There comes a point in each of our lives where coming back to your parent's house is just that - your parent's house.
For the majority, it won't be until after you're done college. Right now, you still come home on weekends and the summer to work your part-time job and drink in the basement of a friend's house, only to have their parents sleeping upstairs. You get home-cooked meals every night and get to sleep in your bed knowing that in the morning you're getting brunch with your friends and have a whole day of activities planned. You get to snuggle your dog every day and maybe you'll even try to rekindle the affection of your high-school whatever he is. You have all of your hometown favorites at the tip of your fingers. You'll even take all types of pictures with your best friends since kindergarten and plaster them online and it won't feel weird because every time you come home, it's like you never left.
And then there's the minority. You can pinpoint the moment that home stopped feeling like home and when your love of where you came from became a fleeting memory.
It's a strange feeling when you walk through a town that holds so many memories and you feel like a stranger in it. Nothing has changed, really, but you.
Maybe it's because you already have a taste of freedom from being away at college. You had no curfew, no rules, no one nagging at you to clean your room or be in bed at a certain hour. You became your own boss. You've moved out into the world into your own place before all of your friends and work two jobs in the summer to pay your bills. You had to become an adult far faster than everyone else around you, and it makes you envy them.
Or maybe it's because you had a falling out with a friend or a group of friends and every time you come home, you aren't sure what to do with yourself. Everyone around you has had the same friends for years and you're stuck on the outside looking in.
But, in the sad memories and angry regrets, you forget that while your friends are out partying or crying over the boy who hasn't liked them since sixth grade, you are becoming an adult. More specifically, you are shaping your life into what you want it to be. You get to learn how to cook your own meals, set your own schedules and make your own appointments.
Sure, it's going to be hard. No one ever said it would be easy, and life doesn't come with an instruction manual. There are going to be nights when you break down and cry because you want to go to Applebee's with your friends, but you have to decide between hot water for the month and a cheeseburger. There will be days when you question every decision you made and why you ever left your parent's house in the first place.
Through it all, your hometown may not be home anymore, but you have created a new one all by yourself.
And that is something to be proud of.