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a.j.
05 November 2011 @ 02:38 pm

Last weekend, I went to my hometown for the first time since March. Usually when people say that, it is because there are states, oceans, continents even that are separating them from their first home.

For me, it was only pride, followed by silence, followed by too many tears.

Now, phone calls always end in laughter, and visits end in plans for "next time."

Leaving felt unusual. I'm so used to identifying as one town, or the other. There are so many reasons why I don't belong there anymore ("Oh, ma'am, if you use this option you'll save two dollars." "Oh, that's okay! Thank you, though." "Everybody need to save two dollars! What are you, rich!" "Uh.") ("Are you one of those people who spends more than eight dollars on a meal now? How fucking boughie of you.") (Then there is the fighting, the black eye, the running away. The leaving, the being able to stop my medications, the being able to breathe. Good jobs, actually being able to breathe, looking forward to the next day. Giving up my sister's family to take care of myself. The guilt, because it's worth it, because I have never been so happy, never been so deeply and unapologetically myself. There is a place for me here, there is a home, there is a life.) ("She's saying that it was your fault, and he doesn't want anything to do with you."). But then there is warmth, and there is my dog, and there is my family, and there is the person that has been with me for thirteen years, always letting me be myself when nobody else even knew who that was, including myself.

I belong in two places, and I am only realizing it now. I have been a citizen of two cities and two worlds from the moment I moved back to my college town, from the moment my parents left my dorm for the first time, from the moment I found my future college at age fourteen and began to dream. I have always known that I belonged out here, with the dreamers and the doers. I'm only now realizing that I also belong with my roots, and that my home town was just waiting for me to return its embrace.