to be moving out of this house for good a year ago and have had to come back for the summer, maybe it is because this house was merely a refuge to me at the end of all of those miserable weeks at school between my adventures or maybe I just spent too much time in June sitting around, but this no long feels like home. It was something I noticed after LeakyCon, even though I was definitely aware of it before I left. However, it didn't hit me until a friend from high school came round between LeakyCon and VidCon. He said to me "I'll see you when you come home" and I had this moment of "I don't think this is home anymore. But I don't know what is." I think of it as a bit of an anti-Harry moment. I was right with him on that train leaving Hogwarts, except I wasn't leaving my real home, but realizing I did not really have one anymore.
There is all sorts of home-related bullshit out there. "Home is where the heart is" and all of that. But when you have as many different people around the world who you care deeply about, you know that is not really the case. If home is where the heart is, my heart is split far more than Voldemort's soul. I have always seen home as where my parents and dogs are. Where most of the crap I've had since I was an infant and don't want but have to keep for the children my mother thinks I will have but that I know I won't is hidden away in the attic. To be honest, it has been a while since I have held any sort of fantasy of staying in one place for an extended period of time again. There is a HUGE FREAKING WORLD out there and I want to live in all of it's little cracks and corners at some point (though, hopefully not actually in a corner somewhere. I would like a bed of some sort at each location.) But this house in a suburb outside of Seattle was always going to be my technical home.
Don't get me wrong, I think it could very well be a product of an over-enthusiastic traveler who has gotten lucky this year by flying all over the country at least once a month, but I think it is more than that. I've written before how we convince ourselves that places can change us. We think that by going to a certain location and having those experiences there that we will come out a different person. I worried that they wouldn't, but I feel as though I've proved myself wrong. Maybe so much happens to you when you leave your home that coming back means that you're bring with you this new sense of self that your home could never understand. Perhaps every time we walk out of our doors is just one step away from our childhood home. One step towards something else, whether we know where that is or not. I certainly don't. What I do know is that now I have a Visa in hand and the next flight I board will hopefully take me to a place where I can hopefully find that sense of home once more. Till tomorrow.
"It's a dangerous business, Frodo, going out your door. You step onto the road, and if you don't keep your feet, there's no knowing where you might be swept off to."
Days till London: 26.