Four years ago at this time I was sitting in a very empty house wondering if I had lost my mind for accepting a demotion and dragging all my worldly possessions a third of the way across the country to start a job with an outfit I didn’t know anything about. Anyone who was following along back in 2011 knows I wasn’t quite so much running towards this new life as I was running away from the one in Memphis that seemed to implode at every turn. I was following that most basic of animal instincts: Home = Safety. Now of course I was never in any real physical danger, but mentally I knew my position was untenable. Stay put and I was going to slowly (or not so slowly) come unglued.
Interstate 40 to I-81 to 70 was the route to my salvation. It was the route home. With every mile West Tennessee dropped behind me the more like myself I felt. The last four years have had their own set of issues, of course, but none of them have ever felt existential in the way they were before. I was correcting my Great Mistake and my psyche knew it.
Sitting here now, in a different house, looking out at the last of the day’s sun streaming through the towering oaks and maples, brightening the stark white mountain laurel blooms, I think that listless, wandering part of life is finally behind me. Maybe I haven’t found enlightenment, but finding a sense of place seem to be just as important.