Response to “Home Isn’t Just One Place or One Person”
Before I went off to college, St. Louis, Missouri was my home. Well, technically I grew up 30 minutes away from St. Louis in a town in Illinois. It was a decent size town with a lot of great memories. I grew up there all of my life and found a lot of comfort and safety within that town with a population of 23,000.
When it came to choosing a college, I was dreading it. The thought of leaving my home, my friends and the comfort of my life that I had for 18 years scared me. My mom pushed me though. She pushed me to explore other options and get out there more. Because if I really didn’t like it, I could always go home.
In my college search, I found Illinois State University. While it was still a new place that scared me, it was beautiful and I truly fell in love with campus. Fast forward to August 2016, I found my “home” for the next four years. I say “home” because for the first year and a half, it really felt like a place to stay until I could get back to my actual home. It wasn’t until I met a lot of great people that made that place feel like home. I even met the man of my dreams.
Four years flew by and now I am back in St. Louis, Missouri. This time working in the city and living the life I always dreamed of. However, some days it feels like a part of my heart is missing. It’s the part of the heart that is with my friends from college. That I wish were only a five minute walk down the road or meeting up for weekly dinners at someone’s apartment. Instead, most of my friends are 300 miles away. While FaceTime are great, nothing compares to a visit from them that make you remember all the fun memories.
I recently realized that my home is not the same as it was when I was 18. It hasn’t changed, but I have. I met a lot of wonderful people. People that have changed my life for the better. The people that I cannot imagine my life without now that I have known them. Now pieces of my heart are with them and those pieces have been replaced with wonderful memories that I remember for years to come. Those pieces of my heart are scattered all over the place. I have some here in St. Louis, lots in Chicagoland area and even some overseas from my summer abroad.
Home is about the memories you create and the people that make it so special. For that, I am so lucky.