Our “storm” yesterday – I am from Western New York so I am allowed to put ‘storm’ in quotations – was a ½ inch of sleet, which came with a 3 hour early release from school, at least a dozen accidents around the city, and the plow making its one and only appearance for the year. What cracked me up most was the fact that salt was being laid down on the roads a good 20 hours ahead of the start of the storm warning, which ended up being about 22 hours ahead of the actual sleet-fall.
I completely understand Southerners’ disdain for the cold, and their frightful reaction to the wet white stuff. They didn’t grow up going to school after up to 5 feet of snow had fallen on the ground. I mean, the first time I saw a cockroach – commonplace in the South, even in the cleanest of homes – I F-L-I-P-P-E-D out. I had to call a friend to come kill it for me, and when she arrived on the scene I was bawling my eyes out. Bawling. Over a cockroach. Ridiculous. And embarrassing.
The differences in Northern/Southern living are huge, some days more obvious than others. When I can’t remember how to say certain words because I’ve got my Southern ears and Southern speak on, I want a visit back home. When everybody smiles at you because it’s the polite thing to do, I am happy to live in North Cackalacky (nickname for North Carolina). When I want my hometown grocery store, well, I want to go home. When I want to pay less for my groceries, I am happy as a clam to be here.
For my mobile generation, we have to make a decision. Accept that our hearts will probably play a regular game of tug-of-war between our home of origin and our made-it-my-own home. Accept that our friends will become our family and that we’ll have to make the most out of the 2-4 times per year we see our blood relatives. Or, decide that even though we thought the world would be more fun 972 miles away from home, the tug of war is just too exhausting and home of origin wins. Decide that even though our friends have come to mean a great deal to us, nothing can replace the comfort of a daily dose of Home. There are advantages to both sides. Steps of courage to take on both sides. And we all choose differently. We all arrive at our decisions based on very different reasons. Yet, the universality of it all makes us feel not so alone in wondering… am I less of an adult because sometimes, I just want to go home? Am I less brave, less adventuresome because I prefer the confines of my hometown over the vastness of the world at large? If I’ve moved away from my Home of origin, then subsequently move back, am I weak? Am I lacking courage? If I move away from my Home of origin and absolutely love my life, does that mean I don’t care enough about my Home and my family?
So many questions, so many different answers. So many decisions. Hence, the decision-making quandary for the mobile generation.
Below is a picture of my two homes. The first is my hometown, a hamlet in Western New York. The second is a place my heart asked for from the age of 16 until I came here to stay at the age of 26.
You tell me:
Are you living in a home of origin or a make-it-my-own home? What helps when you see the greener grass on the other side and want to hop the fence?
I am itching to write something that’s not so mushy. Something witty, light and humorous, like Return of the Modern Philosopher’s many posts. (Go read him, he’s worth it!) Yet, I remain in a reflective mood. I stared at my computer screen – quite literally – for about 25 minutes before writing this, trying to decide what to write about. Since before Thanksgiving I’ve had my posts locked and loaded, scheduled to publish well before Sunday. That can only last so long in a writer’s world. We can only be prepared and ahead of the game for so many days before, eventually, the words run out. So, in my indecisiveness, I wrote about making decisions. Go figure.