Monday, January 09, 2006

Retrospective part 1 of 2

I'm on the plane that's taking me back to San Jose. It's been quite a day, and its crazy to think how this morning I woke up and went to the church I grew up in for the first time in half a year. Crazier still is to think that in four hours, I'll be asleep in my bed in my new home, California. I have come to that conclusion. St. Louis is my comfort. But what it is and what I perceive it to be are very different. I put a lot of importance in the food that I eat. That is to say, I find myself complaining when the food doesn't meet a certain standard. My perception was that, save the Mexican food, the food in Monterey is mediocre yet overpriced. On the contrary, the midwest food that I remember from my childhood was the opposite. It was good, filling food for reasonable prices. After spending two weeks in St. Louis for the first time in a year, I've come to understand that what I have perceived might not have been the truth. I still hold St. Louis food at a higher standard than Monterey, but I feel that they are not as opposite as I once thought. The same can be said for the overall standard of living, St. Louis is still preferred, but it no longer has that optimistic glow about it that my childhood would have seen.
Change has been another battle that I have faced. I often hear accounts of people who move away from their perspective "home." Upon their return, they notice a blatantly obvious change in the people, in the architecture, and in the overall living. This concept is not a difficult one, as things do change. They always have, and when we are not present to witness that change, it shines through and illuminates our perception every time we see its outcome. I find myself in the applicable situation, returning to the place I call home after not spending any extended time there for, what had seemed like several years, but was only several months. So, my perception upon returning was that this place that I left behind would be different. I was convinced that my parents would be different, that my younger brother would have grown up and matured into the man that I was at his age. I expected my college friends to have matured, to walk with a certain professional aura about them, using big words, discussing politics and commerce. I expected to see new developements, skyscrapers even, slowly taking shape in the near by commercial district. However, as however does, I now sit here in this manmade aircraft shocked by how much everything had stayed the same. Granted, my brother has developed a social life, and there is a new office building being developed up the street. But overall, St. Louis is still St. Louis, my family is still my family and my friends are still my friends. Still doing the same things, still acting the same way. Still facing the same struggles, still savoring the same blessings. That should provide rest and comfort to my toiling soul. Many people in my situation would love to hear that report, to know that their life at home is still in tact. So why do I despair? (to be continued. . .)

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