Going Home

This post was written exactly one year ago (Aug 2019).

 

I’m really not sure how I got here, or even how I’m writing this post. I know I’m going to have to write it in stages because the emotion is already there. In a few short days, it will mark 8 years since I moved to Buffalo. Tomorrow, I’ll be moving out, going home.

Surreal.

I have spent my entire adult life in this amazing, ever-growing, prideful city. I’ve built friendships, love, professional relationships, routines, and dreams. I’ve developed myself, questioned myself, loved and hated myself. It’s natural, and it would have happened no matter where I was. Nevertheless, this city has been my home for (so far) the most cultivating years of my life. I’ve become an adult here. I’ve become a woman here. I’ve become me here.

And now I’m out.

I don’t mean it in a bad way, I just think eventually people change. And maybe “change” is just another word for growing up, or opening their eyes or realizing what they want. But regardless, it is what defines the rest of your life should you choose to act on this change.

I wish I could count how many times my father has said to me in the past few weeks, go with your gut. No influence, no persuasion, just the simple advice to turn inward and find what you need to do. “No one else knows but you,” he said. And I get it. I think that change is different for everyone. No matter the position, relationship, or place you currently exist, it all feels the shift. It can cause a little ripple or a riptide. For me, it seems to be the latter.

Buffalo is where I lived, it’s where I worked, it’s where I executed my day to day, my extracurriculars, and my fun times. (Shout out to all of my buffalo people, I’ll love you forever!) Yet, every time I planned to make that 1.5-hour drive down the 90 I was going “home.” I never stopped calling Rochester “home” even though I spent the majority of the last decade and 98% of my time in Buffalo. So, I won’t be talking much about why, but, just as I wrapped up my 8th year living in the Queen City, I decided it was time to head back to the Flower City.

I don’t know if this move is permanent, I’m not even really sure what’s next, but I know what I want to head towards. The best way I can describe it is when your driving and it starts downpouring and you flick the windshield wipers on to be able to see, just for a moment, between each swipe. That’s where I’m at. I see the distance, the future, what I want, but it goes in and out. It’s clear, it’s blurry, it’s clear, it’s blurry. So, just as you keep driving through the blurry because you can see for a split second of where you’re going, I’m going to keep going too.

This year I turn 27, and it’s crazy because last time I blinked I was 22. And before that, I was 19.

Age is funny because even though we count each year, I think measuring life in stages seems more appropriate. The stage where you outgrow your favorite kind of food. The stage where you fall in love. The stage where you become insanely good at your job. The stage where you learn to drive and drive well. The stage where you start to think about a family. The stage where you feel a creative shift. The stage where you learn a new skill. All of these are so different, so defining, and the time each one takes is so different. I’m in the middle of one of those moments, stages, pieces of my time just looking forward to how it will alter my path. One day I’ll look back and understand, just as I have on every other previous stage of my life.

In the meantime, I’ll be home if you need me. Dreaming up and working on my creative outlet, starting a new career, spending time with my favorite people in the world, and keepin’ on.

It happened fast, almost like a whirlwind. But, something told me to keep trudging forward. So, here I go, I’m goin’ home.

 

Almost one year later, looking back on where I was then, versus where I am now, I have to admit that the “blurriness” of the future might not be all that much clearer in many ways. However, it is crystal clear that I made the right decision back in August of 2019. I’m surrounded by my people in the city I feel most at home and with that, I know anything and everything else that is in the cards will fall into place. I titled this writing “Going Home”, and I’m so glad I did exactly that.

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1 Comments

  1. 8.29.20
    Auntie Anne said:

    Beautifully written, Olivia, introspective and inspiring to anyone making big life decisions … “only you know best” indeed. (Your dad is so wise.) I for one am glad you moved back to the Rock, even though I love the Buff, too 🙂