It’s officially been 6 days now since I’ve been back in Seattle. It’s really tough for me to imagine that only 7 days ago I was sitting down near the south street pier looking out at the Brooklyn Bridge as the sun set. It’s even tough for me to imagine that only 7 days ago I said my last goodbyes to a few of the interns that I had the opportunity to build a closer friendship with. I say that it’s tough to imagine because to be honest it doesn’t feel like I was in New York a week ago. In fact, to me it feels like I’ve been back at home for months now. But why is it like that?
When I was living in NYC I missed Seattle. I missed the fresh air, the moderate temperatures, and the culture. When I first arrived in New York I didn’t like the culture, the atmosphere, or the crowdiness. Yet as I sit here writing this I’m finding that those are the things that I really am missing. But beyond that I think one of the things I’ve realized is that since I’ve arrived back at home I haven’t quite felt quite as comfortable with the group of people I used to hang out with.
Ever since I got home I’ve had the chance to see most of the people that I care about the most. My best and closest friends. But even as I hang out with them I’ve continually found that things have changed and that I just don’t feel comfortable. Even before I left for NYC I felt that way with my church community, and I could never really pinpoint why it was that I never felt like I truly fit in. In my head I kept asking the question, shouldn’t I feel like I don’t need to hide anything in front of my church community? That I shouldn’t be afraid of approaching or talking to anyone? Yet, I’ve continually found that especially within church, there’s a degree of separateness between me and those around me.
I’ve tried to analyze why it was that I felt uncomfortable. Was it me? Knowing that I can be shy and awkward at times I assumed that maybe it was me that made it difficult for me to get along tightly with those around me. But then if that were true, why did I have such an easy time getting along and feeling like I fit in among a group of people I didn’t even know before I went to New York? Somehow, a group of interns made me feel like I had been friends with them longer than I have been friends with some people that I’ve known since I was a kid.
I don’t think I’ve still managed to find out what it is exactly that feels weird about being home again, but at the same time it’s really getting to me. Why is it that I can’t feel at home in a place that I’ve called “Home” for over ten years? Why is it suddenly getting so difficult for me to fit in? There’s a disconnect somewhere…and until I find out where it is and reconnect it, Seattle will not feel the same to me.
If there’s one thing that the past two months have taught me is that sometimes in order to feel at home, you have to travel thousands of miles away to figure out what “home” truly means to you. And as of now, I can’t honestly say that I’ve figured out what it means to me.