You Can Never Go Home

As I run around New Jersey for a few weeks, a quote from the 2004 film “Garden State” keeps running through my head:

“You know that point in your life when you realize the house you grew up in isn’t really your home anymore? All of a sudden even though you have some place where you put your shit, that idea of home is gone.”

1693389_3e95cdd45d_oThe character who said it, Andrew Largeman, is a New Jersean living in California who has come home due to a death in the family. A struggling actor in Los Angeles, he had not come back to New Jersey for several years, and during that time, much had changed including the house where he grew up.

It is such a familiar topic that it is probably very easy to strike a chord with people who have felt similar. You grew up in a place that you still refer to as home, although that place that you knew, is no longer what it was. Some never look back and therefore that place remains in tact but only as an idea that appears in dreams or thoughts. Others, like myself, go back to see what has changed, even try to hit up the old familiar places that were part of that era when home was home. Sometimes these visits serve to satisfy that need for nostalgia and to forget that time has passed and life is different now. Other times it is a big flop, leaving a deeper feeling of being in the wrong place and the wrong time. That undeniable feeling that the place you call home is in fact not home anymore.

Does it matter? Is something lost if the feeling of home is lost? Is this a long resolved topic that people have by and large agreed is perfectly natural and not important? Probably. There often isn’t time enough for people to run around trying to recapture the past. We leave that to hollywood and the occasional clever website.

There’s a second part to Largeman’s quote:

“Maybe it’s like this rite of passage, you know. You won’t ever have this feeling again until you create a new idea of home for yourself, you know, for your kids, for the family you start, it’s like a cycle or something. I don’t know, but I miss the idea of it, you know. Maybe that’s all family really is. A group of people that miss the same imaginary place.”

At some point over the last few years, I realized that is part of what I’ve been busy doing. Creating my home. That it happens to be across an ocean and in a different culture is besides the point. For me, home in the present day wasn’t just something that appeared out of thin air, it took work. It took building. It is a process that continues. It is a process that I enjoy very much.

As for New Jersey, I’m always happy to be back among my fellow people who miss the same imaginary place (and bygone era).

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10 Years Ago Today: My Nephew Arrived

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An oldy from our younger days.

Long long ago in a time where journalists could be bloggers and bloggers might be journalists and people actually read long form personal content, this here website was a hotbed of socio-political activity. Hard to believe, but in those days my friends and family were a regular part of what took place here. I could be talking about a war somewhere in the world or the latest activity my young family members were busy with.

Humbling to think that 10 years ago, this week, I wrote the following:

Special announcement: I’m an uncle. On May 13th, around 8pm, Alexander Marsh Rendeiro was born in New Brunswick, NJ, USA. Out of respect for the privacy of my nephew, photos are only available upon request for now. From what I gather, the family is good, just very, very exhausted.

From there every year or so I would write letters and record videos (currently offline) about or for my nephew.

As far as uncles go, I’m not the best. I live too far away to qualify as a great one. Still, from this side of the ocean, I watch, listen, and ask all about the life and times of this extraordinary human being.  And when I am over in New Jersey, I do my best to make up for lost time, and share some laughs before I’m off again.

10 years is impressive. It also goes by in the blink of an eye. As I type that, I find myself thinking of how interesting the next 10 years will be. Wow. Here’s to the decade to come, happy birthday young mister A-Ren!

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Love in a Dubai Taxi

avatar Mark Fonseca Rendeiro Moderator Amazon Wishlist Icon

12091068634_60847d595cUntil now you’ve heard stories of individual taxi drivers and entrepeneurs in the UAE. Today Im going to bring you the voices of several taxi drivers, as they speak about probably the most common theme of my trip: LOVE.

Start talking with a taxi driver in the city of gold and chances are you will get to the topics of relationships, marriage, love and family. Many will tell you that all these things are very closely related and extremely important. Their outlooks and philosophies vary, from the very traditional to the free thinkers who would go as far as to defy their family.  Stories vary from charming to frustrating, and from beautiful to deeply sad.

Today on the podcast, Love in a Dubai Taxi, stories and reflections on love from taxi drivers in the UAE.

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Life, Death, and the Stuff in Between

One week since the death of my grandfather, this podcast contains a few personal and professional stories from my life over the past few months. Though this program is usually focused on interviews and issues from all over the world, its origin is this very formula: one person, a microphone, honest observations, and you the listener. So consider this an example of going back to the roots of my work online. It’s personal.

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