I have a slight phobia of the familiar.
It’s come on a bit strong lately, since for the past 8 months I have made it my job to be a full time adventurer. In that time, I developed a constant craving for novelty, a caffeine-like addiction to the thrill of exploring new places. So my return to champaign, a city I can navigate backwards and blindfolded, has brought with it mixed feelings. Ok if I’m honest, it’s brought a moment or two of terror where I am tempted to get in my car and not stop until I’ve crossed a state line (because that’s what we do when we’re scared, right Allison?) But then I’ll return to one of my favorite places or a group of familiar faces and be flooded with memories and fondness for this town. As I settle in to the comfort of familiarity, I am reminded of the benefits of being rooted, of knowing which park to run to and which door to knock on. And once I allow myself to sink into this familiarity I am finding a new flow of thoughts, of voice, and of ideas. It is reminding me that the thrill of expression, that tease of the next big thing I want to work on, these are things you can’t always have when you’re life is a whirlwind.
There is a flashy beauty that comes with novelty, but there is welcoming glow that comes with familiarity. And as my eyes adjust to this new light, I am starting to see this familiar place in a new way.
Turns out this town isn’t done surprising me yet. Thanks for being endlessly inspiring Champaign. It’s good to be back.