In an attempt to make my break a little more productive, I went to the public library to borrow some books (on big data and data-driven decision making, but that’s not the point).

When I was getting my library card renewed, the librarian asked me if my “home” address was still the same and I had to pause and think about which one she was talking about.

Later, I asked my mom whether I should buy a train ticket for Wednesday or if she could drive me back “home”, to Baltimore. And then I realized —

The little suburbs of North Wilmington don’t feel very much like home anymore. This is what it’s like:

There’s the cozy coffeeshop on Marsh and Silverside, but I only just discovered it recently. There’s my go-to burrito place in the same shopping center, but I haven’t eaten there enough to be a regular. There’s the movie theater I’ve gone to for as long as I can remember, but I was surprised to learn they installed new recliner seats.

The people I went to high school with are all off doing their own thing. My little cousins seem so much older than when I last saw them a couple of months ago. Once both my older sister and I moved out, my younger sister claimed territory in all three rooms – so now I kind of just wander between the three to figure out where I’m sleeping for the night.

So I suppose every not-kid-almost-adult has to have that moment where “home” becomes “my parents’ home”. A friend of mine mentioned it a couple of days ago:

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It’s a little sad to accept the fact that the place where I grew up doesn’t feel the same anymore. That some old friendships have been reduced to catching up over coffee and lunch. That calling it home feels strangely wrong. But it just means that I have a new home, one that feels so important to me that calling somewhere else home feels like I’m betraying something. JHU_Genevieve articulated this feeling of home better than I ever could.

And I’m ready to go home. At my parents’ place, I am fed extraordinarily well, I get to lounge in the living room for hours at a time, I started playing piano again and began to read a book just because. But there’s a lot more waiting for me, and it’s not here. I think I’m having a delayed freshman-moving-to-college feeling. I feel like I’m finally leaving. Wilmington will become a comforting reminder of my growing up, of my family, and Baltimore will be my home. For spring break, I won’t be coming back, I’ll be chasing the aurora borealis with my friends in Iceland, finally and really going abroad. In the summer, I’ll be in Baltimore, or if not I’ll be somewhere else, maybe D.C. or New York. And for the rest of my time at Hopkins, I’ll come back to Delaware, always for the holidays, and maybe for a wedding, or a birthday, but then like clockwork I’ll return home, to Baltimore.