I didn’t start calling my dorm room “home” until this week. I’d caught myself saying it before, but I always swerved away from the word. It felt like a betrayal of sorts. If my dorm is “home,” then what do I call Los Angeles? What do I call the house that my mother and my dog live in—and that I, to some extent, also still live in?
It’s not that my dorm didn’t feel like a home—I obviously live here, and my suite-mates and I have formed our own sort of family. It’s that the word home holds so much power. I love Hopkins, and I love Baltimore, but, if you ask me where I live, my answer is still “L.A.”
Dorm life is a liminal state. When I’m in Baltimore, I don’t have the structures and routines that I previously relied on. When I go home to L.A., I won’t have the things I’ve gotten used to about Hopkins, like living within walking distance of my closest friends. I’ll miss things like last-minute dashes to CharMar, sitting at one of the big round tables in the FFC for brunch, and walking through the Gilman Tunnel on my way to class.
I’m learning that Los Angeles and Baltimore can both be home, and that I can love them both (and I really am starting to love Baltimore). I am learning how to live in two cities at once.