I’d never been homesick in my life before I heard Sweet Home Alabama three times in one night on Christmas Eve in Belgium.
Maybe the Duvel had something to do with it.
My Belgian amigos kept telling the DJ of wherever we were that they had a friend from Alabama that needed to hear the state song (for some reason a lot of people in the world think Sweet Home Alabama is the state song, maybe it should be?).
Since getting evicted from my flat on Thanksgiving, I had found a new flat and spent most of the last month traveling through Portugal. Over Christmas holiday, I spent time in Germany and Scotland before Belgium. I spent new years on the Portuguese coast near Figuera de Foz with 20 great friends.
Looking back on my notes from this time period is interesting. I seemed tired. Distracted. Full of myself for no reason and yet somehow aware of that and angry with myself because of it.
Near the end of January, I returned to the United States. To Alabama. To Mississippi.
I was a different person than the one who left the New Orleans airport on the eve of Hurricane Katrina. I had fundamentally changed in the way I viewed the world and my place in it. My views on people, places and things had completely evolved and it felt empowering and special.
And nobody gave a shit.
Nothing changed while I was gone but me.
I expected to come back and feel at home.
Instead, I felt alone in familiar places among familiar faces.
Sweet Home Alabama indeed.