One thing I find myself saying too quickly is that I am not going back home after I graduate. Every time I say this I can hear the sounds my mother and grandmother's hearts cracking.
I realized they may be taking this statement a little too personally as they should because from what it sounds like is I will never return after I graduate.
This is far from true because when the world falls apart, or when I find myself at a new challenge I call home, or when I accomplish a new goal I call home. Sometimes I even feel the need to pack a bag and head home.
I am so lucky to have the home I have because my home is not one specific house nor is it one neighborhood or one town that I grew up in. Home isn't a place, it's the people.
It's the sweet voices that answer when I call and FaceTime, it's the laughter of some gotcha joke that has everyone tickled, it's the clinking of dinner plates because the food is too good to talk, and the arms that wrap around me every time we are reunited.
I couldn't limit my home to one place because the people that make it up are not in one place. We are scattered in different towns and states but we are still as tight-knit as can be. While it does make for more time in between reunions, it does not take away from the love that is felt at each event.
Home is my huge family tree that has added branches and is practically creating its own forest from growing so much. It is unique and beautiful. It has weathered storms and perfect seasons.
When I say that I don't want to go home I simply mean I don't want to go back to my hometown. I long to venture out after graduation and stretch the branches of our tree.
Of course, I'll always want to go home wherever it sets up camp next.