My parents have officially moved to a town outside of Pittsburgh. At last back amongst
normal people Yankees! Technically they packed everything up and left Tennessee in June, but they closed on their new house and began the move in process last week.
I am overwhelmingly happy for them. The people in Pennsylvania have been thoroughly welcoming, genuinely helpful, and lovely to them. My family is enjoying exploring their new home, and, much to some people’s chagrin, dad has gotten a Steelers shirt. If you didn’t understand that last bit, you’re probably like me, ie, actively
hate ignore American football. Good for you.
On the other hand, this is weird for me. I have no idea where my parents live. I mean, yes, they gave me their address, but nothing will be familiar when I go back stateside.
In some respects, I’ve been homeless for a long time; I never wanted to live in east Tennessee again, and my parents had long since kicked me out of my bedroom and relegated me to a part of the basement partitioned off with a curtain. Totally not bitter, MOM. Still, I knew the Tri-Cities, have friends there, memories there. My little doggie is buried there.
Doubtless my parents will protest that I always have a home with them, I should come back, etc. I am profoundly grateful for their unwavering support and willingness to welcome me back into their home. Love you, Mom and Dad.
Perhaps a better word than homeless is ungrounded, rootless, or untethered. I have friends and family spread out over the country — in Chicagoland, where I say I’m from when asked; in Georgia; three brothers still in east Tennessee; the myriad places my university friends scattered to; and now my parents in Pennsylvania. To say nothing of the international friends I’ve made since moving. Sometimes I’m jealous of expats who identify strongly with a certain location, where they can go back to friends they’ve lived close to since childhood. However, I believe being untethered has done nothing but present me with opportunities to grow and become stronger. And who knows; one of the reasons I didn’t pursue theatre professionally was fear of the unstable, transitory lifestyle, but I think now I could deal. What my next adventure is nobody knows.
So yes, homeless gypsy waif is a bit dramatic — though it’d be an excellent name for a rock band. Things are transient; either I or my friends are always leaving. But lately, I’m feeling increasingly ok with that. In the revolving door that is my life, I am my home.