Note, this was written in November of 2006 while making a road trip to Pittsburgh, PA to attend a three week long class with a good friend. This was the first time I returned to Pennsylvania after moving back home to Maine in the summer of 2003.
Friday, November 3, 2007 - Somewhere in Pennsylvania
In preparation for this trip I've spent the past few days running around getting things done so that all would be in order to leave on time at 0800 Friday morning from Ryan's house. As usual, that didn't happen, I was running a wee bit late, however, he had some errands to run in the morning so it was a combined effort that put us on the road by 10am. Eh, so we were a little late. But back to my preparation; as I've run around to get things ready for this trip it's been an odd feeling that I've had. It hasn't felt so much like I was preparing for a trip and to get ready for this class, but rather its felt like I've been getting ready to go home after a long time away. Lately I've been thinking a lot about moving back to Pittsburgh and so this trip serves a dual purpose, one being to take the CCEMTP course, the other to help me decide if I want to move back there. It's been about three and a half years since I moved out of Pittsburgh to return to Maine, and for three and a half years I've been saying that I want to move back. This is going to be the first visit since I moved out of Pittsburgh and I can't wait to get there.
The plan was to make this trip in two days, but even though we got a late start we're making great time so as of right now it looks like we're going to drive all the way through and we'll be in the city tonight. I'm thrilled. The closer we get the more it feels like I'm going home, back to the city where I could be myself. Living in Pittsburgh was the first time I lived on my own, free from the confines of the small town that I grew up in, free to have my own place, free to be myself, free to be out, completely out, and not give a damn about what anyone thinks. It really was a time of freedom for me, I learned a lot about myself there and perhaps that's the reason why I want to move back, to discover more about myself, to find that freedom once again that I found there in a city where everyone was a stranger. I realize it won't be the same this time around if I move back there because I already have a few friends there. So in a way it will be a bit easier. Its time for me to get out of Maine again. After talking with my dear friend Kalem about this I know its time. I have to move. He moved back to the Mid-Atlantic region a few months ago after spending a few years back in Maine and after being in Maine for a while he realized that even though his family is there, there is a lot that is lacking. It's Maine, it's rural and the dating pool is pretty shallow whether you're straight or gay, but being gay in a rural setting makes it harder. Another thing that Kalem and I talked about at length was the fact that there is little to no room for career advancement. It is time for me to move, I know this, I was able to move before and be away from my family, but what I fear leaving now are bonds that are as strong as family. I fear leaving my close friends. Though we don't share blood they are family. There's a quote from David Bergman that I absolutely love - "Gay friendships often create an alternative to family, a link more compelling than blood." This is, without a doubt the truest thing one can say about my friendships. So I guess the question is; can I move away and leave my friends behind?