Because I was going insane being trapped inside surrounded by cat smell, engulfed in cat hair and being mocked by the sassiest and most scared cats I have ever met, I decided to go walking. The Charleston weather is what I can only guess is normal for this time of year but what is incredibly foreign and wrong for me: 65, humid and wet. Despite part of me longing for the cold and snow, I find a great joy in being able to go walking outside in late November in just jeans and a sweatshirt. As I walked, I noted many things. One, nobody rakes their leaves here. Two, there are no sidewalks. What is a neighborhood without sidewalks? Three, nobody walks. Both yesterday and today I went out and only saw one other person walking. Granted it is midday during the week but in my neighborhood that would t stop anyone. Which brings me to number four and perhaps the most important: I wish I was at home. There I said it-what has been in my mind since I got in the car on Friday. I love it here, don’t get me wrong. I love being free of my burdens, I love that it feels like spring in November, I love being with my aunt but I don’t belong. What do I mean? Oh it’s so simple, love. I was not made from the South. I’ve said this before and I’ll say it again: I thought coming back here would answer some questions for me and it has but not in the way I expected. I fit in at Salem, yes. In Winston too since it is a somewhat (what am I? DIY hipster is the newest label I’ve adapted) like me but in the South in general? No. And so being here at a time of the year so centered around family and belonging is hard.
But then I remember I am not here for me. I’m here to give my nana and papa these moments. And so I sit out on my aunt’s foot of a porch in her dinning room table chair (whoops) and let my longings go into the humid air of South Carolina. There is beauty in sacrifice.