I went down to Eugene this weekend for a visit. I hung out with several, but not all, of my friends and had some delicious food (no good restaurants in the current town). I've only been there twice since I moved away, and I'd forgotten how pretty it is. The winter rain may be a bit depressing, but everything is so green. I'd also forgotten how much I love just walking around Eugene. I always felt so at home there and nothing's changed. Whenever I go back to Oregon, there's a moment in the drive at which the vegetation starts to change from the desert of Eastern Oregon/Washington to the lush green grass of the more rainy Willamette Valley, and right about then, every part of my body relaxes. I felt that way when I was a college freshman, brand new to the area, and I feel that way now. It feels like home. Some part of me knows I'm supposed to be there.
As I drove away, the homesickness set in. I was relatively happy in the current city, even though I only moved here for the job, but leaving Eugene felt like leaving home to stay in a temporary place. I also know I can't go back there to live. I've started to look around the country for new work and have accepted that I'll have to leave the Pacific Northwest. But as I watched Eugene get smaller in my rearview mirror, I realized I may not be back for quite some time, and it made me sad. Moving away to a new part of the country will be an adventure, and one I'm ready for, but being far away from Oregon will be hard.