Today, Ben asked if Chris was free to chat on the phone. The last time he did this, he got laid off from his job, so I wasn’t sure what to expect. Well, we found out that after three years of living in Toronto, he’s decided he wants to move back to Melbourne. His tentative plan is to move back at the end of the year. I suppose the cold winters got to him.
While it makes me sad to think about him leaving North America (and being a 20-hour flight away instead of a 1.5-hour flight), it actually made me think about my own situation and made me sad in that way. He feels a pull toward Melbourne, his home. Part of it’s lifestyle, part of it’s family and friends, and part of it is probably an emotional attachment to the place he calls home. He looks back on it and remembers fondly all these moments he’s shared with family and friends who are still there and thinks about how difficult it is when he leaves after Christmas to come back to Toronto.
I feel none of that. When I think of home, the first thing I think about is how broken my family is, how my dad doesn’t even have a relationship with his own brother and sister (my uncle and aunt), how my cousins disregard my parents and me and really just think of themselves. I think of how cold and hostile my parents’ flat is in the Richmond district, how the yard is in complete disrepair and unrecognizable from when my grandmother was alive tending to it. I think of how my loving brother is dead, and how he will never be there waiting with his arms open for me ever again. I remember how much of a stranger I feel when I walk through the streets and realize that everything is changing so fast that even a few months away means yet another thing that is unfamiliar to me. And I realize that pretty much all of my friends have left that city, and the ones who are still there – I’m not quite sure where they are heading in mind or in life.
Maybe no place is really home anymore for me. I’m not sure where I will settle, and I am undecided when it comes to where I really want to be. I’m not even sure I want to be in New York anymore.