It’s Not The Going; It’s The Leaving

My home. Our home. I love it. It’s a small shell, I know, but ours. It’s compact so that there are only so many places things can be, only so many places to search for the lost. It’s decorated with the snaps and collected items of a decade together, our cups and plates, mismatched but loved.

It’s not just the physical space and stuff either. It’s what it represents: safety, escape, love, calm and quiet, a spot on the couch, and a routine of sorts.

It’s home and I never want to leave.

But I want to go. I want to take that plane, to hop across to my first home, the place where some of my first possessions, gained before I knew what it was to own anything, still sit and gather dust, always waiting to welcome me.

It’s the place where I’m guaranteed a good night’s sleep in a bed that still moulds to me, as if it remembers me.I navigate by instinct, knifes and forks nesting in the same place for thirty years. This home is held together as much by love as bricks and mortar, a place where the old jokes will always be the best, and Sunday dinner hasn’t changed in years.

It’s home and I don’t want to leave.

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But I want to go. I want to get on the train, speed the route as familiar as the lines on my palms to the city where I left girlhood behind. Where I battled demons alone and fell in love with the city I hated at first. Where I fell in love with the love of my life. This city married me, it changed me and is always changing. It’s always comfortable though.

This city is my home and I don’t want to leave.

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But I want to go. I want to get on the next train and leave the city behind. I want to speed through the valley, gazing at the green as it flashes by, to the dales, the northern corner where I’m always welcomed. I want to go the place where they drink tea by the gallon and always remember my coffee, to the place where I felt at home from the moment he took me home to meet the family that would become my family.

This is a home and I don’t want to leave.

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But I’ve got to go. I’ve got to go back to the home we made for ourselves. Our home for our family. Our spot,  just a box for our stuff really. A place for our laughter and our conversations. The place I never want to leave.

It’s never the going that’s the problem. The going means being where home is. It’s the leaving that’s hardest. The leaving home, whichever home it may be.

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