I have a secret to share. I can share it with you now that I'm about to go home. Here's my secret: Every single day that I've been away I thought about home. Every single day in Peru I've had at least one moment a day where I grow melancholic and miss my home. Maybe it was a food I missed or a person I hadn't spoken to in awhile. I'd always have one moment (maybe longer) where I'd think about home and miss it intensely.
Which is fair. Dallas is incredibly valuable to me. I was born and raised there. My family's there. My friends are all there. Every time I think I know Dallas it surprises me. From the new Arts District to White Rock Lake I missed that place, my home.
At first I thought I was being ungrateful for missing home. I thought that part of me would much rather be home than here in Peru. I wasn't wrong. But it's not wrong to feel that way. Part of leaving a loving home is missing it when you're gone. Once I accepted this feeling of loss home became some sort of end goal. At the end of everything I would come home. I would return triumphant and change the world. Which.... is a little grandiose. I day dreamed too often this year of coming back. When I read the news sometimes I felt like I needed to be back. I needed to mourn with my country, my state, my city, my home, my friends. Other times I felt like I'd done enough and seen enough. There was no further purpose to being in Peru. I could go home and call my YAV year a success. That was in January. When I traveled I often thought about how close I was to going home. I had to shut that thought out of my mind or else I would never enjoy myself on Copacabana beach in Rio de Janeiro.
Home occupies a strange place in my head: a weird amalgam of daydreams, memories, and sensations. Home is where the State Fair and their fried twinkles are. Home is where my dog Loki rests. Home is where chlorinated pools are the best way to cool off on a hot day. Home is where the tacos are fresh, margaritas can't be compared, and some of the best sunsets are. Now, at the end of everything home is... well, it's home.
But I have another home now too. A home in Moyo. A home where movies cost 3 soles on Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday nights. A home where soccer games on Friday end in 2 soles bets. A home where Mama might cook every meal but at least once a month I get to try something new (and shrivel under her watchful gaze as I potentially ruined her kitchen.) I have a second home. Truthfully I consider many places home: the USA, the State of Texas, Dallas, Marl Germany, Moyobamba Peru.
Home then, as we all probably know, is where you feel loved. We have people who surround us and show us they love us. We feel at home. Safe. Logic follows that if God loves us then God is home. The semantics are so vague though there's plenty of room to argue. I think it's better to say: Home can be made anywhere on this world, so long as you have love.
I have lots of love for Moyobamba. I'd even say in the most cliched way possible "I left a bit of myself there." But now it's time to return to my first home. It's time to go back. I have had the greatest adventure of my young life (thus far) and am unlikely to forget it. I hope you have enjoyed reading about the adventures. I've enjoyed living them. I have to go now. I have a plane to catch. If you see me around feel free to ask me about my YAV year! I'd be happy to tell you. To all my friends and family who have patiently waited for me: I'll see you all soon!
Thanks to everyone for reading! Have a good life!
- Daniel -