I'm staring out into the night, Tryin to hide the pain... I'm going to the place where love, And feelin good don't ever cost a thing - And the pain you feel is a different kind of pain. (V1, L1-5)
I'm goin' home, back to the place where I belong, where your love has always been enough for me. (Chorus, L1-3)
The author - anxious, nervous and almost laughing with excitement proclaims his destination, though he knows we already know. It's a familiar place... with familiar faces... and his love. They all wait somewhere out there in a place where he feels a sense of what we all strive for... belonging. He yearns to be caught up in the love he remembers, and to show those who doubted him that dreams do come true:
I'm not running from - No, I think you got me all wrong, I don't regret this life I chose for me...But these places and these faces are getting old... So I'm going home; Well, I'm going home (Chorus, L4-9)
The miles are getting longer it seems, The closer I get to you... I've not always been the best man or friend for you, But your love remains true - And I don't know why; You always seem to give me another try (V2, L1-6)
As with all anxiously-awaited destinations, the question: "Are we there yet" gets asked subconsciously again and again. It never fails, does it? The road before us seems to stretch longer and the speed reduces exponentially as we draw nearer.
The author is open, at least with himself, about his shortcomings with his girl, his family and his town. He still feels the love, even at this distance, radiating out - touching him - filling him - completing him in a way the strangers he encountered 'out there' never could; at home, he realizes, are second chances.
He reminds us again, through the chorus, how excited he is to be going home.
As Daughtry thinks back over his time away, he is reminded of the hardships he faced after leaving, and the pitfalls of success:
Be careful what you wish for, 'Cause you just might get it all, You just might get it all - And then some you don't want - Be careful what you wish for, 'Cause you just might get it all - You just might get it all, yeah (Bridge, L1-7)
We all hear now, in the back of our minds, the warnings loved ones gave us when we would dare to 'dream big'; Be careful what you wish for! The author is reminded of the warning, and he can attest to the real hardship of 'getting it all' and then some you don't want. Success has many rewards, he reminds us, and many difficulties. The choices he made were his, and he's had to accept the good with the bad, as it were, that came with those choices.
Daughtry sends us on our way with one final, heartfelt chorus as we silently watch his bus continue toward it's mythical destination. We are reminded of that 'first trip' back home. We are given the opportunity to revisit our own choices in our quest for success. Our choices were our own, as is our successes and failures.
We are reminded that our journey continues forward. Whether we've achieved success in one or several areas, we continue forward, always looking to the horizon - always looking ahead. The things that define us, we see, are not the successes, however. The things that define us are the very things we were afraid of when leaving 'home'...
These are the things that have shaped and molded us, forming the people we are today - the strong, capable, adaptable people who surge forward every day in search of something better... in search of our dreams. We continue without regret, always searching for the brass ring, the mark of success, the next rung in the ladder of our lives... we find the strength to move forward because we know, beyond a doubt, that when circumstances become overwhelming, we can always visit home.