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Licensed to Drive

Wednesday, 21 September 2011

It was a strange feeling…sitting in the PennDOT (the PA version of the DMV) office. Knowing that I would be surrendering my California residency and taking on one in an unfamiliar place.

I’ve been a resident of the Golden State for nearly my entire life. Sure, I’ve lived other places. But they have all been temporary stays. Four months in Cinci. Three years in New Jersey. Seven semesters in Ithaca. One semester in London. An academic year in Jerusalem. Two semesters in NYC. The rest of the time in sunny SoCal.

What does it matter? I ask myself, it’s just a place.

Even as answer my own question, I know that isn’t true. It’s home. It’s family. It’s friends. It’s memories. It’s familiar. And it’s who I am. Or, at the very least, how I perceive myself to be.

And yet, like all things, rituals help us move through the transitions of life. While before I could still trick myself into thinking that we were just on an extended vacation in some far-off place, replacing my CA license in my wallet with this newly-minted PA one no longer allows such fantasies.

Welcome to Pennsylvania is what the fellow behind the desk said.
But his warm and gracious smile said, Welcome home.

6 Comments leave one →
  1. Wednesday, 21 September 2011 7:46 am

    Welcome to the “right” coast.
    משנה מקום, משנה מזל

  2. Wednesday, 21 September 2011 7:48 am

    It’s a huge change to be sure, but hopefully you’ll soon be feeling as warm and welcomed in your adopted state as his smile tried to convey.

    My photography is available for purchase – visit Around the Island Photography and bring home something beautiful today!

  3. Wednesday, 21 September 2011 8:35 am

    A number of years ago (OK, it may have been as long ago as the Bicentennial!) Pennsylvania had a travel and tourism campaign whose tag line was “You’ve got a friend in Pennsylvania.” Thanks to you, it’s really true! xoxo.

  4. the writ and the wrote permalink
    Wednesday, 21 September 2011 10:26 am

    Glad you found another place to consider home. I’ve been searching for a place like that my entire life.

  5. Wednesday, 21 September 2011 12:10 pm

    It took me forever to give up my Wisconsin license. I just didn’t want to admit that I had moved away from home….

    Mazel tov on this new milestone…sending hugs!

  6. Lauren permalink
    Wednesday, 21 September 2011 3:30 pm

    I am in the process of changing to an Israeli license, but lucky me, I get to keep my CA one, so I don’t have the same feeling there, however, I definitely felt it when I went to the misrad HaPanim to get my temporary Israeli passport to be able to travel.

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