Lately, I’ve been having a lot of feelings. I blame my roommate Will for making me watch “The Perks of Being a Wallflower” and I blame Drake, for well being Drake and being on Spotify (Last time I listened to Drake, I wound up sitting in my room, alone, with the lights turned off for like 8 hours).
Perhaps it’s fitting too, that me feeling stuff comes around Thanksgiving, when family, friends and good times come about. Although it’s a great week, it’s also a weird week. Because Thanksgiving is the closest we can ever get to going “home”.
Home isn’t so much a physical location as it is an idea. The romantic, idealistic version of home exists only in our heads, and is one to where we can never really go back to. Pico Iyer shares a Nietzsche quote in the beginning of his opus “The Global Soul” that says “philosophy is really homesickness, the wish to be everywhere, at home.”
We study philosophy to help us cope with the fact that we can never go back to this idealistic state. Because it only exists in our heads, as possibilities, innocence and memories. As such, we look to philosophy to help us feel at home, wherever we go. But I think we still long for that romantic place that exists in our heads, and the last Thursday of November is the closest we can get to coming back.
To re-visit Kareem Abdul-Jabbar’s brilliant article for the New York Times, ““in our disillusioned mind, “home” becomes a romanticized symbol of our innocence, in which we dreamed limitlessly and were loved unconditionally.”
For four or five days, your back at your parents house, free of responsibility and free of expectation. This period has two of the elements we so long for, the innocence of childhood and the endless potential of adolescence. In addition, we’re back surrounded by our high school friends and people we grew up with. It’s almost as if your entire high school trajectory can be re-lived and compressed into the night before Thanksgiving.
Thanksgiving week is an anomaly. It’s the only week where you can revisit your past, enjoy your present and contemplate your future. The potential is limitless and you only wish you could carry these feelings of gratitude and appreciation to the other 364 days of the year.
Our generation won’t get many more Thanksgivings like these, romantic and idealistic. As we get older, more and more of us will get married. And with these new unions will come new holiday traditions, often times in places far from where they call home.
But while we still have a chance to enjoy this past weekend, we will. And we’ll be singing Drake on the drive over.