every trip is the same. it should be distilled into two or three days, really. even five days is more time than i need. because at first it’s cheerful, pleasant, meeting with family and friends, but after a couple of days of this, i am reminded acutely of how little i belong in this city anymore. i have no desire to seek out the old haunts. my friends, no matter how much i love and cherish them, are still generally doing the same things they always do. it’s nice but i’m different, which makes things difficult. i look at myself in the mirror in my parents home and wonder if i really even belong here anymore, or if my new home has taken me over, molding me into a new man. my thirties have started there, and likely will end there. i grew up and learned everything i need to know in southwest idaho, and now i am using those skills in portland, oregon. i am seeking my future there, and with every trip back home i am pushed back into the past. the past is good but the pull is not coming from that direction. i don’t really wish to relive my past, i wish to explore my future. i’ve visited the old house half a dozen times now. i’ve walked through paul’s grocery, i’ve seen the high school, wandered the boise state campus, talked to my old professors. people in boise live there because it’s comfortable, because they have roots there deeper than can be dug up. my roots i ripped out before they grew too deep and thick. now i have new roots. and that’s fine. but now, as i wait in the airport for my flight to arrive, to take me back to the present, i find myself simultaneously happy and sad, filled with love for my family and friends here, and sad and despondent that i can no longer be a part of it. this is why it’s hard to come back. but i do. i always do. and i always will.