The Beauty About Leaving Home Is You Can Always Go Back


There once was a day when I couldn’t wait to leave home. Life was so small there. Claustrophobic. Simple. How sick I was of the silence and kicking waves at the ocean and studying stars so hard, wondering how different they’d look if I was looking at them from someplace I actually belonged.

I couldn’t wait to meet my life, because this life wasn’t what I was meant for, not even a little bit.

I belonged somewhere out there, coming and going, seeing crazy things and feeling so many things that would finally be right.

I craved the chaos, the inspiration of a blue and silver city. I wanted to know people who did cool things. I wanted to know where to go in Brooklyn. And I wanted to be alone. But I wanted to be alone in a life I had actually created for myself—not in the alone of home that felt perpetual, like I had no other choice.

Eventually I did leave, and the life I’d been dreaming about for so long was alive and breathing. I couldn’t explain it, my gratitude and excitement, as I discovered parts of myself that hadn’t ever occurred to me before. I made a lot of mistakes. But I lived life vivaciously. Everything in my life had its place—finally. I made sense here. I loved it here. There was a sense of poetry to my every day—the spinning craze of it all that filled me, that colored me, that was my company, and accepted me for who I was. Imagine that. Sometimes, even I couldn’t.

And when it all changed for me, so many years and years later, it’s like I’d forgotten how to breathe. Part of that poetry had gone missing somewhere and the cold I felt from its absence was unbelievably the worst in the world. I couldn’t understand it. I tried to spread out the years that’d passed before me, to find where it all had broken or even started to break, but it all had grown so pale. But this was what I’d wanted. It didn’t make sense.

I thought it would be a short-lived funk—something I’d eventually shake free from. But it all continued, and everything I once loved about this city I didn’t care anymore about. And I was so mad at myself for letting that happen. So I continued to backtrack, to try and find where it all started slipping, but my current breath was just too short to go back that far. So what then was I supposed to do?

That’s when I decided to go back to where it all started. I went home. It wouldn’t be for forever. But sometimes you just need to get away and escape part of yourself, and I don’t think there’s anything unrealistic or “failing” about it.

And so I returned to those simple dark nights of chronic silence, having nowhere to go and nothing to see. How different the silence sounded now. How badly I needed to hear it. And I didn’t feel judged for coming back. I didn’t feel questioned or unwelcome. I just felt home in a way I think can only happen after being away for a while. I appreciated now having nowhere to go and nothing to see.

Maybe life won’t ever make sense in one specific place. Maybe I won’t ever make sense in one specific place, either.

But at least I know that I can always come back home—no matter how long I’d spent hating it here—and once I’ve made sense of things again, while studying stars like old times, I can go back to the life I created for myself out there and see it all so differently. Thought Catalog Logo Mark

Brooklynite. Book junkie. Sarcasm at its best. On a constant quest for craft beers and live music.

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