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Isn't it pretty?

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Sweet Home Alabama?

Got back from Alabama really late last night. It was a really good trip - I spent quality time with both my parents, saw my grandparents (who are hilarious, thought they don't really mean to be), and unfortunately only managed to see one of my brothers. I purposely chose to not visit over Shabbos this time, and it was a really wise decision. The way my mom put it - this way we were able to do whatever we wanted to. It was weird though, being in Birmingham again. I feel a bit displaced, because it's just not really home anymore. I guess I'm from there, at least that's what I tell people, because that is where my family lives. But the feeling of going home just doesn't really seem to apply anymore. It just seems as if there are more things that have changed than have stayed the same since I left. It's vaguely familiar, I still kind of know my way around, but not comfortably. There are so many new shopping centers that my family takes for granted that weren't there when I lived there, and many of my old stomping grounds that have been abandoned in my absence. But where is home? On the plane last night, I kept thinking and wishing for my bed, which usually signifies home for me. But it's not, really. It's just an apartment, and a bed. Some of that could be due to the fact that I've only been living in that apartment for a week. But part of it is that New Jersey has not yet become home. Baltimore has the closest feeling to home - but I don't have family there, only friends. And no stuff, no bed, no dwelling. Can a home be a place in one's mind, where you just feel it, rather than actually are? If that's the case, then in some ways, Israel would be home also, because even though I haven't spent that much time there, it just has that enveloping presence of belonging, of comfort amidst the chaos. But teh truth is, I just kind of feel homeless in a way. Of course, I always have a place to sleep. But no where to really feel is mine, is me. That's hard. And being in Alabama just highlighted that to me. I'm going to have to rethink my answer for when people ask me, "Where are you from?" Because I just don't know. I don't mean to be so melancholy - I also feel happy to know that there are so many cities in which I am welcomed with open arms by family and friends. But I guess I just am ready to put down some roots and imbed myself in the soil of one place. I don't know if that will happen until I am done with school, but I'm ready to be there.

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