Home is Where the Heart is

A few years ago, while I was still in college, I wrote out a list of short-term and long-term goals that I wanted to accomplish after I graduated. Some of them seemed extraordinarily out of reach, but to my surprise, I was able to cross a lot off of my list. Among these things, my biggest accomplishment still stands as taking that leap of faith to move into New York City. I can’t emphasize enough how grateful I am for getting a job in the city, and shortly after, finding an apartment.

For the few months when I was commuting back and forth from New Jersey to New York City, I was miserable. I was cranky and irritated almost every day and I couldn’t wait until I moved out. I grew resentful towards New Jersey and living at home. I felt like I was missing out on everything that the city had to offer. I always had to rush home just to get enough sleep so that I could wake up and go back into the city the next day. It was exhausting.

When the big day finally arrived, I couldn’t be more excited to embark on a new chapter of my life. I couldn’t wait to leave everything and everyone behind from my “former life.” During the first month of living in New York City, I went out almost every night and definitely every weekend. I felt like I had an infinite amount of freedom. Eventually, the excitement fizzled out and “city life” just became regular life. Living in New York City was no longer this fantastical idea. It was reality. it was then that I began to miss home.

There were weekends when all I wanted to do was see my old friends, go home, and eat my parent’s food.

People always think that the grass is greener on the other side. Sometimes, it is. Sometimes, it isn’t. We fantasize of what life would be like in another person’s shoes. We want to explore uncharted territories and see what life is like somewhere other than that of what we’re familiar.

I love New York City and I love living in New York City. The only thing that the city doesn’t provide me with is the comfort of home.

As resentful as I was towards it, I can’t deny that New Jersey is my home and no matter what, it will always feel like home.

After all, home is where the heart is.

Burned Bridges

There’s something about moving to a new city that makes life so much more exciting. You get to experience a new environment. You gain opportunities to meet new people. When you leave everyone who knew you behind, you get to be anybody you want to be; far from who you were when you were home. You get to re-write yourself.

I’m back home in New Jersey for Easter weekend and as much as I hate to admit it, I can’t deny the fact that it feels great to be back here. There’s a level of comfort that you can only get when you’re at home. It’s that sense of familiarity that consumes us. It’s the feeling we get around the people who watched us grow up before we became who we are. That’s what I like at least.

Every time I come home, I can always expect the same thing because it’s the same thing every time I come home. Nothing here has changed and I think that’s why I left. Everything was always the same. I got too comfortable.

Whenever I come back, I think a lot about people from my past. I do this on my own anyways, even when I’m at my apartment in the city, but it happens more so when I’m back in Edison. It’s because of that familiarity. The roads that I used to drive on, the school that I went to, the park where I used to play. All of these places are linked to memories and people who once meant a great deal to me at one point in my life. I always get sad looking back on it because as I got older, I learned that it’s so easy to lose people. We grow up. We change. We go different paths. There’s a part of me, though, that really misses those people. This can be said for all people at the different points in my life, the ones who have been long gone and the ones who I’ve recently lost. They’ve all made me who I am today. I thank them for that.

It’s hard for me, sometimes, to accept the fact that you can’t just pop into someone’s life un-announced anymore. I get such an urge to contact people who I haven’t spoken to in months or years. Every time this happens, a rush of spontaneity overcomes me and I start this text that I end up never sending because I suddenly realize, we don’t even know each other anymore.

There’s an episode of “How I Met Your Mother” which coins the term, “revertigo” which is when you go back to being the person you were around someone who you used to know from your past. The reason for this is because you can’t really go off anything else. When you get to a certain point where catching up hardly seems possible anymore, you can only draw on shared past memories. There are a lot of people in my life who I could go without seeing for months, but once we reunite, it’s like we had never been apart for a day. But then, there’s people who I just have nothing in common with anymore. There’s nothing to say, only old jokes to stir up some laughter for a brief moment. These are the people I lose.

I’ve recently started noticing that every time I come home now, there are less and less people that I have an urge to contact. I can’t tell if it’s me, or us, or life. But I always ask myself, “At what point, do you just give up on someone?”

All relationships are hard work, whether it be a friendship or a romance. Someone has to care though. It has to work both ways. So what I wonder is this:

Do you stop trying once you’re the only one who is?

I’ve gotten to many points lately where I’ve realized that it’s just me on my own. Now that I’ve come back home and I can’t think of a soul to tell that I’m here, I wonder, am I done losing everyone from back home? Have I strayed that far since I moved to New York?

My pride gets to me sometimes. I think, well if they’re not contacting me, then I certainly shouldn’t contact them.

That’s how you burn bridges.

I feel that I’ve burned a lot of mine and when I go back to the island of Manhattan, there will be no way for my friends to get to me anymore.