Grenoble is quickly becoming a place I feel at home in. But where exactly to I call home? Hillsboro? Portland? Seattle? Grenoble?
I am still in that in-between phase of my life, where I am spending summers camped in my parents house, sans apartment, trying to figure out where I want to set up a life. Maybe France will be my home someday. Who knows. Maybe Seattle or Portland. For now I consider home where ever I feel loved. And I will always feel loved with family.
I no longer consider Hillsboro my home. My family lives there and I will always feel "at-home" where ever my family but i never seem to fit into Hillsboro's weird mix of country and suburb lifestyle. All the moms drove minivans, chatted in the front yards and seemed perfectly content with doing nothing. It was all very working-class-Wisteria-Lane. My family was different. We were a little strange with our boat in the yard and our trunks in the driveway. I loved being different. I always dreamed of living in the city. College gave me that. I am so blessed to have had the chance to strike out on my own during college, and figure out what I want in life.
Portland have truly had me. I mean, I do love to drive into the city and watch people shop at Powell's or eat a burrito from a food cart with my best friend, but something about it always turned me off. Was it the hipsters that seemed to smother the city with their skinny jeans and expensive cameras? I do like Portland but I just don't feel I fit there yet. Sure I do picture myself in Portland someday driving a minivan filled with kids going to soccer or ballet, living in a house like my Grandparents have in Portland. I don't think I could ever fully leave the Northwest, and only a true Northwesterner would know what I mean when I say that once the Northwest is your home, it is your home forever. It is part of the reason I chose Seattle for college.
Seattle is hard. I had so many great and fabulous expectations that when they didn't seem to happen I thought I had been lied to. I thought I was going to strike out on my own in the big city and become an independent person. It was harder than I thought. I realized how important it is for me to have my family supporting me, and how much I still had to learn about myself. Last year was a time of learning, which I think I did in leaps in bounds. I am only now starting to see Seattle for the truly magical city it is. It really does sparkle in Emerald Glory.
Grenoble. Oh France. You have changed me and I will never be able to thank you. You have shown me how independent I have become and how much I can do on my own. You have taught me to see the world differently. I love how easy you are to navigate and how awesome you are with all your little shops that close randomly. I like your surrounding mountains which make me think of the Northwest. But even with all the great and wonderful things you have shared with me, I don't consider you home.
The city certainly did its best to win me over, but I've found that no matter where I'm coming from, I'm more at peace when I look out of an airplane window and notice that the streets are gleaming with precipitation. I have realized that, to me, those rain-spattered windows of the Northwest will always mean home.