The Defiance of Coming Home

I’m currently sitting outside the Starbucks on Rea Road across from my favorite Greenway after walking my pup, grabbing a power bar from Great Harvest, and stocking up on wine from TJ’s (Cocobon is $6.99…be still my heart!) Last night, I had dinner at Ilios Noche and Wednesday, drinks at Foxcroft. I got my ass handed to me at 9 Rounds…twice, and dripped my way through Melissa’s idea of a “nooner” at Charlotte Yoga. In short, this week, I came home.

I obviously ate, drank, and sweated my way through my homecoming and fortunately, I was not alone. Friends and family graciously allowed me to cram in brunch, drinks, 40th birthday parties, photo shoots, coffee dates, yoga mats, dinner, whatever and whenever to ensure I could see as many faces as possible. And still, I already feel the guilt of missing out on some and shorting out on others.

I need another week. Or maybe another lifetime.

One thing I didn’t expect when I pulled in Friday night under the light of the “martini building”, as my husband affectionately calls it, was how much I long for the familiarity of this place. I felt some kinda way the first time I realized I could use memory instead of GPS to get to my destination. The city possesses an energy all its own, and I’ve been craving it more than I realized.

I’m not sure home is ever the same once you leave, primarily because you know you will have to leave again. You know the visit will end, that you can only become so invested, only let your guard down so much. It’s daunting to consider shedding Charlotte for Clarksville…again. And yet, my gratitude for a place that engenders this much internal conflict overwhelms me. To love a city this much, to ache for it’s familiarity, to be embraced by it’s people, and recharged by it’s energy is miraculous.

Charlotte will forever be my Queen City, the place where I found myself, and met my life. But I think I’ve figured out that it can’t be my home anymore, not if I want to stop feeling like a visitor in my current city. I must invest. I must find the familiar. I must buy a bigger wine rack and shamelessly transport cheap wine across the border.

In short, I have to stop seeing Clarksville as summer camp.

It’s time to build a home.