When I left to come to Institute, I knew a lot of things would happen. I knew (despite my greatest fears) that I would make friends. I knew (despite my greatest fears) that I would reach my summer school kids. I knew (because of my greatest fears) that I would find a place in Tulsa that felt like mine.
When I left to come to Institute, I knew those things. But there are other things that I didn’t know.
I didn’t know, for example, that I wouldn’t hear the sound of cicadas here, that I wouldn’t have a front porch to spend sunrises on and that chicory coffee wasn’t on the menu. I didn’t know that missing home can feel like a punch to the heart and that I would struggle with that word so often.
Home. Four letters. I have spent the past month trying to convince myself that Tulsa is home, that is worthy of that title. There are things that mean home to me that I can’t find here yet. There is a feeling that I need to lock it in to place.
I miss my cat and my best friend and Martinez tacos and my god, I miss cicadas and porches and Louisiana sunshine and feeling like an integral part of something. I miss comfort and I miss the undeniable feeling that I was, that I belonged, that I was needed.
It’ll fade, you know and I know. It’ll fade, this aching feeling, this way I’ve convinced myself that something is missing. It will all fade and this will feel right.
But that’s not happening tonight.