Posted by: HelenRortvedt | 5 April 2007


Yesterday, a dear friend put it to me like this:

“My room at my parents’ house is like the chorus to the song that is my life.”

Returning home after any period of time is at once comforting and alarming. It seems as if everything has changed and as if nothing has changed. I’ve changed, but that pile of clothes I’ve been meaning to donate to the Goodwill still teeters in the corner of my closet, as it has for months (years?).

Perspective is a magician. It has the ability to make something out of nothing, and to make things disappear. Walking into my parents’ house on Ivy Street, 30 hours on a plane and 12 time zones were washed away. They may as well have never existed as familiarity flooded my senses.

So heightened and exhausted by the last three months of constant stimulation, my senses faded comfortably into the furniture, the same bumps in the driveway, the purple walls of my old room…

My time in Southeast Asia is settling into its permanent home in my core. It is a part of me now, but it is not my everyday anymore. I’ve learned that I love Asia, that I’m fascinated by it. But what’s more: I’ve learned that I adore Latin America–that my heart yearned for it, that my brain insisted on an internal dialogue in Spanish the whole time I was away.

So here I am again. In my old room in my parents’ house. Singing the same familiar chorus. It’s meaning has changed a bit, as I have. But the lyrics and the melody dance happily in my subconscious…are sung without having to actually think about it.

I don’t yet know what is in store for me next. A summer in Virginia on a mountain, sure. But beyond that, anything goes.

One thing is certain, however: It’s the journey that colors the destination…



  1. You look sexy in that picture. I’m thankful for my visit to the Rortvedt villa (circa sophomore year) so I could picture your stack of clothes ready for Goodwill. 🙂 Miss you smellin’.

  2. […] be on a plane bound for the highest capital city in the world. Right now, I’m singing the Chorus of my life once more before setting off on another […]

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