Got to talking with a good friend last night over hot wings, he had just gotten home this weekend from WVU. Eric was telling me that coming home for him is weird in that it's so different from everything in Morgantown, but it's exactly the same as he remembers it when he left. Sure the shopping centers have changed stores, there's a new restaurant next to Wal-Mart, and that intersection looks like it has new traffic lights, but it feels the same.
From what I gather of our discussion, it's like coming home to not only a place, but a memory of a feelings. You remember what that gas station smells like on the inside, you remember the glares on your windshield when you drive down the parkway at a particular time of day. It's the familiar things that make it home, not so much the locale.
Eric's story becomes even more interesting when he mentions that his family recently moved. So driving home for Thanksgiving, he has to use map-quest to find his house. An interesting twist to the story if you ask me. That familiarity is gone, yet everything else to him feels the same. A new bedroom, a new driveway, a new mailbox. Any of these things on their own is nothing but to have all of it, and a new address kind of brings it all to perspective.
Then I got to thinking of when myself and those my age begin shopping for a new home of their own. Already there are plenty people I know living in apartments but knowing that these residencies will last for only the next 18 months kind of cheapens that "home" image. I'm talking about after college. After med school and grad school. All of my friends will be buying furniture and paying electric bills. Their mail will be sent to their new permanent address in states far away from "home" and they may live the rest of their lives at that address.
Stuff like that interests me. Who knows where I'll be in 10 years. Will that be my last home or my 10th home? or Both?