Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Home and Away

Aging and growing up implies a lot of things. I’ve hoped to mature a little. Take on more responsibility. Work towards accomplishing dreams and aspirations. Work towards a desirable future. Coming home has helped me to realize that I’ve moved towards all of those things. I’m glad that I’ve had the support structure of my family and friends to help me accomplish those things. Coming home has also shown me that I’ve grown beyond my roots. It’s shown me that though Dover, Pa was a good place to grow up, it’s not somewhere I could live. I want to see the world. I want to be surrounded by people who challenge me intellectually. I want to have the resources at my fingertips that will allow me to become the cosmopolitan man I desire to become. This realization by no means discredits my past. Dover, Pa is a good place for those who don’t want to be around foreigners. It’s perfect for those who would like to have a yard, raise a family in a peaceful and quite neighborhood. It’s a place where you don’t pay $15 for a martini. ($5 at Westgate Lounger, for all those interested; and that’s top shelf.)

Being at home has also helped me realize that even though I’m off to see every inch of the planet I can, I’m a product of small town America. Regardless of where I find myself I’ll always love picnics with friends a family, frozen dairy products, good music, and a cold beer (and people with SERIOUS mullets.

My two weeks at home have passed and I’ve had a great time. It was awesome to get to see my mother. I laugh with no one on the planet like I laugh with my mother. It’s nice when you don’t have to watch what you say or care what is socially acceptable. You can just sit back, relax, and have fun. It was a joy to see my family, as well. My grandparents are exactly what I want them to be: doting, interested, and loving. I had a fantastic familial going away party, right down to the cake with bugs and snakes smattered all over it. Aside from family time, I got the chance to hang out with some friends who played an integral role in my teenage Tom Foolery. People like Jason, Billy, Justin, and Nikole. To be quite honest, it was a lot like hanging out with my family: no filter, nothing but love, and people who genuinely take an interest in you and what you’re doing; and vice versa. It was great to catch up. It was also reassuring to know that those whom I chose to befriend in high school maintained the same personality traits that drew us together so many years ago. We fell right into our same routines, Billy and I go back and forth intellectually, while also making fun of those around us, Jason and I talked about kickin’ ass and takin’ names, Nikki and I maintained our same flirtatious manners, and Justin and I laughed and competed at everything we could find.

I now feel that i can take on everything in front of me now that i've revisited everything that's behind me.

By the time this is posted, I’ll be in Africa.

A bientot mes amis…

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Packing, Reminiscing....

I've finished work! Well, i've actually been finished for two weeks. Last week i spent my time planning things out, looking at the things i had to pack, and spent some time throughout the city.

There are times in your life when you move from school, or home, or ::insert location here:: and things just seem appropriate but a bit uncomfortable. It's similar, to me at least, to the sensation that almost overwhelms me when i've come to the end of a good book. The end of the book is obviously the logical progression, and completing it is relatively exciting, but that surely doesn't mean i'm glad to reach its end. There's the anticipation when you feel the final few pages in your right hand, and then victorious feel of completing something into which you've put so much effort. But, this a victory is bittersweet. Finishing a book has all the rewards associated with completing anything which takes time and effort, but it also comes with the heartache associated with losing touch with all the characters and friends you've made along the way. Whether it's T.S. Garp or Steven Weaven, i've lost contact with someone who has unselfishly entertained me.

But, one of the good things about packing and moving is that it forces you to go through all that you have. It forces you to see from where you've come; and, if you've been planning properly, where you're going. While leafing through my affairs i stumbled across numerous souvenirs: a few post cards from distant friends, affectionate letters from past lovers, and pictures of old friends. These souvenirs helped me to realize that it's the end of the book's job to make sure you don't forget about the first few pages that captivated you. Characters and plot don't just appear, they develop.

Alas, I'm packing my life into some "Space Bags" (which are not as complicated as they sound, nor as space-aged), large plastic containers, and anyone of the numerous pieces of luggage i have amassed in my healthy obsession with thrift-shop American Tourister. When i moved from North Carolina, it was quaint and mildly depressing to see my life fit into the back of my Volkswagen Beetle. Today, it's equally as quaint to see my "life" gathered in the living room of my DC apartment.

I move for Dover in just a few days and, as i've stated before, it's a bittersweet end to my stay in the District of Columbia. I'll not forget the Logan Circle Leisure Sports Society, Jazz in the Garden, Mr. Yogato, Georgetown Cupcake, U st, Zengo, Mien Yu, i mean... let's face it, All of Georgetown, and numerous other landmarks that welcomed me in. In my tenure, i'm glad to say that i've become a Washitonian and I hope that one day i'll make this my home, once again.

A DC landmark once told me, "What's Past is Prologue." How right it is.

Brandon M. Tarbert