What Happens To You When You Come Home From A Long Journey

My parents have had great fun with me lately. They see my articles on Huffington — they see me sharing them — and they joke about how their actions could be scribed about later. I tell them they’re lowkey famous because many times I do write about who they are.

I do that because now they’re different to me. They’re suddenly fascinating. I enjoy the simplest things — like cooking dinner for them or paying for lunch or buying them beers at Chili’s when the waitress asks for their ID’s and they don’t have them. Yes, the waitress seriously decided not to serve them.

I’m now in the position to take a closer look at the people who have been nothing but an occasional voice in my speakers for the past five months. I almost forgot how they looked. I guess the first order of business is that I’m grateful for them. That’s how I’ve changed.

It’s like I almost want to make up for all that lost time I spent beating them over the head with my sharp sarcasm in high school. I was such an ass.

A woman sitting beside me on a flight to Phoenix struck up a conversation with me after she overheard me talking to my Mom before take off. I told my Mom I loved her, and then I hung up the phone. The lady next to me told me she saw herself in me, and that I should be grateful for the time I have with them. Her mother died a few years ago.

I’ve heard that before, but now that I was miles and miles from home, it pushed me into a new perspective.

I don’t know about you, but I love talking to people. If you listen closely enough, you’ll hear their regrets float to the surface, and their wishes, and how their life may or may not have happened how they thought it would.

Often times I wonder whether I’ll have any regrets later in my life. Talking to people excites me and scares me at the same time. Will I be doomed to regrets later? How can I stop myself from having any?

Logic tells me I won’t be able to. But logic also tells me I’ll be able to dodge many regrets simply by not doing what I really want to do in a few key moments — wherever those moments will be in my life.

All of these thoughts flooded my mind as I talked with this woman. I don’t even know how I continued talking to her because my mind was 3,000 miles away. These are the moments we change.

But sometimes you don’t change as quickly as that. Sometimes it happens gradually over time with the effects barely being felt, like the changing of the seasons.

There’s so much that happens to you on a trip that it’s hard to decipher each little feeling that comes over you. Three weeks before I was about to leave San Francisco, my friend and I were driving around town with the windows down. The sun was shining, the cable cars rattled through the streets, and massive skyscrapers downtown kept looking down at us.

I was thankful to be with my best friend. I was enjoying the weather. I was staring at the cable cars in awe. But all of these feelings happened at once and built off of each other and mashed about to create a crazy feeling of euphoria I hadn’t felt in a long time.

It’s almost like you want to save this feeling, but it’s impossible, like trying to catch every snowflake falling from the sky with your tongue.

I guess what was really happening in these moments was a broadening of my mind. A sharpening of my senses. That’s what kept causing the euphoria. I dreamed about being happy while still back in Bel Air, MD. I dreamed about everywhere else but my homely street and my front porch. But now I was finally here. Now what?

The only logical next step is to come home.

But why?

Because we wish for new things, and then when we get them, we want what we had — but not in a “I don’t want this anymore,” way. It’s just a cycle. A never ending cycle of changing desires. You’re happy for this new perspective — this new experience — but now when we get it we want to come back to see home anew.

Home is no longer old and annoying to us. It’s now a fresh destination to explore with new eyes.

I wish I could show people just what happens in your brain after you come home from a trip. I guess I can liken it to Frodo from Lord of the Rings, who came home to The Shire and didn’t really know what to think of it anymore. It just wasn’t the same, because he wasn’t the same.

I guess what really happens to us is our perspective is drastically changed, which in turn means that our perspective of home changes too.