Gone Home
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Gone Home

Upon returning, everything may feel different.

Gone Home
Julia Grace Hill

In my Classical Civilizations course, we just read The Odyssey. During our discussion of the major themes of the book, my professor said something that really stuck with me: "You can never truly go home."

Initially, I just kind of shook my head like I understood what it was that he really meant. I then went home this past weekend, which inspired my realization that home truly does change. Even in my small town of 3,500 people, things felt different upon my arrival.

I was only in Detroit for a little over one month before going home. Driving into town, I saw that some businesses had shut down, some edifices had changed, there was more construction and plenty more bicyclists. Now, these are all simple things, but their combined efforts made for a feeling of change.

Then when I arrived to my house, everything felt slightly unfamiliar. My room was emptier. There was a new throw pillow. The lights seemed dimmer. Minute details added up to an entirely different surrounding. Maybe things were not even different, but my state of mind and circumstance were what had changed my perception of what home is.

Homer captured this feeling of returning to a home that is not quite the home you remembered, all the way back in eight B.C. I now understood what it was that he meant, which made me appreciate the plot of The Odyssey even more than I previously had.

Whether one is gone for weeks, months or even years, the qualities that you remember your home embodying may be different. This may seem obvious, but people, places and lifestyles change with time; they shift towards the uniformity of the period, the region or their individualized culture.

But despite all of the changes, home still felt 'homey' to me, and that is because the basis of it had stayed relatively the same; my family was there, my cats, my bed, my records, my favorite coffee shop and my local library-- the backbone of my home was unchanged, so it still provided me with comfort and eased my stress.

I know as I return home in the future, with more knowledge, experiences, and possibly a different outlook, and as my community itself continues evolving, things will appear different, and maybe even foreign to me. But maybe it is less about the form, the external skin of the town, than it is about the memories and the heart that will always remain.

Bon Voyage

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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