It’s been a week since we said goodbye to the Wookiee, and I’ve decided to write this post as though it never happened. It’s a part of my life, and I’m still sad, but it’s not a part of the weekend I spent in Baltimore, which is what I’m writing about.
That weekend, I spent several nights with my BFF. We went to a fruit tree festival in Druid Hill Park, where the kids bobbed for apples in a downpour, and we took the Light Rail to the Guster concert at Ram’s Head. We put together a puzzle and watched Master Chef, and I played with their kiddos every evening. (Meaning, they bilaterally threw blankets over my head for a two-fold attack. Aunthood was so much easier when there was only one! I’ll never win against Team Sibling.) We went to a mutual friends’ house—friends I hadn’t seen in years—and reconnected like only a day or two had passed.
Being in Baltimore was like going home.
Which is weird, really, because it never felt like home when I lived there.
The future is a scary place, and so is Baltimore when you’re a rural 22-year-old straight out of college. During the two years I lived in Baltimore, I attended a dozen weddings—all without a date—and wondered if I’d ever find the relational security so many of my friends had found. I worked several jobs and wondered if I’d ever find the career satisfaction others talked about. I lived in two different apartments with two different friends planning two different weddings and wondered if I’d ever feel remotely stable.
Next to that, high crime and homicide rates seemed downright easy to face.
And funny enough, it’s mostly still true today. I still haven’t had a date to a wedding, although I’ve been a bridesmaid in six. I’ve worked several jobs and am still waiting to find career satisfaction in something that also makes money. But instead of wondering at my instability and wondering why nowhere feels like home, I’ve realized that home is everywhere I have friends. And it was only after I left Charm City that I realized the depth of the friendships I had left behind.
Driving through my old neighborhood and past my old apartments didn’t feel like going home, but sleeping in my BFF’s guest room did. Standing in line at the old grocery store where I used to shop wasn’t home, but making pizza with old friends was.
I’ve heard old couples say that their spouse is their home, and as someone who’s been seeking a true Home for her whole adult life, I find that sentiment beautiful. Maybe someday, I’ll have one man I call home, who knows. But right now, I have many people in many places who feel like home to me, and I couldn’t be more thankful.
Next time I’m in Charm City, I’ll make a point to look up more of them.