I came back home today.
Well. No. Not entirely.
But I'm in the spot I've been all year.
The place I've raised my expertise into what I can only hope is enough to carry me through life.
My flight left YYC at 9:45pm and the airport was virtually barren.
There was a lovely boy at security who asked me where I was going.
I said "Vancouver... home." But it felt false and wrong coming out of my mouth.
"Well, not actually, I just go to school there. This is home. And I'll be back soon."
Truer than my former statement but still somehow awkward.
How do you define home?
Is it where you were born? Where you were raised? Or where you are happiest?
I've lived in Vancouver before. I've lived in two different cities on the island too.
My mother was raised in Africa. She's lived in England.
The family moved to Fort McMurray before settling in Calgary.
What kind of life is that? Would you feel privileged? Worldly? Or deprived and alien?
She had me and we floated between BC and Alberta until I was nine.
I thought it was beyond odd that none of my fifth grade friends had lived in eight houses or moved every year like I had.
Everyone was born here, raised here, under the same roof.
They all had a wall where their parents would measure their height on their birthdays.
Or marks on doors made by the slap shots of older brothers who had long forgotten their dreams of the NHL.
I was raised to crave change. To adapt. To be a nomad. To despise routine.
I feel imprisoned by schedules. Deadlines put me in a box.
I need to challenge everything to stay alive.
I need to move to feel human.
To be still is to die.
I've been back for about two hours.
I've already unpacked half my things and packed another bag because tomorrow, I'm going to the Island.
I'm leaving on a ferry from a terminal I've seen uncountable times in my life.
I'l sail on that same ship to visit my father. In a town called Qualicum. He didn't like Parksville anymore. He stopped liking Nanaimo, Victoria, Youbou,, Richmond, Calgary and Melville long ago.
I'm sure my dad will stay there until his last days.
I'm starting to believe it's not where you were born or where you were raised that you can call home,
it's where you choose to die that defines it.
It's where you, from the deepest trenches of your mind, want to finish your human existence.
I'm nomadic by nature. I'm quite possibly not even born of this planet.
Now I know it's okay that I don't have an answer for "Where's home?"
I just don't know yet.