Moving home is hard when you feel like  a stranger.

Honey, I'm Home.

Moving out is scary, especially when you're starting college in an unknown city, but moving home isn't always as comforting as it may seem.

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For eighteen years, I anticipated a journey with the whereabouts unknown. For eighteen years, the idea of college was pressed into my brain until it was the only thought that consumed me. For eighteen years, I had the possibility of doing anything and going anywhere, and there was no hurry to decide - until each second of every minute felt like a pressurized ticking timebomb that could blow up my past, present, and future.

When you're young and college is just an idea, it's a million miles away in a life you're not quite yet living. College seems optimistic and magical, yet strict and stressful, but it's talked about in a way that seems practical and in the realms of possibility. What you aren't told when you're young is that college isn't the only option, or that you have to move away. You aren't told that you can choose to stay home for school, or go to trade school, and what you really aren't told is that you can take a break. Imagine - someone telling you that it actually is okay for you to step away and regroup until you figure out what's best for you.

For me, college was the only option, and not because I felt like I would be a disappointment if I didn't go (that's beside the point), but because it's what I wanted. There are more reasons I chose to go other than to pursue the career I learned about in one of my many other years of schooling. Maybe it was to continue the familiarity of schooling like I had spent most of my life, so the idea didn't completely terrify me. Why give up something you're good at? College was a chance to do something else - be someone else. College was a safe excuse to leave.

After stressful test scores and the pressure to balance my emotional, mental, and social state of being, I journeyed out into unfamiliar territory to tour different schools that I could potentially feel a sense of belonging at - a new home.

The school where I felt that real connection with was in a state I didn't already belong to, and my sense of longing was almost strong enough to encourage what I wanted. I've always felt trapped. I've felt trapped in relationships I wasn't strong enough to leave, trapped in a town I never felt I belonged to, and trapped in this mindset that made it difficult to do what I thought was best for me. Instead of choosing the school in a town I could've made my home, I worried I'd lose the home I currently had, so I chose a college close to where I could easily return.

Starting college was exciting and terrifying, and more-so any of those feelings, it was lonely. I've never experienced an aching loneliness before I moved out and changed my life in ways I didn't know how to. How do you live a life you've never lived before?

Being an "adult" and making your own decisions is exciting, yes, but it's scary when you don't know exactly what you're messing up or getting yourself into. All I thought I wanted to do was leave, and while that's still true, I don't think I left in the right direction.

Choosing a new home wasn't supposed to make me long for the one I had left. I felt an emptiness inside of me that I felt my past life could fill. I thought if I could continue to live the life I quickly ran from, I wouldn't notice how much I didn't belong to this new one.

But what if I started to belong? When my first year of college was over, I didn't feel that initial excitement to return "home". What was home? Could I have more than one? I have divorced parents, I know I can have more than one, but can "home" be a place of than an actual house? Could "home" be different people and cities, and a new sense of belonging?

I didn't mean to offend anyone from my previous familiar life when it was known that I was less than thrilled to move back, but I couldn't pretend that I was excited to come back to a town I no longer lived in with people I no longer knew. People I thought would be around forever became strangers, and quite frankly, I didn't miss anyone that didn't stick around. I couldn't force my new life into the lives that continued without me.

Returning home felt like suffocating. Returning home felt like every mistake I had ever made in this town thrown back into my face, because here, it is all I will be remembered for. Living a new "adult" life full of freedom and experience felt closed off and monitored in my newly unfamiliar childhood home. New beliefs and lifestyles felt unwelcomed and pushed aside when I returned. I felt unwelcomed and pushed aside when I returned.

I'm learning that "home" isn't a place with expectations and rules - "home" is acceptance, beliefs, and freedom while surrounding yourself with people that care about what's best for you while supporting you even when they disagree. "Home" isn't restricted to a certain number, and I'm loving to learn that I can have as many "homes" as I possibly feel comfortable in. Returning from my newly familiar home wasn't easy, but I'm learning to let every version of myself become home.

Cover Image Credit:

Madalyn Brown

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Everything You Need To Know About The New Abortion Ban In Several States

DISCLAIMER: the following does not include any of my personal beliefs/opinions.

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Abortion has and will always be a controversial and very sensitive topic for all genders. The following article delves into the details about the Alabama abortion ban that was signed to be a law which, if it passes, will be in effect January 2020.

