It's Good To Be Home

It's Good To Be Home

Home is where (your) heart is.
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It’s good to be home.

It’s good to sleep in my bed and be hugged by my parents and eat at my favorite restaurants.

It’s good to see old friends and pick up where we left off and talk for hours about all the adventures we’ve been on in the last four months.

But at the same time, home feels a little bit less like home. When you’ve been living on your own for months without your mom's cooking or your dad’s goodnight kiss, you start to get used to that. You’ve discovered new favorite restaurants and now you’re missing other people from your other “home”.

You miss those people because they get it. They understand all the things that you love, and they know all the things that you struggled with. They know about the night all you wanted to do was sleep in your bed at home, and they can perfectly describe the night where it finally clicked and you felt like these were the people you belonged with.

You want to be with those people, but you’re with these people. But these people get it, too. They remember your love for coffee and they still know exactly where you live and they’re excited to see your parents and drive your streets with you.

It’s this weird feeling. It mixes everything you’ve learned with everything you knew. It’s telling stories about people they’ve never met to people who want to hear all about your experiences and your friends and your memories.

Honestly, coming home is exhausting. Even though it feels like you’re home forever, there still aren’t enough days to spend adequate time with all of the people you love. It’s fitting in as many coffee dates and dinner plans and watching your brother’s basketball games and spending time with your parents after they get home from work. All this while still talking to your new people and making sure that those friendships stay solid so that you have something to come back to in a few weeks.

It’s overwhelming, all these people. But it is also so, so refreshing. You don’t realize how much you missed driving around with your best friend until you’re driving around listening to your old favorite songs and showing each other new ones. You didn’t realize how much you miss laughing with your whole group of high school people until one night you end up sitting on someone’s kitchen floor, retelling story after story. Your dad’s hug feels different because you haven’t felt it in months. It’s a different kind of laughter, and it fills your heart in a different way. Whether you had the best or the worst semester, you can’t hide that it feels good to be home, even if the word home is now a confusing term that throws together a bunch of people who just love you a lot, both here where your family lives as well as back at school.

I always found the phrase “home is where the heart is” to be annoying. I always thought of home as a permanent place. I live here. I lived there. So obviously, home is where my heart is. But living far from home has stretched my heart across different states and streets and houses and campuses. Spending weeks in the room that you grew up in after months of sleeping in a lofted bed with a roommate you only recently met shatters that image. Home is not a place. Home is just simply setting up shop with some people who love you, who you love, who annoy you, and who you’re excited to come back to.

So when I’m at school, that is home, even though I am excited to come back here. And when I am here, my real “home” I guess, I am happy to be home and excited to fly back home.

College is teaching me all sorts of lessons about home and people and myself and on and on and on. But for now, it is good to be home, as ready as I am to go home. It’s a foggy description of being present where I am, but always knowing there is somewhere else I love to be. My home is growing larger and larger, my heart is stretching far, and I’m thankful to be happy here as well as excited to go back.

Cover Image Credit: Hannah Cook

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I'm The Girl Without A 'Friend Group'

And here's why I'm OK with it

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Little things remind me all the time.

For example, I'll be sitting in the lounge with the people on my floor, just talking about how everyone's days went. Someone will turn to someone else and ask something along the lines of, "When are we going to so-and-so's place tonight?" Sometimes it'll even be, "Are you ready to go to so-and-so's place now? Okay, we'll see you later, Taylor!"

It's little things like that, little things that remind me I don't have a "friend group." And it's been like that forever. I don't have the same people to keep me company 24 hours of the day, the same people to do absolutely everything with, and the same people to cling to like glue. I don't have a whole cast of characters to entertain me and care for me and support me. Sometimes, especially when it feels obvious to me, not having a "friend group" makes me feel like a waste of space. If I don't have more friends than I can count, what's the point in trying to make friends at all?

I can tell you that there is a point. As a matter of fact, just because I don't have a close-knit clique doesn't mean I don't have any friends. The friends I have come from all different walks of life, some are from my town back home and some are from across the country. I've known some of my friends for years, and others I've only known for a few months. It doesn't really matter where they come from, though. What matters is that the friends I have all entertain me, care for me, and support me. Just because I'm not in that "friend group" with all of them together doesn't mean that we can't be friends to each other.

Still, I hate avoiding sticking myself in a box, and I'm not afraid to seek out friendships. I've noticed that a lot of the people I see who consider themselves to be in a "friend group" don't really venture outside the pack very often. I've never had a pack to venture outside of, so I don't mind reaching out to new people whenever.

I'm not going to lie, when I hear people talking about all the fun they're going to have with their "friend group" over the weekend, part of me wishes I could be included in something like that. I do sometimes want to have the personality type that allows me to mesh perfectly into a clique. I couldn't tell you what it is about me, but there is some part of me that just happens to function better one-on-one with people.

I hated it all my life up until very recently, and that's because I've finally learned that not having a "friend group" is never going to be the same as not having friends.

SEE ALSO: To The Girls Who Float Between Friend Groups

Cover Image Credit: wordpress.com

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4 Things I Wish High School Me Knew

Every day has a purpose.

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People don't give high school enough credit for having the ability to shape your life. It can build you or it can break you and often times there is no in between. As I enter into my senior year of college I have reflected a lot on my college career and how it really has been the best years of my life up to this point, but I know that without a doubt my life would have been so different in I would have known these things as a high schooler.

1. Your life is valuable

But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions—it is by grace you have been saved. And God raised us up with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus, in order that in the coming ages he might show the incomparable riches of his grace, expressed in his kindness to us in Christ Jesus. - Ephesians 2:4-7

2. You aren't defined by your singleness. 

Daughters of Jerusalem, I charge you by the gazelles and by the does of the field: Do not arouse or awaken love until it so desires. - Song of Solomon 2:7

4. You aren't going to fit in

Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God's will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will. - Romans 12:2

4. Your clothes aren't going to fit forever, don't spend all of your money on them 

Then he said to them, "Watch out! Be on your guard against all kinds of greed; life does not consist in an abundance of possessions." - Luke 12:15

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