I'm not saying that like I can never go back to the Pacific Northwest and see people, or like I'd never even consider moving back. I just mean it in the philosophical sense, that home is an idea, and once you leave, you can never get it back.
It's a weird feeling, knowing you've left what felt like home. Knowing things are now different, I mean, really different. And that, in a small way, I have to mourn that idea of home, just as I did when I left Portland, as I did when anything major changes. A part of what was will never be again.
I'm getting used to it still. San Jose isn't a place I can really call home. Maybe someday, but right now, it's just the place I am. Kevin is more than the person I'm with, of course, but the place itself lacks that sense of meaning that makes a home. My whole identity, at least, many superficial parts of it, have been so altered that it will take time for the dust to settle and my self to re-emerge.
I know this is right. I know that it had to happen. I took graduated steps out of the nest and into adulthood. The order and the time were right.
Here in my room, I am surrounded by reminders of home. The sheets on the windows I used at the two previous houses. One was from my freshman dorm, the other from my sister's childhood bed. A poster in Russian from Christine, another of the Gossip, a band I saw with several friends on multiple occasions. A sketch of San Francisco my dad drew when he was in college. The vibrating hula frog my parents brought me from their last vacation together. The sarong I bought in Kuala Lumpur for too many ringgit, no matter how much haggling Meesh and Winnie tried. Dozens of framed pictures, mosting scenery, from car trips, family vacations, and old neighborhoods. A sculpture I made in 8th grade, my two best friends at my side; a painted dish from an ex-boyfriend's friend in Ann Arbor; a ceramic kitten from the Japanese teachers I worked for one summer. A collection of music that marks almost every day of the last nine years.
I keep these things around to let myself believe some part of the home I left still exists.
But here, it's as though I am barely born. The youngest in the office, alone and lost and hardly fearless in my navigation of these suburban streets, finding my way.
There is ration, and there is truth. And I hope I can measure out the appropriate amounts of each as fuel in the journey onward.