If you look long enough—say, for 20 years—you might find a place that feels like home, even if it isn’t. This place might fill your own memories and experiences in a way unexpected, maybe even catch you off-guard with its charm: a place where you can find your favorite foods from at least three different cultures, though not quite your own. A place where your friends come and go with such frequency you don’t realize how much you’re learning from this until years later when you feel their loss with a keener sense. A place where you can count on seeing others commit themselves to something good and where you actually know each other by face—small enough for this. This place also has its faults: its ego, its backwardness, a lifestyle you’re unaccustomed to but willing to put up with just to be close to the beauty and to the goodness that’s left when you finally find a way to look past the bullshit.
But you’re cheating on this hometown, visiting with other cities, dreaming of other places to be, if only to get away from the cloying personality, the obsessiveness, the strangeness of home. But there’s no other, really; it’s always a comparison point. It’s always there, at the back of your memory, persistent.
Maybe it will always be the real start, even though there have been so many. Maybe home really is in every start. It’s more under your skin, something that exists inside you and was there with each new iteration of time and space. Another creation.