I came up with the idea for the title of this blog post while I was still in Asheville on vacation. Those that are familiar with the area, specifically it’s history might note it’s relation to the title of Thomas Wolfe’s sequel book to Look Homeward, Angel. In Tom’s case, he had gone so far into writing about his family and the mountain town that upon his return home to Asheville, it just wasn’t the same for him.
In my case, it’s a bit different. Asheville has been the place that I’ve yearned to return to since having to abruptly move back down to Florida at the end of 2008. It was during that time of losing my job and encountering the misfortunes that came with it that I felt dragged away from a place that I wanted to call home. There remained within me an attachment of sorts to the town and the beautiful Blue Ridge Mountains that I believed within my heart that I needed to, had to return.
The last couple of years have begun to change that “immediate need” feeling that I had about moving back up to Western North Carolina. Moving to Orlando, joining a great running group, and finding a church home, those things have begun to give me more ties to the Sunshine State other than the fact that most of my family lives here. I have begun to really like where I am in life here.
While I’ve visited Asheville about every year since moving back to Florida, this year’s visit was a bit different. Don’t get me wrong, I was happy, excited to not only go on vacation and see my friends up in NC, but upon arriving, I realized that while I was glad to be there, it just wasn’t the same. That deep-hearted feeling I used to get inside just wasn’t there. Seeing the mountains and my favorite North Carolina town just didn’t invoke the passion in me that it once did. It felt, well just like a vacation.
I know, I know, that is what I was doing, I was on vacation. But, if you’ve ever had a deep longing for a place that you just couldn’t be all the time, maybe you understand. Before, I would get up every morning I was in Asheville and be smiling from ear to ear. I just felt like it was where I was supposed to be, a place that I was meant to wake up surrounded by everyday. Asheville awakened my creativity and happy.
Since I lived in North Carolina, I’ve become a different person. I’ve become a better me. Learning to love the person that I am and the place that I am in. Orlando has become home, and I dare I say I kinda even love it. That bring me back to the “theme” of this blog post. Feeling that I ‘Can’t go home again’ is how I felt last week while I was up in those mountains. Time changes things for sure, and I also believe that God puts us in certain places for a reason. He has brought me back to Florida and kept me here and it’s opened a lot of doors that likely wouldn’t have been available to me up in North Carolina. I do believe that things happen or don’t happen for a reason.
Asheville will always be a favorite place of mine, seeing those beautiful mountains is always a great experience. God created so many amazing things, and I appreciate that each and every time I am visiting the Blue Ridge. Meanwhile, I’m learning to see the beauty that is in my own backyard as well.