My entire world changed when I left you. I saw things, I learned things, that people like me, people from the slums of southeast Philadelphia, seldom know exist. I learned that there is magesty in this world beyond that which I could ever dream or measure. I realized that there is, indeed, a life beyond the borders you'd provided me and I'd accepted without consideration. I loved like I thought I never would, I reveled in the beauty of the life that had always laid just beyond my fingertips, I reached out to the world and it swallowed me whole.
The core of the person that I am has changed in these three years without you.
I dared to allow myself to dream of a life beyond your tumultuous shores. I'd seen the height of you and the breadth of you and depth of you and I still wanted more. I just didn't want it from you anymore. Your peaks and your valleys proved to much for me to bear in the end, our shared history haunted me, our commonalities grew to frightening, and I began to care about you more than I am comfortable caring about anything in this life.
So I left you one sunny summer day with a plane ticket in my hand and your sons and daughters in my arms and I fully intended to stay gone forever.
Things in life seldom work out the way I plan for them to.
The past few weeks have been a blur of sorting my life into neat, little columns. I've made detailed spreadsheets and official phone calls. I cut my hair off and everything close to my heart out. I turned the treble down and the volume up and sought asylum in the bottom of a bass line, just so I could feel. I did the things I always do when everything I ever wanted is yanked out from under my feet, which happens more often in this life than I care to admit.
And I sit here this morning, typing with torn, chewed fingertips, reconciling myself to the fact that maybe, sometimes, I just want the wrong things and that you are where I am meant to be, for better or worse, for richer or poorer. I have come back home to you, to the very heart of you, your sons and daughters beside me. We are ready for you. We only hope you are ready for us, too.