Give Me Back My Hometown

Give Me Back My Hometown

For many people who once lived in a small town they know the feeling when they’re home doesn’t feel like a home anymore.
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Like many people in my hometown, I’ve been here since a young age. Three-years-old to be exact. My parents who came from Hawaii were to be based in Seattle. So why of all places did they choose Gig Harbor? Well, at that time it was a small town that was isolated from the big city. My parents wanted my brother and me to grow up in a safe environment that wasn’t too rural but wasn’t in the heart and soul of the rat race that the city brought. But lately, when I go home to visit I don’t find that welcoming hometown feeling that I once had. In fact, I feel like a stranger in a strange land. For many people who once lived in a small town, they know the feeling when their home doesn’t feel like home anymore. Here’s why I wish my original hometown went back to normal.

It’s too crowded.
The one nice thing about my town was that it was quiet and pretty small. The majority of everyone knew everyone and it was a blessing and a curse when you wanted to do errands. You were guaranteed to run into at least three people you knew. Nowadays when you go anywhere you’re lucky if you see one person whose name you might not know but you’ve at least seen their face at some school function.

Your name doesn’t really mean anything anymore.
When I left for school, my friends and I were very well known in town. My friends were all-state athletes who went to big name schools. We were all head of ASB who planned every function, and we were all involved in other activities that had us working with the community. Now when I go home and meet some uppity family, I have to reference my brother and then they’ll show some decency to give me the time of day. It’s crazy how all that can change within four years.

Mom and Pop places are hard to come by.
Something else that gave my town its charm was the local businesses that provided what we needed for necessities. Whether it was hole in the wall bakeries, cute little cafes, or even local appliance companies; these businesses are at a bare minimum. Now what we have is the commercialized businesses and the chain restaurants that occupy our buildings and strip malls.

It’s just too built up.
There is constantly construction and a new building that’s to be completed with at least four new stores. For the first time, there is actual traffic too. Not the kind of traffic that happened right after school got out because the buses were constantly stopping. But the sort of traffic that happens when you have so many new people moving into town. Traffic that is absolute nonsense and makes you think twice if it’s really worth doing your errands today, in fear of becoming aggravated at the idiot who is going too slow in front of you.

It’s sad to me that home hardly feels like home anymore. It’s a place that I spent a wonderful childhood in and now it’s sad to see what has come of it. So no, I don’t need all of these new chain stores and restaurants. I’m fine going over the bridge and paying the toll to do so. All I want is my cute little hometown back. The one that shaped my friends and me into the people we’ve become. The one where I could smile at the elderly couple from across the street, and not because I knew them personally, but because they’re the same couple I pass every morning when I’m walking around the harbor.

Cover Image Credit: The Gourmet Burger Shop

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30 Things I'd Rather Be Than 'Pretty'

Because "pretty" is so overrated.
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Nowadays, we put so much emphasis on our looks. We focus so much on the outside that we forget to really focus on what matters. I was inspired by a list that I found online of "Things I Would Rather Be Called Instead Of Pretty," so I made my own version. Here is a list of things that I would rather be than "pretty."

1. Captivating

I want one glance at me to completely steal your breath away.

2. Magnetic

I want people to feel drawn to me. I want something to be different about me that people recognize at first glance.

3. Raw

I want to be real. Vulnerable. Completely, genuinely myself.

4. Intoxicating

..and I want you addicted.

5. Humble

I want to recognize my abilities, but not be boastful or proud.

6. Exemplary

I want to stand out.

7. Loyal

I want to pride myself on sticking out the storm.

8. Fascinating

I want you to be hanging on every word I say.

9. Empathetic

I want to be able to feel your pain, so that I can help you heal.

10. Vivacious

I want to be the life of the party.

11. Reckless

I want to be crazy. Thrilling. Unpredictable. I want to keep you guessing, keep your heart pounding, and your blood rushing.

12. Philanthropic

I want to give.

13. Philosophical

I want to ask the tough questions that get you thinking about the purpose of our beating hearts.

14. Loving

When my name is spoken, I want my tenderness to come to mind.

15. Quaintrelle

I want my passion to ooze out of me.

16. Belesprit

I want to be quick. Witty. Always on my toes.

17. Conscientious

I want to always be thinking of others.

18. Passionate

...and I want people to know what my passions are.

19. Alluring

I want to be a woman who draws people in.

20. Kind

Simply put, I want to be pleasant and kind.

21. Selcouth

Even if you've known me your whole life, I want strange, yet marvelous. Rare and wondrous.

22. Pierian

From the way I move to the way I speak, I want to be poetic.

23. Esoteric

Do not mistake this. I do not want to be misunderstood. But rather I'd like to keep my circle small and close. I don't want to be an average, everyday person.

24. Authentic

I don't want anyone to ever question whether I am being genuine or telling the truth.

25. Novaturient

..about my own life. I never want to settle for good enough. Instead I always want to seek to make a positive change.

26. Observant

I want to take all of life in.

27. Peart

I want to be honestly in good spirits at all times.

28. Romantic

Sure, I want to be a little old school in this sense.

29. Elysian

I want to give you the same feeling that you get in paradise.

30. Curious

And I never want to stop searching for answers.
Cover Image Credit: Favim

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To My Little Sister, Don't Wish For Time To Move Faster, Soak Up The Stage Of Life You're In

Live in the moment and you will come out having no regrets.

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To my best friend,

Time goes by quickly, do not wish it away. Enjoy living in the moment you are in right now because you will never get it back. Stop wishing you were in college already because you have so much to live for right now.

I know all you want to do is get away from home and start over, which is normal because I wanted to do the same thing at your age. But as your older sister, and as someone who has gone through that stage already, I am here to tell you that it is not all rainbows and sunshine 24/7.

With the time you have left in high school, enjoy every second of it because eventually, you will come to miss it.

Graduation is just around the corner for you and it honestly freaks me out how fast time is going. And it only goes faster in college. As kids, all we wanted was to be in high school and be able to drive on our own and once we hit high school, all we want is to be in college. With almost being in college for two years, I can easily say that all I want is to be a kid again. We have been wishing our whole lives away since we can remember. Enjoy today.

I see so much potential in you and I am beyond excited for what the future has in store for you.

Many times, you have been the one to give me advice even though I'm the older sister and this shows how caring and loving you are. Life is going to treat you so well and it already has.

There is one piece of advice I must give to you though. Make sure to thank mom and dad and tell them you love them as often as possible. I know they can get on your nerves and may make you angry at times, but they have given us the best life. You will learn in college just how much they love us and how much they have given up just to make us happy.

You have a good head on your shoulders and I know life is going to turn out to be exactly what you wanted. Just don't wish it all away. Some of my favorite times were when I was a senior in high school.

I'm always looking out for you so don't ever think you are alone in this crazy world. Remember, I am just one phone call away.

I love you so much sis, you got this.

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