Home is usually where the heart is. It’s more often than not where you grew up, went to school,made friends, worked, loved, hurt and learned from it all. There’s a comfort, a security in Home that can also be a crutch, an excuse, a reason not to see what else there is that life or see there is a world outside of the geographical region you know so well.
Wilmington, Delaware is my home. Born at Wilmington General Hospital (one of the last newborns before they closed it down), lived over East Side for much of my life, attended Howard High School of Technology – I know my city. I love it some times, hate it other times, indifferent about it overall. I’ve spent 27 1/2 of my 31 years here and while it’s nice to have stability in that sense, familiarity does indeed breed contempt.
Everyone I know is here – family, friends, old enemies, high school classmates. And in a city maybe a quarter of the size of most major American cities, you’re bound to run into the same people on a regular basis. It’s just a fact of life. And as I get older, I feel like I’ve honestly outgrown Wilmington (probably did so in my early 20s if we’re being completely honest) and aside from that 3 1/2 year stay in Hell – I mean St. Mary’s County, Maryland, my living experiences are largely limited to one place.
I would love to move eventually – sooner rather than later. Today marks two months until my 32nd birthday and I honestly don’t see what else there is for me here. I’ve had my eye on the South for a while, but the way North Carolina and Virginia’s respective legislatures are cutting up, I don’t know if that’s the best bet for a Black man with a questioning personality and a borderline smart mouth.
I could move to Philly. I’ve always loved that city – the vibe, the attitude, the fact there’s always something going on. I might be too low key for it though. If anybody’s been around me for longer than 5 minutes, they know outgoing is not my thing. I suppose that makes me boring in some regard, something I don’t want to be and fight against being, but social interaction is minimal for me.
I do know that I’d like to leave Home, but Home traps you. Traps you with family and friends who you’d miss greatly because you really never jumped out of your comfort zone to make new friends, approach women for dates and the like. Home traps you with that security and comfort that makes you think that the world you’re in is fine as it is. Home traps you into believing that you can make it work and that this place is enough for you.
Still, there’s another part of you that knows better. There’s a whole world out there – one you’ve seen very little of. Travel has been non-existent. You know that there are six degrees of separation everywhere else – and only one or two in Delaware. But how do you pull away? How do you overcome the fear of failure, that you may experience the same solitude in a new place that you do at home? How do you tell family and friends that while you love them, you feel stifled creatively, professionally, personally and emotionally by your current surroundings?
The decision really shouldn’t be that hard, but again, that’s how Home keeps you home.