I create context. I also write blog posts:

Finding Home

Posted: April 27th, 2010 | Author: | 5 Comments »


For the first 18 years of my life, I lived in my parent’s house in Rochester. After that, I moved to a dorm room in Keuka Park, barely a blip on the map in upstate New York — four years of my life where, geographically speaking, I was left wanting more. From there, it was off to Syracuse for a year for grad school, and then to Los Angeles, where I chased internship and job prospects — there isn’t much opportunity for an aspiring screenwriter in Rochester. Now, after a year in Los Angeles and six months at home again, I’ve packed and unpacked my belongings again, this time winding up in Centereach, an aptly named crossroads smack in the middle of Long Island, surrounded by suburban strip malls and businesses with bright, neon signs.

I’ve got a job, I’ve got a girlfriend I love, and I’ve got an apartment that feels like home… Sorta. We’ve painted it, and we’ve filled it with our stuff, so it feels like it’s mine, but it doesn’t quite feel like home yet. And that’s because I’m not sure I’ve found the community that I’m looking for. That’s because every place I’ve ever lived has been dictated by circumstance, not preference (which isn’t to say that they’ve been bad; they just haven’t been mine). I was born into a house in Rochester and we moved to a new house (also in Rochester) when I was all of three. Clearly, it wasn’t worth asking my preference then.

I chose Keuka because I liked the school, despite the drawbacks posed by its location. Syracuse was much the same way, though I found that I actually liked the city more than I thought I would. Los Angeles was different. Los Angeles was fun, but I had no money, I had no job, and I was 3,000 miles from my family and friends and it didn’t work for me1. Given better circumstances, I feel like I could go back and live a pretty happy life. At least for a while.

But now that I’m on Long Island, and I’m not tied down to a school or an internship or anything else that’s anchored in this spot, I’m jonesing to exercise my ability to find somewhere that I’ll really like, not just somewhere that’s convenient for work or cheap to rent. I want to find somewhere that has people that I like and stores that I want to shop at. I want a community, not commerce; I want a home, not a house. And who am I to say that I haven’t already been given that opportunity? After all, the people at Keuka and Syracuse and LA — for the most part — were good people.

But the living situations weren’t right. I would live in a dorm again if I could, and I would want to continue living with the same roommates again, but those all ended for one reason or another. Finally, though, the situation is right to try to find somewhere to belong. I just need to find it.

What say you? What should I look for in a place that I want to make my home?

  1. Also it doesn’t snow in L.A.
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5 Comments on “Finding Home”

  1. 1 Scarlett said at 1:12 pm on April 27th, 2010:

    You mean your “parents’ home,” right? ;-)

  2. 2 Don said at 4:37 pm on April 27th, 2010:

    Been many places and settled here for the sake of giving a “hometown” to our girls. It worked. Found most people in most places are remarkably similar. Go forth and visit anywhere you fancy. The place that feels like an old wool sweater will do just fine. You will make the place right when the place is right for you.

  3. 3 Pete said at 6:03 pm on April 27th, 2010:

    @ Nick… Shut it. It was like 3 am when I actually wrote this. Obviously it didn’t get the attention to detail that asbestos.net got… ;)

    @ Don… I really like the area, I enjoy the people (when they’re not driving). Just not Centereach ;)

  4. 4 Pete said at 6:04 pm on April 27th, 2010:

    Also, these smiley faces look pretty dumb.

    (Update: fixed!)

  5. 5 don said at 11:42 pm on April 27th, 2010:

    I agree that Centereach may leave a bit to be desired in the “quaint little village” dept. But should you find a way to get in touch with the underlying community you will find, like most everywhere else, a group of good folk. Finding “your” community will be the challenge.


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