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Isn't it pretty?

Monday, January 16, 2006

Home Sweet Home?

I am back from Shabbos in Lakewood and a visit to Baltimore. As I was driving home, it was weird, because once again, I am not sure what or where home is. My trip to Israel was amazing. I still can't figure out how, in 10 days of being there, I felt more comfortable and at home than I have in six months of living in New Jersey. I am sure part of it had to do with the fact that I was staying with a close friend of mine and part of it was because I didn't have to deal with normal responsibilities while being on vacation. But there was something else to it as well. I just was at home, and comfortable, and felt like I was supposed to be there, despite not understanding the language. When it was time to leave Israel, I was ready to end my vacation - I need more structure in my life and was ready to get back into a routine. But to come "home" to New Jersey? That I wasn't quite ready for. For some reason, though I have my bed and belongings here, it doesn't beckon to me the way Israel had. Even though I always miss being "home" and usually have a need to be in my own place, I haven't achieved that need with my new abode, even though I've been here almost six months now. I was here in New Jersey for a couple days and then I spent Shabbos in Lakewood, where my friends welcomed me as part of the family. I then drove down to Baltimore motzei Shabbos, where we went straight to the home of one of the families I am close with there. As I was sitting in their living room, I realized how comfortable I am being with them, and how it felt like home to me. Yesterday I drove around visiting friends in Baltimore, having lunch at the beloved David Chu's, and feeling, once again, like I belonged somewhere. It leaves me with a weird feeling. I want to make my new place a home. I want to meet people and surround myself by those I am comfortable with and feel like family. But something has been keeping me from doing that here. And when I was in Israel, the feeling was just intensified - I didn't want to come back. Now that could be the nature of Israel, it does draw and call us the way no other place would. I guess it's possible to have more than one home in this world - I know my heart is torn in a few pieces by those who I love who live in different places across the globe. Maybe another piece of home will soon reside here in New Jersey, and I will fondly and happily come "home" after a stay away.

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