I've written alot in the past months about the constant evolution that seems to be defining my 28th year. I feel myself experiencing a sort of re-birth, like I'm going through puberty all over again, and discovering things within me that I never knew were there at all. This is, in part, why this move is such a major step for me.
As some may know, this is not the first time I picked up and moved to DC. The last time I was 22, fresh out of college for one week before I came here to do an internship and that was all she wrote. I fell into complete and total dumbstruck love with this city, the people, the smells, the politics, the way that every single bar had some sort of name like The Caucus Room or Front Page News or whatever. For a then-politics junkie, it was like a sort of heaven.
It was the first time I'd ever really left Kentucky, aside from studying abroad to Denmark in college. I'd certainly never lived on my own, not really, outside the comforts of a dorm and parents an hour away. I loved my work, even though I had a boss who was absolutely from hell. I remember standing in front her, literally shaking, as she threw something I wrote back at me and told me never to give her shit like that again. When I was walking out, she said something along the lines of why she couldn't understand why she kept hiring such worthless people. I cried at the bus stop that night, when I finally left at 9pm, and decided I would quit after six weeks if I could last.
I stayed for another 18 months.
I defied that crazy bitchy woman and just...showed up. I just kept waking up and going, every day, and I know I've earned her respect because of it. When I took this current job, she emailed me and told me her congratulations. It made me stronger, made me work harder, to never accept mediocre when it comes to work I give to someone else. It taught me that after that, not much would frighten me or ever really seem THAT bad at my job.
I grew to miss Kentucky, and in an extreme nutshell, ended up moving back there for four years. I got comfortable. I had two nieces and two nephews born, I experienced my two families going through several re-births and re-arranging of all our lives. I got to connect with all my step-siblings in ways I never would have otherwise. I fell in love. I got proverbially kicked in the stomach repeatedly (or so it felt/feels) because of that unfortunate love. I gained weight, then I lost even more. I got complacent. I turned down job offers elsewhere, and spent a couple of years running in place with my life.
The job offers kept coming to come back here, and finally this one came and it was too good to pass up. And I was ready. I knew it was time, and I had a quiet resolve that this year, my life was going to change. Because I would make it change.
So here I sit, within a city block of that old rowhouse I shared with a friend. The house where I used to sit on the porch and drink beer, and where I first decided that maybe--this city this could be home, too. I could maybe have two homes, just like when I was a kid, shuttling back and forth between states with my overnight duffel.
This past week has been the strangest, longest week I've had in a very long time. My parents came and went, we survived an 8 hour drive in the car with my cat, and I finally am getting things settled. I've gotten my books all in the shelves, but I still can't find my socks...but, I am confident they'll turn up :)
I'm on day 3, and it's still hard to wrap my mind around this being home again. My friends here in DC keep gently correcting me when I refer to Kentucky as home with a response of "you ARE home."
And through it all, I need to think of it like that. I'm so sick of living my life with a limited window of time--thinking that next year, I'll do this kind of job. Or that in two years, I'll move somewhere else.
Home is where I hang my hat right now, and in the corner I see two old baseball caps hanging on a chair corner (see them below?). So this is home, for me, for right now.
And right now, is all that matters.