It was a strange feeling to return to the world I grew up in. After several episodes of completely leaving my world and moving to a new one, taking such a large step backward was anathema to such an extreme defense mechanism. I know I left these places behind to try and bury some version of myself along with it, so exhuming any portion of that past self seemed disagreeable at best.
Nevertheless, Carlisle is the place Jess fell in love with, and I can't argue with that.
Now, putting Pennsylvania behind me for the second time, I might understand a sliver of God's grace in bringing me back in the first place: closure. I left a life of lies and disappointments to find a life of fulfillment, honesty, and integrity elsewhere. Coming back to this place meant coming to grips with who I was, forgiving him, and thanking Him for making me who I am now.
Even moreso, coming back meant New Me spending time with Old Friends. As few as I had left to return to, it's been an incredible blessing to slip back into this world for a few months and experience it with those who either stayed or willfully returned. They've shown me a great deal of peace, whether they know it or not. I'm not even certain what words I could use to thank them, the feeling is so immutably personal.
Finally, it's allowed me to have an extended period of time with my immediate family as New Me, and especially as an "adult". It feels like most "Millennials" (though it occasionally pains me to admit membership) returned from college and, whether by choice or lack of work, spent time with their immediate families again after getting their diploma.
Ravenous for success, I never returned after Bucknell. I hunted job after job, self-absorbed with career like so many. A return to Penn's Woods meant returning to bond with my family as a more mature individual, even if a little later than my peers (not to mention my wife) did likewise.
This is my sense of Geographical Closure -- the permanent sense of completing the business of growing up. It meant returning to the place I grew up in to return to the act of growing up. More than having children of my own, more than getting married, simply being here, I feel all grown-up now.
Hello (again), world. I'll see you in Washington.
26th of June, 2014