I’ve lived in Indiana for almost four years now. I haven’t lived in Detroit for almost five. But when I talk about “home,” it’s Motown I’m referring to.
Part of the reason, of course, is that my family is still there. All of my family. My parents still own the house I grew up in. When we stay with them, I still sleep in my old room. I drive the same roads, shop at (most) of the same stores, even eat at the same places.
It’s all comfortingly familiar.
My oldest and best friends all live in Detroit too. Sure, I’ve made friends here, but none of those relationships go as deep, or have as firm a grip on my heart. I cherish every hour I get to spend with these special women.
But “home” is more than that.
It’s the sound of a familiar DJ’s voice on the radio.
It’s the snap of cold that brings a flush to my face when I let my dog out at night.
It’s bouncing through the potholes that litter the roads like land mines.
It’s seeing more shiny new cars than a town as depressed as this one should be able to handle.
It’s the exhaustion that comes after spending a day with all my nearest and dearest…
And the flash of anger that surfaces when someone I love irritates the heck out of me.
It’s spending an hour chatting with my mom…
And two or three more at the mall.
I’m not always my best self while at home, but I am my real self. And that? Is what makes home, home. No matter how long I’m gone, I’ll always miss it. Part of me will always wish I could go back – to stay.
But let’s face it. That’s not likely to happen anytime soon. And come February? Southern Indiana is a much nicer (and warmer) place to be.