Don't you just love living here? I have lived in Atlanta most of my life. I went to college in Nashville, and upon graduating college, I moved to New York. Like so many other fresh graduates, I figured NY was about the best place from which to take over the world with my newly-inked sheepskin and infinite knowledge.
I lived in New York City - East 61st Street to be exact - for exactly 3 months, 17 days and 11 hours. I hated every single minute of it. I would spend some days sad, others terrified, others homesick and the rest just trying to keep from getting hit by a cab. The stories about them are true, by the way.
Looking back on that exerience, tainted by my own naivete and hubris, I have to laugh. I'm not sure what I expected, really, besides exactly what I got. I was a 19 year old kid with barely enough savvy to know how to blow my own nose, and I suppose I expected New York and her inhabitants to roll out the red carpet for me and my bad self. They did not.
Yes, I counted down to the exact number of hours the time I lived in Manhattan. I came to realize later that all the students with whom I went to school who called NY home probably felt the same way - homesick for their homes and families. Home isn't a latitude and a longitude; it's what you knew growing up. Period.
I am glad that what I knew growing up was hot summers and mild winters during which snow was always a reason for a holiday. I'm glad I knew from a young age what a dogwood tree looked like, knew what azaleas and magnolias and camellias looked like. I'm glad a contemplative Southern drawl sounded perfectly normal to me.
Yes, home is home, no matter where yours is. But I am awfully grateful that mine is here.