The Places We Call Home

I'm flying into the place that I called home for 23 years. Everything is so small below me but I'm trying to pick out roads and developments and buildings from the air. The restaurants I frequented, the buildings I was taught to think for myself in, the roads I drove down late at night. 

This place is so familiar to me.

I think thats why I've put off flying to Ohio.  I'm new, changed. I'm different. To come back changed to an environment that I associated my being with, my old self, is strange. I'm constantly trying to grow and develop and learn and push myself in Colorado. Nothing about Ohio ever inspired me to do that. It was the same people and the same places, something I never longed to change because I loved those people and places. And its a familiarity that I long for in Denver.

But its not my home.

For months after after moving to Colorado, I never felt at home. The way I put it was feeling detached from who I was, but not yet who I dared myself to become by moving. It was weeks before I went into the mountains, months before I began hiking, and even more before I felt comfortable hiking alone.

The outdoors became my home.

And it became that I would feel most at home with sweat on my brow and an ache in my feet. Being short of breath, and pausing on the trail to get my heart rate under control. It was eating because my body needed fuel, not because I wanted to eat. I learned to push myself out of my comfort zone, in everything from finding new people to hike with, to longer and harder hikes.

My home is nothing close to what it was ten years ago, and nothing close to what I ever imagined it to be when I was younger. It is simultaneously the place that I push myself, and yet feel the most happy. I get anxious, nervous, scared, worried. But I let myself have these emotions because I am rewarded for them.

And that moment, between emotion and reward, that is my home.