This was the first year I have ever flown home for the holidays. The airport is a crazy, festive place on Christmas Eve. Wild times, y'all, but hey....home is home. You gotta get back.
Its always a big hugs thing to go back to the place I was raised. I think about it a lot beforehand, marinate in the experience while I am there and then do a lot of post-processing. Its amazing how much all the same stuff is still there and how much I am the same and at the same freaking time, nothing is like it used to be anymore and neither am I.
I am really wrestling with making my peace with my childhood, where I come from, these hillbilly, disjointedly backwoods parts of who I am and also this city slicker, modern woman life that I live where we have sidewalks and favorite shopping haunts and we wave hello to our friendly city garbage men from the front window. The world I grew up in kind of hates the world I live in now, and vise-versa. Its really schizophrenic to be me after a visit home.
I love both places and they are both pieces of who I am. I am a culture person, a style person, an art person, a people person and I love my silent retreating into nature and my make-do style with zero salon visits and lots of Laura Ingalls. My sons grew up in the city. I married a guy who was born in Detroit and I learned how to gut chickens when I was a kid. Sometimes I feel out of place here but mostly, I think I've learned how to carve a niche for myself in my current life. Now its just really weird when I go home.
I love to be there and in many ways, my parents house is my safe-place but so much of what I do now, and know and like is just really odd there. Its hard to feel accepted or understood or free to be myself. Growing up and being different, changing and walking the line between what your parents are and what you once were mingled with who your spouse is, what your children are and what your current self is like is SO tough. I find it hard to be brave, I find it hard to let go, I find it hard to be unashamed about what I like and no longer care for. I want to be comfortable but that's not the same thing as free.
I love that my parents let me come back and bring my city sons to their house, I love that I have raised boys in the city who aren't afraid of getting dirty and that I have been determined to learn how to feel confident in opera houses and barns by turns. I love who I am becoming and even though its scary and embarrassing and confusing, I love changing and embracing more facets of interest and experience. I hope that home will always be familiar and that I will learn more and more, each year, to be bolder and more freely, warmly myself there. I want to feel like its okay for people I grew up with to be nervous around my obviously urban clothing, but also okay for me to get dirt under my fingernails and laugh too loud, to let go of the need to make it all smooth and easy and simple and allow the uneven weirdness sometimes. Its lumpy and awkward, this becoming. I wish I knew a more graceful way to do it but I don't.
I am so grateful to my parents for warmly welcoming my family who are so different from them into their life and home, for their willingness to talk about internet companies and buying and selling homes and city Little League activities with us even though these things have little to nothing to do with their lives. I'm also glad that they ask us to stack wood with them and dump out the chicken scraps and sit around and play guitar. I hope these two worlds are always part of my life and the fabric of who I am and even if it never gets easy to be in both places, I hope I get wiser about it and learn how to let go of the fear and shame and awkwardness of my duality.
I be complicated, y'all. Its tricky and I want that to be okay....even just for my own satisfaction.