If one looks carefully at this site, one will see that there have been some changes. I’ve scrapped my handwritten weblog perl scripts in favor of using the very cool blogger. It makes things a little bit easier on me in terms of maintainance and archiving, and it makes it very easy to create a site such as this. I strongly encourage all of you to check it out and maybe create a weblog/journal of your own.
The web page, unfortunately, isn’t the only change that’s going on in my life right now. I find that as a person I feel that I am changing, and in many ways that I can’t do anything about. I’ve been spending a great deal of time with my brother and with his friends from school, either hanging out, or helping with his quiz bowl and debate teams. While things feel natural with my brother, and his close friends, the younger kids completely frighten me. I have no idea who these kids are, and likewise they have no idea who I am. High school legacies are fleeting I guess. Additionally, it seems as though everyone I know has finally graduated. There’s really no more ties to that part of my life. Scarier still, the younger-younger siblings of the people I associated with are no longer the small children I remember, but independant teenagers. I look around and I envy them. I envy their energy, their naivite, and the fact that they have more choices ahead of them than I have. Erin might say that I still have 3/4 of my life to live, but the bottom line is, I’ve already made some choices that could impact my life forever, and set myself on a course that if strayed from could have dire consequences. The youth I see around me still have those choices ahead, they still have a more firm control of their collective destinies. I wish I could just take every one of those kids aside and tell them everything. Tell them all the mistakes I have made, all the regrets I have, all the triumph and all the tragedy in the hopes that it will somehow help them make decisions which will allow them to avoid this paralyzing saddness and uncertainty that I am now faced with. I think it would be nice to be a teacher, parent, or perhaps a catcher in the rye. One has less time to reflect on one’s problems when one has to look out for someone else. I’ve found when i’m at home I take a much more positive tone, if only to try help out my brother who is arguably more mopy than me. The problem with being around youth like that, however, is that one becomes acutely aware of one’s growing seperation from youth. College kids, for the most part, seem so restrained, so boring, so lifeless, at times, but at the same time, I can’t hekp but feel a bit odd sitting around with 14 year olds. So yeah, to recap. The first change is that I’m getting older, and in all honesty, I don’t like that.
The second change that I’ve noticed is this area, central PA. Since the last time I was home, we now have both a Barnes and Nobles and a Borders. There is a Zany Brainy too, and new stores and facades abound at the mall. In my community, new housing developments are springing up, bringing hordes of families that I will never know. The new middle school has finally been built (even the middle school kids refer to its design as prison-like). Dammit, even the road that I live on was re-paved so I can no longer zoom down its smooth hill on my skateboard.
Still, though much has changed, there is still a great deal that remains the same. The stomping grounds of my childhood, the center of town, the bubble, the A+ and the Uni-Mart, remain unchanged. As I drive through my town, all 30 seconds of it that is, despite the short drive, every damn corner offers some significant memory from my childhood. I have much lamented growing up in a small, conservative community, but like it or not, this is my home, it has shaped me and will forever be part of who I am. I lived the majority of my life on these streets, among these mountains and forests, among these people. So yeah, here’s the big change. It seems that this summer, after my brother’s graduation from high school, my parents plan to sell the house and my mom will move out to Ohio to be with my dad. I’m not trying to be selfish. This seperation has been hard on them, I’m sure, and I’m glad that they’ll be able to start things out again, take a new direction in their lives. However, that leaves me without any home base. As I’ve gone away to college out of state and lived in far away places like Austin, I’ve realized how itinerant my lifestyle is, and also that it will no doubt become moreso. Still, I always had a home base, a place where things changed, but changed slowly. A place that was familiar and safe. Now, it looks like that will be over. Sure my parents will have a new place and they’ll be there, but the neighborhood won’t be my neighboorhood, the streets won’t be my streets, the ball fields and parklands won’t be the same ones that I played soccer upon or trod barefoot upon in the spring. It will be their life, not mine. And its rough. I mean for my parents, PA was just a drop in the bucket. They had lived many places before, and it was just another gig. They’re ready to move on and try something new. But for me, Boiling Springs, PA is most of what I know. It’s all I have. I don’t know what I’ll do. Now, I often define myself by my hometown. “Where are you from?”, they ask. “PA,” I respond. But when my parents leave, that really won’t be true any more. Another thing, I find that when I come home, I don’t really remember the house any more, that is, where things are kept, what stairs creak, which hinges squeek. I can’t imagine having to learn another house when my parents move. It feels as though my entire safety net is being thrown away. The ties that have been stretched so thin already are being severed in one final, mighty slash. But what will I do to replace them? The community I have at college seems tenous at best. Nothing seems more than temporary, nothing seems like it isn’t disposable. People go in and out of my life so quickly. I just wish that I could still have that seperate, slow moving world going on, as if in a parallel dimension, that I could go back to when I needed something solid and unyielding. Something strong and comforting.
So things have changed. And I’m sure, to some degree, I’ve changed. But what do I do now? The rules are thrown out. Hell, they whole playing field has been bulldozed. How does one build a life from scratch? I don’t know and it scares the hell out of me.