04 January 2010

The Wheels on the Bus

Back to school. Back to work. Back to, well, life I guess. It's a strange thing to go home to the house where I grew up, where my parents live still, and to see my family, my sister, my friends and to realize that as much as I love them all and as amazing it is that we are still in contact and can still fall into our old relationships as though no time has passed (after five years of separation), I don't really have a life there. It is more like an escape into the past; a world where I can postpone my responsibilities and the decisions that haunt me at every turn; a place where I can sleep in until noon if I want and where I can sit around and put together puzzles or laugh with my mom and my sister at stupid things and play with our pets or go shopping in the middle of the week with my friends and all the time without feeling the constant pull at the back of my mind reminding me that there are things to be done and appointments to get to and people to please. It's a magical thing. And a strange one too. It leaves me unsettled and confused. If I don't belong at home, where do I belong?

While I was in Tucson for two weeks for Christmas and New Years I kept having this strange feeling like I needed to go back to Utah. Like that was my home now. But the truth is, it isn't my home either. At least not in any lasting, comforting way. It's a temporary life I lead here. A transitory existence, shifting between different apartments, storing my things in stranger's sheds while I travel for months at a time, and living with new people every few months. And ever in the back of my mind is the truth that this was never meant to be forever. But I don't know what is. There is no such thing as going home anymore, and in less than a year when I receive a diploma and an invitation to enter the working world and real "adult life" I feel like I will suddenly be homeless in a very real way. Not only will my contract expire, but I will no longer have a reason to live in Provo. I will no longer fit in at my parents home. I will be, I feel, that ever so cliché leaf tossed with the wind, and who knows where I'll land.

It certainly isn't something particular to me, and I realize that, of course. Yet, it feels so solitary. There's a song I like by Taylor Swift in which she sings, "I don't know what I want, so don't ask me, cuz I'm still trying to figure it out . . . I'm alone, on my own, and that's all I know." Me too, sista! Me too. It's a strange feeling. It's as though I'm walking along this path of my life and all the way it's painted out so clearly, the light shining through beautiful trees lining the road, even the bumps and hills I've traveled are there, solid and real, but then suddenly everything becomes blackness. I see my graduation and then...nothing. A blank. An absence. And I'm headed straight for it full speed and without any breaks. It's terrifying really. And yet, I'm kind of excited. I'm just hoping that hidden behind that curtain of uncertainty is a beautiful landscape awaiting exploration. And it may not be what I expect or what I know, but there's got to be something there. My life hasn't ended yet (though that is a scary thought!). And, you know, sometimes we need a little mystery. At least that's what I'm telling myself these days. So please, if you know differently, just don't burst my bubble!

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