One could go his or her entire life searching for the answer to that question and never truly find it. The older I get, the more I understand the actual gravity of that question.
We as people are liquid in nature. We constantly move and change form and almost always assume the shape or tendencies of our container, our surroundings. I don't think I fully comprehended the mental and emotional ramifications that would come with uprooting myself from the only true home I'd ever known. It's like a piece of my identity dissipated, like a part of me actually died.
But, as is with every new experience, this process was inevitable.
I've formed a bond with the people I live with and the ones I've come to call friends. I've even become somewhat attached to the physical place I live. I call it "home" without even considering the meaning of the word. It's ingrained into me, coded in my DNA. I love it. I love this place.
But then, the fear kicks in. I tell myself that I shouldn't love it here. I war with myself, remind myself of my long-term goals and plans and all of the people back home that I love and miss. Those reminders fade though. They don't hold the same weight they did a few weeks ago, a few days ago, hours ago.
This internship has taught me so much about myself. I've experienced things that most have never and will never be able to say they experienced. I've done things I never thought I'd do. I've made some bad decisions, but I've also made a lot of good ones. Do I have regrets? Definitely. But do the memories I've made here outweigh all that? Absolutely.
And I suppose therein lies the dilemma. There's so much good tied to this place, so much that I would do again in a heartbeat if I could, so much I've yet to do. This place and these people have become a part of me, just like the people and places back home. Giving it up and saying goodbye at the end of December is going to be rough. Because unlike when I left home, I'm leaving all this behind for good. I won't be coming back.
Choices like this don't come around often, but when they do, they further complicate that cosmic answer we're all searching for. Choices like this add another piece to the puzzle, another hitch in our plans, another twist in life's plot, and another moment spent considering who we are.