Thomas Wolfe said it best with his novel You Can’t Go Home Again.
Having lived my entire life until recently at ‘Home’ I always disagreed with his concept. Of course you can always come home.
‘Home’ for me was a tiny Appalachian town where time stood still. Where peoples’ desires and dreams reach no further than the county line. Which was five miles away in any direction you face. Home is where there’s no shopping, fine dining or arts. And a traffic jam is getting caught behind Ole Man Chester’s tractor.
While this sounds endearing to people who didn’t grow up there, it was never enough for me. I had already outgrown ‘Home’ by the time I was born. I always longed to be ‘anywhere but here.’
Don’t get me wrong. I still get homesick occasionally. I miss my family and friends and UT Football Games. And leaving after a visit is always bittersweet.
As the mountains appear further and further away in my rear view window I feel both sad and relieved. Sad to leave behind everything I love. And relieved to escape the town that always suffocated me.
I’ve come to terms with Thomas Wolfe. Home is now a nice place to visit….I just wouldn’t want to live there.