Home Sweet Home.The place I grew up, went to college, and moved away from. Iowa was "home" for 18 years of my life. From May 21st, 1983 until September 11, 2001. Granted I traveled out from there quite a bit, and spent two semesters of college away (Arizona and France. France was better). Returning to Iowa feels like entering a dream. Everything is so familiar, yet much of the details I've forgotten. Have you ever seen the movie Labyrinth? It's a classic. I like to think of it as a 1986 version of Alice in Wonderland, but better. My Grandpa Dean took me to see this movie, and I'm sure he didn't know what to make of it. Alas, I digress . . .
There is a scene in the movie where Jennifer Connelly (Sarah) is lost in another world, searching heroically for her baby sister who has been stolen by an evil witch. On this epic quest she stumbles upon a massive junk-yard and in it finds "her bedroom". Upon finding her room, she begins to grab and cling to the objects and stuffed animals that hold strong sentimental value to her. Surrounded by these objects, being in her bedroom again, she almost gives up the quest for her baby sister. She almost chooses the comforts of home over the grand, adventurous unknown world that exists beyond the safe four walls of her familiar room.
Though I couldn't find a clip of this scene online, in my searching I found that this movie has a cult following. People have created hilarious video montages to modern day love songs. It's kinda great watching David Bowie and 14-year-old Jennifer Connelly act in slow-motion to the song "Hero" by Enrique Iglesias. Again with the digression . . .
It wasn't my aim to draw a parallel between the movie Labyrinth and my life when I started to write this post, in fact if that had been my intention I don't know how I would have succeeded in doing so. But it seems the parallel has been drawn and so I'm gonna run with it.
Being back in Iowa, seeing some dear, sweet friends who've accompanied me through my life since 1983 and 1997 was quite simply, wonderful. My friends have become Mothers, Wives, Home-owners. They've chosen their career-path, their life-path, their life-partner. I am so proud of them, so tickled to see them reading to their children, working on their beautiful homes, laughing with their adoring husbands. They've put down roots in Iowa, they are happy. And I am so happy for them, maybe even a bit jealous of all they have and have done.
A few months is all that stands between me and the one of the greatest journeys I've ever taken. Marriage, change of job, change of country, and so many unknowns before I can even get there. It's tempting to curl up in my home, grasp and cling to all the objects and people that make me feel safe and secure and forget about the adventure that awaits outside these four walls. In fact, some days I do exactly this and it feels good. But after a few days of wandering between the same three rooms of our house, going to the same job, eating at the same restaurants . . . I get bored. And this is how I know I'm going to choose the adventure over staying home.
I'm so glad my friends and family have put down roots in the places I've lived in and love. Because they are there, I can always go home again.