Thursday, September 24, 2009

Roots

As I stepped off the plane in NYC last week and found myself in a taxi speeding (literally) across the Triboro towards Manhattan, I typed the following as my Facebook status update:

"Country Girl says you can take the girl out of the City, but you can't take the City out of the girl. It's nice to be home."

And yet, a few hours later I was texting with a friend of mine from Smalltown, NC (aka my current home town) and I wrote: I love NY but I miss home.

She replied: You miss Smalltown? You need your head examined.

I replied: I don't miss Smalltown. I miss home.

Home. What does that mean?

I haven't lived in NYC for quite some time and yet, in ways it will always be home for me. Perhaps because my family is there. Perhaps because my friends are there. Perhaps because I learned to dart across 3 lanes of moving traffic in order to hail a taxi before I learned to walk. But there's no denying: NYC is in my blood. It is my roots.

And yet, in the 3.5 years that I have been in Smalltown, I have fallen in love with this way of life. I love that I know the name of both my UPS guy and my Fedex guy. I love that I am liable to run into someone I know at the post office. Or the grocery store. I love almost being a regular at the local cafe. I love that I am the only girl in the feed store toting a Louis Vuitton Alma. I love all of it.

And so I struggle dear readers: where is home? Can I have it both ways?

And if that ain't achingly philosophical, I'll kiss your...

2 comments:

Fiona Picklebottom said...

Sure you can have it both ways. I do. Charleston will always be home to me, more specifically James Island, where I know if I walk into the Harborview Road Piggly Wiggly, I will encounter at LEAST one person I knew 20 years ago.

BUT, I live in PA now (for 11 years) and I like it. I'm not in a city, but I'm only 30 minutes away from Philly (should I ever actually have the desire to GO THERE, which I typically don't, though I have been a few times). I like the access to the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, one of the best in the country, whose services I have used on more than one occasion. I like how AMAZING the schools are where we are and that my kids can reap the benefits of such great public schools. So for now, home is here.

Should I find myself ever living somewhere other than these two places, however, it is still Charleston that will make me nostalgic and that I will still equate with "home." Also, I'm still bitter about them tearing down the Cooper River Bridges and replacing them with that beautiful work of architecture that is the new bridge. Yeah, it's gorgeous, but you don't get the feeling of conquering death when you drive over it and make it to the other side, all white-knuckled and sweating.

Shelly Overlook said...

I find the concept of "home" fascinating. Home is not my birth town (birth - age 4). The town I grew up for 15 years is the place I've lived the longest in my life, yet I was rabid to get out of there and it means not much to me now. I think for me home is a feeling more than a place. I could consider my parents' house home, though I've never actually lived there. Or home is wherever I am with my husband and kid. We, family, make home, at least to me.