I moved to Maine when I was 5. I lived there for two years while my father traveled the globe as a soldier in the Marine Corps. I returned when I was 10. I resented my parents for it. There was nothing great or even good about living in Brownville Jct. Friends lived an area code away, making it impossible to play outside or even talk on the phone. I spent my summers consumed in novels, reading about adventures elsewhere; anyplace but here. In 1996, Josh Decker introduced me to the radio, and this became my all-consuming escape from this nowhere. I would walk the streets until the sun went down, my Walkman in hand, playing recordings from the radio. I didn’t want to be there. After graduation, I got out.
This is where some would say they left and never looked back.
It’s a decade a later. I’m looking back. I’m looking at the world I was part of for a decade. When somebody asks me where I’m from, it’s without hesitation I reply, “I’m from Maine.” I find myself nostalgic for a world I loathed so much as a teenager. What is it drawing so many back? What about it molds the people so strongly its effects can are seen for life? What makes us Mainers? It is a prideful term we embrace and carry with us until the day we return to our hometowns.
This is a journey to find my way back home.