Home vs. Home

It’s hard to believe, but it’s been almost six months since I moved from Charlotte to New York. In that time I’ve been back to visit six times, and it’s really highlighted a perhaps not-too-surprising fact.

New York feels like home… Until I arrive back in Charlotte, where I feel like I’ve returned home… For a few days, and then I miss New York.

Yeah, I know. I’m ridiculous.

Seriously though, each return trip to Charlotte, whether for work or to visit friends, is a bizarre mental loop. I’m happy to be back for a bit, but very quickly I find myself looking ahead to my return. It honestly feels like I have two places that feel like home.

And if the previous few trips weren’t enough mental confusion, there’s a decent chance that I’ll be in Charlotte several more times over the next two or three months. A new expanded project at work may have me flying in every 2-3 weeks through the rest of Spring.

What’s interesting to me is that the highs (excitement at being back in Charlotte) and the lows (longing for NYC) are getting duller. The back and forth is starting to feel damn near routine, to the point that I’ve developed a casual “there’s always next time” attitude towards seeing people.

The small number of people I ran into on my most recent trip elicited a pleased response from me, but almost as if it was a simple case of not having gone out lately and having missed seeing them for a few weeks. Although really, I WAS just there two weeks prior, so I suppose the feeling was appropriate.

Hell, on my visit last week I ate dinner alone in my hotel room both nights, because it was purely a work trip and I just didn’t have a lot of time or energy to be sociable. And that felt perfectly fine, because I had just seen a lot of people two weeks prior, and knew that I’d be back again a week later.

Yes, ladies and gentlemen, I’m leaving one home (NYC) and returning to the other (Charlotte) on Friday morning. And for all my professed near-indifference about visiting, I’m VERY excited about this visit — an evening with several friends on Friday night, followed by the St. Patrick’s Day “Green River Revival” at the Whitewater Center on Saturday… It’s going to be a wonderful visit surrounded by dear friends and favorite pastimes.

Yes, I’m the cynical kid who’s too cool to admit that he likes the holidays, but secretly gets swept up by the Christmas spirit the morning of.

It’s probably also relevant that despite my many return visits in six months, this will be the first time that Sal is joining me… Which is good, because more than a few of our mutual friends in Charlotte have threatened me with bodily harm if I came back without him yet again.

So, here’s to Charlotte: I’m eagerly looking forward to being back, purely to see my peeps and share in some whitewater (greenwater?) adventuring.

One Response to Home vs. Home

  1. […] Still, the friends who have a strong connection with you will be there, whether they are across town, across the country, or halfway around the world. And just because you haven’t seen someone recently doesn’t mean they aren’t still near-and-dear, as I came to realize a few months into my New York residency. Along those lines, it’s been interesting to see which friends from outside of New York really make the effort to stay connected, virtually or in person during one of my many trips back to Charlotte. […]

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