There’s something funny at the end of this story. I promise.
I’ll never forget the first day I came home this summer. I’d been gone nearly the whole season. And that’s unfortunate because summer’s so beautiful here. Not too hot, but just warm enough. But that’s not the point. The point is what I did when I saw my home for the first time in three months.
First, I got a beer. It was my dad’s beer, and that only made it all the sweeter. Then I sat down on my back porch which overlooks a big, green yard. I sat down, and I took a deep breath. And then I cried.
I don’t know why. I didn’t expect it. It just sort of happened. I sat there, drinking and crying. It sounds sort of pathetic. And maybe it is. But I don’t really give a shit.
I do give a shit about my home, though. I used to think that I didn’t, but I do. I give more than a shit actually. It’s probably more like ten shits in the grand scheme of things. I don’t know how I’d even begin to quantify the amount of shits I give about it. It would definitely be a lot, though, in comparison to all the other things in my life. But that doesn’t really matter.
What matters is that I care. I care about my home.
I should be up front with you. I live in a boring place. For anyone under the age of 30, where I live is not attractive. I thought as much when I was growing up. “I’ll never come back here,” I said. “I hate this place.
I never wanted to come home. I wanted to get as far away as possible.
But then I turned 18.
And then I turned 19.
Then I turned 20.
Then I turned 21.
“I can’t wait to go home,” said 21-year old me. “I can’t wait to get back.”
To be fair, I haven’t spent a full year here in quite some time. I go to college, so my visits home are relatively brief. I haven’t really “lived” here in a while. But, if I had to, I don’t think it would be so bad. I think I could actually like it. As long as I had a back porch, a big, green yard, beer (not necessarily my dad’s) and memories of a great, great life.
I think I started to cry because I realized all the things that I’d been missing. I realized that I’d been away from the place that made me who I am. I tied my shoes for the first time here. I had my first kiss here. I (not so ironically) had my first beer here. I fell in love for the first time here. And I spent my teenage years here falling in and out and in and out of love until I realized that life never stops teaching me stuff. It never stops saying, “Hey, look at me, idiot, and I’ll make you a better person.” It never stops showing me new things. And sometimes those things are scary. Sometimes I’d rather not see them.
I’m going to leave my home tomorrow. And it’s possible that it’ll be the last summer day I ever see here.
I’d really rather not do that.
But I will.
Because I have to.
And if I had a penny for every time I said “I’d really rather not do that, but I will, because I have to,” well, I wouldn’t have to worry about getting a job in the next few months.
But enough of that sad stuff. Enough of the heaviness. This is the end of the story. And as promised, something funny awaits you.
Are you ready?
Here it is.
I’ve been sitting here this whole time, typing this, on the very same back porch, overlooking the very same big, green yard, drinking my dad’s very same beer that I mentioned at the beginning of the story. And I may or may not have cried several times.
I apologize if that wasn’t as funny as you’d hoped. I can see why you might not be laughing. It actually might have been sad.
But a lesson that life as taught me is that the line between sadness and humor is often very thin. And most times, it just takes a smile, a shake of the head, and a concerted effort to laugh to cross from one side to the other.