Saturday, December 29, 2007

Hicham is home and what is home anyway? Way before the move...

Well so, here we are. Just had a nice dinner that I got to cook for two. Thats right Hicham is home for two weeks and so that means more classical music, more herbal tea and some gorgeous intimacy. Yup- I really missed that man.

And so we went to a party, threw a party (both my b-day and his coming home), spent almost a week in the mountains all blissed out with a cozy cabin surrounded my trees and with a fabulous hot tub attached. We watched some cool movies, played scrabble, made good food, went on hikes and generally just appreciated being together. Three months apart was mildly dull for me while he was away but now I hesitate to admit, but believe it to be true, that actually I the three months really lacked serious vivaciousness. Hicham is truly my soul mate and best friend.

So, now we are back from bliss and re-encountering our regular conversation topic. So - what now? (but really, we mean later). As I have lived in Durham for over 5 years, it has become for me a home like I did not even know a place could be. I mean, one might assume that because I was raised in Minnesota - that my home would be where it has been known to snow in April. Of course, we all know that I hate that shitty weather and don't think very positively about the people (plenty of exceptions). MN is not my home and frankly, in my heart, never really was.

This attitude allowed me perhaps to travel as extensively as I did. For three years, footloose and fancy free. My home was my backpack and I didn't want for a thing. The connections I made in all those countries were mutually beneficial and I felt a part of a community of travelers and adventurors. Each day had the possiblity of something different than the day before. It was invigorating - not exhausting to find housing each day (now it sounds like hell).

But here I am, now admitting that I have found a place that I feel a part of - not different from, not particularly excited about - but connected to. Even people I detest (and there are plenty because I am sort-of an asshole), I know that I would help them and they would help me. And anyway, anyone I detest is just presenting an opportunity for me to grow. But I mostly don't seem to want to grow, change, evolve etc. I mean I do, but not really obviously:

So- the constant conversation is: Where will we 'go'? Now, this is clearly not a question that I want to ask or even ponder but Hicham has international needs to fill and those include his family in France and even his extended family in Morocco to some degree. Also, he just wants to live somewhere else at this stage in his life. I don't blame him, when I was his age that was what I did! I got the hell out of here, went to Europe, Nepal, India, Taiwan, Australia, Thailand, Honduras, Guatemala, Mexico, China!

Hicham agrees it is nice here and he likes Durham and agrees it is easy to live, work, place and be here... that is part of the problem. He wants more of a challenge. I, on the otherhand, would happily walk the same trails with Olivia for the rest of her life. When did this happen to me? This 'soul settling'? This 'cultural contentment'? This 'Durham Dream-don't wake me'?

It is hard to know if on one's deathbed if one would rather say, "I sure did it enjoy it where I was for all those years- a simple life, a comfy life an easy life. Great, old friends, deep sense of place and exploration of NC" OR if it would be nicer to utter "Hot damn, what an adventure, living here and there- always seeing something different, expanding my boundaries and challenging my own expectations of reality - it was unpredictable and required me to adapt but it was worth it"...

Yeah so - Hicham will leave in a few days. Back to France to stuff his head full of concepts that I will never grasp and in three months he will be done and then he will do an internship somewhere. There is discussion of London and I will go with him. Then, where is my home? Do I even have the gumption to get up and go and let go of what I have worked to obtain? I mean, not to sound materialistic, BUT our home is a cozy and creative space and one that I dread dismantling only to 'start again' in another country.