I pull up to a red light. I have two directions from which to choose. If I go right, I go back to my home, my parents, my old friends, and my dog. If I go left, I go to my new apartment, my new life, uncertainty, new friends, and new opportunities. However, the options that face me now are much more than just old friends and new friends.
On the right,
there is my home.
The place I grew up, mostly all that I know.
Nothing will change in that small town in Central Pennsylvania.
My parents will always live in a white house
with the large yard in which, as a boy, I would play flashlight tag.
At the end of the yard is the detached garage that my dad and I used
when we rebuilt the front end of a 1979 Ford Fairmont
that had recently hit a deer.
My dog, Barklee, will always run after the rabbits in the yard
even though he has yet to catch one.
My tree house will stand,
like a symbol of my youth,
forever next to a garden in which my father planted a rose bush for my mother.
My old high school buddys,
home for the summer,
will more then likely want to go out for a good time.
I could always count on Zac, Mike, Adam, and Scott for a good laugh.
There will always be a special place in my heart for these four.
That small town offers a sense of familiarity that I don’t feel when I leave.
When I’m in Carlisle,
I feel warm and accepted,
but I also feel a sadness that I don’t feel when I leave.
The lack of opportunity is why I left Carlisle,
and is also why I now consider going left.
To the left
lies opportunity, and my future.
To the left lies new experiences and new loves.
To the left, lies my new friends and my new job.
If I go left, I am successful, not just another high school graduate
with “some college” under my belt.
I am respected at my job
and I am rewarded for my talents.
These rewards make me feel a sense of belonging
that I can only feel from hard, honest work.
Still, I am torn between to worlds.
I have to choose between people I love and people I may or may not learn to love.
I must choose between success and everything that I have ever known.
I know that if the two worlds were ever to meet it would certainly be tragic.
My new friends and my old friends would never get along.
My new cat and my old, faithful dog would fight like mortal enemies in a final battle.
I was never successful in high school,
however now I am holding down a regular job that I love.
The two worlds are completely different and yet…
They are who I am.
If I were a weaker person I would simply turn around and go back to the bar.