It’s funny how being around people from your past makes you revert, in a way, to who you were when you first knew them. I feel so grateful to have reconnected with a few friends from my childhood now that we’re all grown up. The really stark contrast I notice is how much I, and they, have changed over the past decade and how, in a way, we are all still the same. The mannerisms of these adults seem no different to me than their pre-teen counterparts when, in truth, they have undergone massive transformations for which I was not there. It saddens me a bit to see how much I have missed out on having moved so far away after high school. With that said, I may be even more overjoyed by the knowledge that, for some friends, time and distance are irrelevant.
During this trip to Texas, and being on the verge of yet another transition as my person and I prepare to move to North Carolina, I have been blessed to spend real quality time with friends I have known since they days of sleepovers and school dances. There must be some kind of unbreakable bond formed with people you go through puberty with because, even with years and miles between us, I feel myself falling back into the same skin I wore at age 12. The conversation feels the same, the laughter feels the same and the beautiful, indescribable sense of belonging has made me sure that, regardless of no longer having a house here, this will always be my home.
Home is a loaded word. It means a lot of different things to a lot of different people, myself included. I just left a home in Queens that I loved and am about to move into a new home in North Carolina, which I’m incredibly excited about. My mom’s home is in heaven and my dad’s home is whichever trout stream he’s standing in and yet, somehow, Austin remains the home in my heart. I guess that’s one of the funny things about life; no matter how much you move or how many homes you rack up, there will always be the one from which you came that, if you’re lucky, you can always return to and find the person you started out as on your way to becoming who you are. And if you’re really lucky, you’ll find a few of the people you started out with and be a part of each other’s journeys yet again. I’m one of the really lucky ones.