Although I’m sitting exactly where I was this time last year – inside my parent’s house in the good old suburbs of Portland, Oregon – the truth is I’ve spent most of the past year anywhere but.
Movement was the theme for 2007, and the year took me from my idyllic childhood home in the quiet Oregon suburbs to my last few weeks at the University of Oregon to the bustling metropolitans of New York City and Los Angeles. I spent my summer adjusting to my new life and my new job in New Jersey and exploring my new surroundings with trips to eastern Pennsylvania, Philadelphia and many trips to New York City. My one excursion was to Chicago for the BlogHer ’08 conference.
The Indian summer left plenty of opportunities for more adventures: a long weekend in Providence and Boston to see Mel and Bernard, a trek out to western New Jersey to visit Wendy’s family farm’s harvest festival, and a whirlwind two day trip to Washington D.C. to see Jill and an old friend and her son.
My year was filled with meeting new “old friends” with diabetes, but the actual illness managed to stay on the back burner of my mind as I focused on the more pressing issue of getting the rest of my life balanced and under control. It wasn’t until the end of the year that diabetes crept back onto the main stage, with finding a new endocrinologist, frustrating high blood sugars, and my first experience with being identified as a diabetic outside of my comfort zone.
My new life has had some very exciting moments – including one World Diabetes Day event, two movie premieres and three Broadway plays. It has also led to bouts of homesickness. Months ago I referred to a quote from Garden State, about how a home becomes an imaginary place after you move away from your childhood home. But I think what this year and all this movement has taught me is that I have homes everywhere. I have a home in Oregon. I also have a home in New Jersey. There is the cliche that “home is where the heart is.” But I believe that home is also a feeling. I have a home in a booth at Mimi’s Cafe in California, I have a home on the streets of Washington D.C., I have a home at a fancy restaurant in Manhattan, I have a home on the Brooklyn Bridge, I have a home in a park in Philadelphia.
I miss the feeling of associating home with a place, though, and my resolution – or simply my hope – for 2008 is for that to become a reality. For home to become a place that I go to, not just a fleeting feeling.
The movement is exciting and I cherish these experiences, but I crave stability. I crave the routine and the familiarity and the peace that comes from having a home you love and want to come back to. I always thought I was too young to need something like that, but I think it’s something everyone needs. I’m going to try very hard in 2008 to find it.
Wishing you a very happy 2008!