A Safe Place to Let My Food Baby Out: Why We Crave to Leave our Hometowns and Find our Home in the World

I always thought I would leave the city I grew up in. I know I’m not alone in that feeling. It’s revered to escape and there comes an impeccably timed point when the allure of freedom forces us tick with restlessness and look for the first excuse to get out. I never left and the feeling never went away. In an attempt to justify my choice, I’ve found myself questioning if leaving meant anything in the first place.

Would I have been more successful in life if I got out? If I leave my childhood house, then where will home be? Even more important, who will home be? I become Dory, desperately looking for a home and forgetting exactly why I started this journey in the first place when I have all of the comforts in the world.

I’ve come to see that we associate adulting with cutting the umbilical cords of what home used to be. We cram ourselves in newer, smaller places hoping to find a quiet, non-judgemental room to let our late night food baby out. We look for comfort and can even make an effort to make a dwelling in someone else. We accept being broke all in an effort to follow this pull.

Perhaps the most important shift in the adulting journey, is realizing that our home is not a place. It does not require you to go anywhere to find, nor does it necessitate finding someone that epitomizes comfort. I realize that I left my hometown a long time ago. I left the moment I myself changed. When I made memories in new places. The moment I no longer stayed in situations or places out of comfort. The moment I found home in myself.

16 Years of Schooling for This: What a One-Year-Old Taught Me About How to Be an Adult

After graduating college, you have the freedom to choose what you desire in life. My grandma had obvious opinions about what I should do next, which is something that involves going to Graduate School and marrying an extremely eligible Jewish boy. In my attempt to figure my life out, I did the exact opposite I became a nanny. I did not know what I was getting myself into at the time but one year later, I have watched her grow and have seen all of her beauty and innocence burst from her tiny little body. It is the best thing I could’ve asked for at the culmination of my 16 years of schooling because every day she teaches me everything my teachers didn’t. It dawned on my one day when she was confidently strutting around the house in her diaper, sassy hands on her hips, laughing and babbling, that she is everything that adults are not and she is everything I want to be.

It seems the older you get, the more you lose your uninhibited ability to bring forth all the wonder and expression of life inside of you. I may get tagged as being a twenty-something-year-old with little idea what the “real world” looks like but the more I’m around adults the more I see it. Work, politics, and their new purchases move to the forefront of the conversation. When they want to really loosen up they turn to their more classy tastes, which involve swirling your wine around for approximately 3 seconds before sipping. I’m not sure but there must come a point in adulthood when you lose that thing about you, that thing that makes you want to put a full fist in paint just to feel what the color looks like.

Letting day-to-day monotony drain you of your ability to see life in an extraordinary way is the cornerstone of what adulthood has come to mean. Maybe I’m a hopeful millennial but I will curse the day when I confuse being an adult with taking life too seriously, when I let the vibrancy of who I am be smothered by joining the masses, when I trade my hope and humor for hard facts and a horrendously ill-fitted suit.

So here I stand, between a one year old and the rest of the world and I can’t help but want to choose madness over the “refined”. This little girl doesn’t realize it but each day that she laughs for no reason or refuses to nap because life is too interesting to be bothered with sleep or picks up another damn leaf and thinks it’s the best thing in the world, she is teaching me everything about how to be a successful adult.