I’m a little bit of a commitment-phobe when it comes to places. My best friend recently got married, and she and her husband found an amazing home about half an hour from where we grew up. They have two decks, a sunroom, a back yard, a beautiful kitchen, three bedrooms. But when I got home from getting the first grand tour of their new, beautiful home, I couldn’t sleep. The only thing that kept running through my mind was… “They are going to live there forever.”
I didn’t move out of my parents’ house until I was 19, and even then I only went about 20 minutes away to school, and I came home every weekend. After graduating college, I made the decision to move to Pittsburgh after falling in love with the city during a summer internship. And this city has given me a lot of wonderful experiences. It’s a part of who I am now. It’s the place where my life really got started.
But it’s not where I’m going to end up. I know that, even now. I wake up each morning and peek over at the Pittsburgh skyline as I stroll through the Strip District on my way to work, and I take in the sight. I cherish it. Because I don’t plan on looking at it forever. But here is the problem: I have no idea where I’m going.
Last night I watched the film “Moonrise Kingdom,” which EVERYONE should run out and watch. It absolutely deserves that Best Original Screenplay Oscar nomination. I won’t give away the entire plot, but the gist of things is that a 12-year-old boy and girl run away together, hoping to survive in a bright yellow tent on the outskirts of the island they call home. In one scene, Sam and Suzy have a very serious discussion:
Sam: So, what do you want to be when you grow up?
Suzy: I don’t know…I want go on adventures I think-not get stuck in one place. How about you?
Sam: Go on adventures too, not get stuck too.
I never wanted to live in the town where I grew up. I respect people who want that. They keep their friends and family close, they build a sense of community their entire lives. Neither of my parents live more than 20 minutes from where they grew up. There is something quant and Cheers-like about living in a place where everybody knows your name. And knowing that my friends and family are just a drive away helps me sleep better at night, sometimes.
But I don’t want to just read about places, I want to experience them. I want to have so many stories that people think I’m lying. We think so hard about what we want to be when we grow up… I feel like I forgot to think about WHERE I will be when I grow up. And then comes another question – what is something you pick up and move for? A job? A relationship? A feeling you get one morning that wakes you up and takes you halfway across the state, the country or the world?
The lease on my apartment runs out in August of this year. A few weeks ago I got a letter in the mail saying I would need to renew my lease for the following year by Jan. 15. When I saw that the end date on that lease would be July 31, 2014, I could actually feel hives forming on my skin.
Wait. Hold on. Isn’t this imprisonment?
If I didn’t know that my lease is pretty easy to get out of, I may have actually fainted on the spot. Not that I have any plans to get up and go… but I like the idea that I can. And I know that someday, I’ll find a place that will feel like home. Whether it’s because of a job or a person or a feeling. And maybe that place won’t be very far from here, and I’ll travel and come home and feel like I’m where I’m supposed to be. Forever.
I want to have adventures. Not get stuck in one place, you know?