Visiting home: Reflections on time passing

by Jason

It isn’t the first time I have returned to my hometown in Southwest Michigan since I moved to Lebanon over three years ago.¬†But there is something different this time, something more distant or distinct in the way the time has passed.

This does mark the longest period I have been away from this tiny village, away from my family, away from the place of my birth. Compared to many I have encountered throughout my travels, 11 months isn’t very significant. My best friend Larnell has spent nearly two years in France without returning to see his family in Florida.

Somehow, this year went faster than the previous ones, although little yet significantly more seemed to change. I’ve heard before that something about your brain development solidifies when you’re around 25 or 26, and maybe that’s it.

I traveled less in 2015 than I did in 2014 and no major life changing moments happened in during this year, especially compared to the dramatic moments of last year. Still, I feel like everything is different, everything is longer and shorter, faster and slower all at the same time. It’s as if I recognize the world and reality, without understanding anything. It’s like I finally feel zen in a way I never could before.

Two of my best friends from undergrad are married now. Ivan has been married for just over a year as of Dec. 12. Josh is going on a year and a half. My oldest friend that I still maintain close contact with, Kimberly, has been married for a few months and my other close friend Tori has been in a serious relationship for a couple years.

Me? I’m single and I’m just waiting to see who will be the first to get pregnant.

It’s funny because I always assumed I’d be the first to settle down. Now I’m soon to be the last and life keeps rolling onward at an ever increasing pace, or so it seems. I’m happy, don’t get me wrong but a part of me is lonely.

So, I’m here, in Berrien Springs, driving the same roads I drove my whole life, seeing the same restaurants and shops, bumping into the random friends of my parents and feeling some form of odd nostalgia. It’s like seeing this part of my life from the other side, like a former lover seeing their old partner after years apart. There is such a sense of belonging and yet so much distance.

I’m completely and utterly confused at what direction my life is going. I’m in Lebanon now. I’m happy. I’m somewhat successful. I have amazing friends. I have a family here in Michigan that loves me more than they should. And I’m so very lost, lost on the other side of the world amidst all this confusion, chaos and happiness that we call life.

But perhaps confusion and beauty are somehow synonymous.