Home is Where I Want to Be, Pick Me Up and Turn Me ‘Round….

I’ve been working a lot. A LOT. So I’m recycling old stuff. I’m sorry. Here you go.

I wrote an essay arguing the quote, “You can never go home again”. I stated that Thomas Wolfe didn’t know what the hell he was talking about and you can indeed go home again. In fact, I wrote that home can be in multiple places and I took the opportunity to quote my favorite Talking Heads song in the title, “Home is where I want to be, but I guess I’m already there” (I will use any excuse to quote Talking Heads in my writing).

Actually, I think I’m the one who’s full of shit. I’m 25. Why I thought I was an expert on this matter is beyond me.
As I write this, I’m in Upstate New York at the “home” I grew up in. I’m visiting from where my current “home” is in Austin, TX. However, I’m missing my “home” in L.A. where I have left most of my large possessions and a brick-walled studio apartment in Koreatown. So, one could say that my heart is in three places- New York, California, and Texas. However, my heart is broken into three little pieces and doesn’t feel whole anywhere I go. 
Maybe Thomas Wolfe was right. You can’t go home again. You just lay your baggage wherever you go.

September 17th, 2008….

They say, “You can never go home again.”

Who says that?

I want to know!

According to Quoteland.com, it’s a dude name Thomas Wolfe, but that’s not confirmed.

Ok, so Thomas Wolfe maybe once said, “You can never go home again.”

Well, Thomas Wolfe, you’re wrong!

I think you meant childhood. If you actually wrote “childhood”, you’d be spot on.

Because I’m discovering something, Thomas Wolfe- you can go home again!

When I first moved to L.A., I immediately transformed into a discombobulated head floating in the smoggy atmosphere of the city. As I waved good-bye to familiarity, I continued swimming deeper and deeper into the grey-orange abyss, only occasionally brushing against solidity. I’d touch down for a moment or two, only to be shot back up into the clouds, letting them take me wherever they’d like. My feet weren’t planted here, but they were no longer planted in my hometown either. Every trip back to New York, I felt a deeper disconnect all the while reading “Less Than Zero”. While I was in NY, I’d long for the bustle of L.A. traffic, the lights under Mulholland, and the smells of Venice Beach (no matter how good or bad they may be). And though I could barely wait for my plane to land at Long Beach Airport, I’d feel the energy instantly sucked out with the opening of the plane door. From there, I’d climb back into my little empty, plastic bubble waiting curbside that would carry me back through town and into daily life, always keeping my feet from touching the ground.

It wasn’t until 3 years in, I noticed that the plastic film had shed away. I looked down and saw that both feet were firmly planted in the Los Angeles dirt. How my roots penetrated that compacted, dry dirt is beyond me, but they had forced through, wrapping tightly amongst the few stable anchors I could find. And there those roots have laid and will continue to lie, though I’m moving to a new city in a few days. I can’t pry them, I can’t sever them, I can only extend them. In contemplating this, it was then I realized that I had roots still firmly planted somewhere else too. In the place I thought I had pulled up in years ago. I traced back to my hometown, where I did some much needed cleaning and nurturing of my roots. And for the first time, I saw the beauty that lies in my hometown, in Central NY, in the place I once so desperately wanted to leave, but now felt such an undying connection to. Appropriately, I spent the entire trip looking at the grass. Something L.A. doesn’t have.

Then I realized that you can have more than one home…and you can go back any time you like.

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  • Reply Angie September 10, 2009 at 10:28 pm

    Geez I must have baggage all over the place, cuz there's several places I where I feel at home! 🙂 great post!

  • Reply That Chelsea Girlâ„¢ September 10, 2009 at 11:06 pm

    I very much agree with this, and I know exactly how it feels to not feel like you're "home," whatever your definition might entail.

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