A Loner’s Home
by Amelia Kanan
I swore I wouldn’t move to a new city again, unless it was abroad. I thought I was too old to start over again unless it was an extreme life change. I could see myself rebranding in the south of France or even the homeland Sweden. However, I should know by now that I’m a magnet for a good cliché and life is forever proving to me that it has other plans.
The truth is, I’ve always been different. In second grade, I refused to be anything but Dolly Parton for Halloween. I went to a prep school where I already stood out amongst the affluent sea of blonde. All the other girls came to school that day as bunnies, kitty cats and princesses and there I was with a stuffed chest and a ridiculous blonde wig. I brought this up to my mom a few weeks ago because I had forgotten about it. “Why would you allow me to do that?” “Amelia, you threw the biggest fit and told me that if I didn’t let you be Dolly Parton than you would tell your teachers we spanked you.” All I could say was, “Who lets their second grader threaten them?” She wasn’t too happy with that response.
I’m a loner. Socially adept but still a loner. When you live in cities where you lack roots of any sort, those loner traits become your saving graces. Telling the restaurant host “Just one please” feels normal. So does venturing a trail or going to the theatre solo. The best thing about this is you end up meeting people along the way. In Chicago, I met people through being alone. In Los Angeles, by being alone. In Detroit, I met no one – unless they were a friend of a friend.
Detroit was a difficult place to live and not for stereotypical reasons as one would assume. It wasn’t the crime or lack of conveniences (although that was annoying) – it was the culture and people. Other than my two good friends (who I had met in other cities and moved, like myself), I was at a major loss. I struggled with that empty feeling because I was accustomed to being alone. What was my problem?
Eventually I realized, it was because Detroit is not like a big city where your loner traits help you survive and are common within the people around you. Detroit is like any small town where your loner traits stick out like an olive skinned second grader dressed as Dolly Parton.
Thank god I snapped out of it and realized that I can’t blend in nor do I want to. Like I said, I wasn’t interested in moving to a new place. Instead, I wanted to go back to one of my heart homes like Chicago or Los Angeles. I missed my people. My friends who are truly my family.
Yet, as always the Universe called and was like “Hey, Amelia. I need you to go somewhere else.” So, here I am in Denver; working a job I never thought I would be interested in and telling hosts “Just one please” for dinner. And ironically, I finally feel like I belong.