I visited DC this weekend, namely to surprise one of my best friends. (And, damn, was he surprised.) But, while there, I visited many old haunts and crammed as much of 3 years as possible into 48 hours. While doing so, I was struck by the joy of visiting a place that I’ve left.
Sure, I’ve left high school, and my parents house. And I’ve left college. But childhood homes and college are, by definition, incredibly transitory. We leave those places together, after graduation, with majority of your friends. Returning is never the same.
DC was the first place I left where I didn’t really have to leave. No one forced me. That never really struck me until I was back there. Unlike returning to college, or high school, so many of my friends and former colleagues are still in the DC Area. So many things are similar enough: former workplace, former house/housemates, friends, apartments, bars….
There’s something beautiful in realizing that I made the choice to leave for me. And that, though it’s been the right one to leave, I still have so many amazing connections there. It won’t feel like this way forever, but, this weekend, it felt like returning to another home.