5 Things You Miss When You Leave Your Small Town (Even Though You Don't Want To Admit It)

5 Things You Miss When You Leave Your Small Town (Even Though You Don't Want To Admit It)

Because, in some way, you miss your hometown just a tiny bit.
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As many of my friends know, I was never a fan of my small town. I felt trapped in a place with people that had lived there their whole lives and had no intention of leaving anytime soon. While they were perfectly content living the same life as their parents, in the same town as their parents, I was anxious to get out and explore the world. However, what I didn't expect, and what I don't necessarily want to admit, is that I miss the quaint quirks of my home.

1. Football Games

In small towns, football isn't just a sport. It's a way of life. People of all ages make their way over to the football field to support the high school team (a team that most of them were on when they were younger). There's a certain camaraderie at the games. A certain understanding that our allegiance to the team won't falter -- even if they lose every single game of the season. It doesn't matter who you are when you enter the stadium. For three hours, you're one entity cheering for the boys covered in the "Friday Night Lights."

2. The One Chain Restaurant Everybody Eats At Every Week

Half apps was the weekly ritual in my small town. However, it was never about the food (because, let's be honest, nobody likes bland mozzarella sticks and boneless wings that feel like a cinderblock when you bite into them). It was about having your friends all in one place at the same time. It was about sitting down after a long week of school and catching up with the people that make you the happiest. And, OK, half-priced appetizers aren't such a bad deal either.

3. The Teacher That Believed in You When You Didn't Believe in Yourself

I wasn't a great student in high school. I procrastinated and made excuses and generally just didn't care. I never would have made it through high school if it weren't for my choir teacher (Hey, Ms. Hayes). The teachers that make a difference -- the teachers that you remember long after you've walked across the stage in your cap and gown - are the ones that never give up on you. It doesn't matter how many times you've screwed up. They see your potential and they do everything they can to make sure that you see it, too.

4. Town Traditions

Whether it be parades, festivals, or barbecues, small-towns always seem to have something going on during the holidays. As a high schooler, it was nice to know that my weekends had some sort of schedule. My small town of Anoka, Minnesota, was the "Halloween Capital of the World" (seriously -- go look it up). We had haunted houses and parades and pumpkin themed football games (because there's nothing better than a themed football game), and we would get dressed up and trick-or-treat around our neighborhood. The fall festivities were always something that we looked forward to, and when everyone's favorite fall drink came out, we waited with anticipation because we knew that our town traditions were soon to follow.

5. The People

This one was the most surprising to me - especially because I was a liberal feminist surrounded by conservative high school students who indirectly tweeted about their problems with someone at least once a week. However, at the end of the day, I met some of my best friends in my small town. And as I make this transition from high school to college, from Anoka to Seattle, I wish I could have deep conversations with the people around me. Until then, I'll just have to settle with slowly finding the people that make Seattle my new home.

Cover Image Credit: http://pointsnorthatlanta.com/daytrippin-in-the-most-beautiful-small-town-in-america/

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To The Parent Who Chose Addiction

Thank you for giving me a stronger bond with our family.

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When I was younger I resented you, I hated every ounce of you, and I used to question why God would give me a parent like you. Not now. Now I see the beauty and the blessings behind having an addict for a parent. If you're reading this, it isn't meant to hurt you, but rather to thank you.

Thank you for choosing your addiction over me.

Throughout my life, you have always chosen the addiction over my programs, my swim meets or even a simple movie night. You joke about it now or act as if I never questioned if you would wake up the next morning from your pill and alcohol-induced sleep, but I thank you for this. I thank you because I gained a relationship with God. The amount of time I spent praying for you strengthened our relationship in ways I could never explain.

SEE ALSO: They're Not Junkies, You're Just Uneducated

Thank you for giving me a stronger bond with our family.

The amount of hurt and disappointment our family has gone through has brought us closer together. I have a relationship with Nanny and Pop that would never be as strong as it is today if you had been in the picture from day one. That in itself is a blessing.

Thank you for showing me how to love.

From your absence, I have learned how to love unconditionally. I want you to know that even though you weren't here, I love you most of all. No matter the amount of heartbreak, tears, and pain I've felt, you will always be my greatest love.

Thank you for making me strong.

Thank you for leaving and for showing me how to be independent. From you, I have learned that I do not need anyone else to prove to me that I am worthy of being loved. From you, I have learned that life is always hard, but you shouldn't give into the things that make you feel good for a short while, but should search for the real happiness in life.

Most of all, thank you for showing me how to turn my hurt into motivation.

I have learned that the cycle of addiction is not something that will continue into my life. You have hurt me more than anyone, but through that hurt, I have pushed myself to become the best version of myself.

Thank you for choosing the addiction over me because you've made me stronger, wiser, and loving than I ever could've been before.

Cover Image Credit: http://crashingintolove.tumblr.com/post/62246881826/pieffysessanta-tumblr-com

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My Strange Obsession: Bibibop Addition

I am obsessed with Bibibop.

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I am obsessed with Bibibop.

Sounds strange, right? But it's true.

For those of you who have never had the opportunity to experience Bibibop, Bibibop is an Asian Grill set up similar to Chipotle. You're able to go down the line of food, choosing a base (always go with the purple rice), hot toppings (they all slap), protein (the tofu is to die for), some cold toppings (a great way to try kale for the first time), and a sauce (if you don't get the Yum Yum sauce, you're weird.)

And, let me tell you, the final product is always delicious.

I hadn't been introduced to Bibibop until this past year, but once I tried it for the first time, I never looked back. Now I am constantly craving the taste of the Yum Yum sauce. I usually hit up Bibibop once every two weeks, but if I was rich, I would probably eat it every other day.

Though, admittedly, the prices are pretty good. And they celebrate meatless Mondays with 20% off to anyone who doesn't get meat in their bowl.

Plus, it's pretty healthy. Unlike most restaurants, like Chipotle, where your somewhat healthy meal can instantly become bad for you with the addition of something on the menu, Bibibop's entire menu provides nutritional value and offers gluten-free and vegan options.

Basically, Bibibop is the most underrated and most delicious restaurant in the world, which is why my obsession with it runs so deep. Although I would usually admit that obsessions are unhealthy, I think this one might be okay.

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