My hometown is very special to me. My hometown holds some of the happiest and worst times of my life. I made some of the greatest friends I could have asked for, but I also lost a few friends that meant the world to me. I accomplished more than any of my family has in such a short time, but I also failed more times than I can count. The old elementary school is where I made my first best friend on the playground. The animal shelter is the first place I ever volunteered. The YMCA is the place where I scored my first points in a basketball game.
Piggly Wiggly is the place I loved to go the most when I was younger because I knew the lady in the bakery would give me a cookie. The new elementary school is the place where I made my first all A report card. The middle school is the place I got to ride in a limousine for making straight A's all three years. The gas station before you get to Bojangles is the place I bought my first lottery ticket. The Japanese place down the road is where I tried my first piece of sushi. Wal-Mart is the place that holds the Friday night grocery shopping memories. The high school gym is where I found out I was accepted to Clemson University. My hometown holds such great memories, but it also holds a lot of memories I would rather forget.
The road in front of the apartments before you get to the old elementary school is where I had my first wreck. The road that runs beside Wendy's is where I got my first speeding ticket. The funeral home is where I was forced to stand in a line while people I've never met before come by and tell me how sorry they are for my loss. The bench in the high school before you get to the atrium is where I said the last words I would ever say to the best friend I had since Kindergarten. The health science room is where I learned my best friend since fifth grade wouldn't be coming with me to our dream college.
The first dirt road on the left of the road that Piggly Wiggly is on is where my mom committed suicide. The house I live in now is where my grandfather took his last breath. The mailbox in front of my house marks the spot where the dog I loved more than I loved myself was run over and killed. The courthouse marks the spot where my father gave up his parental rights. Grits and Groceries marks the last place the best friend I made my senior year and I would ever go before we never spoke again. The graveyard at the church below my house is where my mom and grandpa are buried. A bridge on a backroad in Mount Chrogan is where it took everything in me from purposely running my car over it on one of my bad nights.
Once I started college I came home every two weeks. I was so homesick the first few weeks I was away, but every time I came home nothing had changed. Everything was completely the same. I automatically went back into my old habits and back into the mindset I fought so hard to get out of.
Now I come home every month instead of every two weeks. I don't cry because I have to go back to college. Instead, I smile while I say my goodbyes because I know I'm going to a place full of new beginnings and people that have no idea of my past. I'm going back to a place that is full of opportunity for me and a place to clear my mind. It's not the place where my mom killed herself. It's not the place I said goodbye to my best friend for forever. It's the place where I learned what I wanted to do for the rest of my life. It's the place where I learned the world doesn't end just because I make bad on a test. It's the place I learned how to be a little more independent.
There is absolutely nothing for me in my hometown. There is no opportunity. It's just a place full of more bad memories than good. It is the place I walk by people I once stayed on the phone talking with until three in the morning. It's the place of far too much familiarity and people concerned about everyone but their self. It's a place I can never return to permanently.