Roe v. Wade (1973)

In 1973, Roe v. Wade 410 was passed in the U.S. by the Supreme Court. In short, this ruled that the Due Process Clause along with the 14th Amendment in the Constitution would work to give pregnant women the choice to choose whether or not they wanted an abortion AND should coincide with the government's personal agenda to protect the health of all who is involved. What I mean by this is that the Supreme Court decided during the second trimester of a pregnancy, abortions would be allowed. But, if it is the third trimester, abortion is to be prohibited unless the health of the mother is in danger. This law catapulted the abortion debate which is still going on today.


Abortion vs. Alabama

Alabama's governor, Kay Ivey, signed off on a bill that will basically ban all abortions, including rape, incest, any abnormality, and if the mother's life is in danger on May 14, 2019 after acquiring approval from 25 Senators . This could be a problem considering that it very much contradicts Roe v. Wade (1973). To Ivey, the bill is a reflection of the values in which the citizens of Alabama believe: all life is precious and a gift from God.


Governor of the State of Alabama, Kay Ivey (pictured above). home.bt.com

The governor of Georgia also signed a bill to ban abortion after detecting the slightest heartbeat which is approximately around the six-week pregnancy period (around the time most women discover that they are pregnant). Another important take on this is that despite the rift and debate that is going on between Democrats and Republicans, most Republicans believe that Roe v. Wade will be overturned. This is looking more like a possibility considering most of the Supreme Court consists of people who support the Republican party. In short, the main idea is to ban abortion in all of the United States, not just in some states like it is currently. In regards to Alabama, the bill still has not been enacted into a law and could possibly encounter delay in the Supreme Court because, after all, this is a very debated topic. For now, abortion is still legal until January 2020 or when it becomes a law.

Conditions of the Abortion Law

The conditions of the abortion law explicitly states that abortion during any stage of a pregnancy is prohibited and if any medical professional aids in the practice/procedure of an abortion, they will face up to 99 years in prison. If an attempt is made to perform an abortion procedure, an individual can be sentenced to 10 years in prison. Women who successfully get an abortion or attempt to will be prosecuted as well. However, only those who provide another with an abortion will be punished in Alabama, not the one receiving the service.

No form of abortion is allowed including: rape, incest, life-threatening abnormality, or putting the life of the mother in danger.


Alabama expected to approve controversial abortion bill www.youtube.com


Two Sides to the Debate

Although most Republicans support the law, the Democratic party has combatted the notion of it. Many opponents of the ban state that the restriction can put the lives of many in danger and affects women of color and those who are living in poverty heavily. ACLU and the Center for Reproductive Rights have also declared that they will sue. Many young people have also reached out to social media websites such as Twitter and Instagram to voice their opinions:

Tweets from individuals who are anti-abortion ban www.wnd.com

Many celebrities have also stated their opinions on the matter. Rihanna stated in one of her Instagram posts, "Take a look," referring to a picture of 25 Senators in Alabama who approved the abortion bill, "These are the idiots making decisions for WOMEN in America. Governor Kay Ivey...SHAME ON YOU!!!"

Although both sides clearly have their opinions on the debate of pro-life/pro-choice, one thing we all can agree on is that this will be a long process that can make or break the lives of a lot of people in our nation.

Until next time,

Salsa.

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It's Important That We All Are Able To Step Back, Take A Breath, And Enjoy The Little Things

Really think of the good in your life, don't just hit the surface level of it all.

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The little things in life no matter where you're at adds up. They can sometimes be few and far in between or just as frequent as us being on our phones almost every day. They are what make us give more thought about life, they are being with friends on a nice summer day, an epiphany, a night stroll, listening to music, going out with friends. These finer points in life are what makes it that much more special.

Taking a breather when things get crazier is easier said than done, but it's something that we sometimes need to do and could help us being able to manage life in the long run. Life is not a cake walk for anyone, and I'm not saying that it'll get easier but just because it doesn't get easier isn't going to stop us from living our best life. Sometimes taking a break is what we need sometimes, and that can come in many forms whether that's taking a chunk out of your day to read outside, go on long walks, hang out with friends, etc. Anything that can positively impact you in a way that helps you be able to have breathing room for yourself.

Once you took a breather, go and think on all of the good that's in your life. I mean really think, not just hit the surface level of it all. Think on the many times you've been hanging out with the exact same group of friends for so long and how they've been there for you and you for them, think on the walks that helped you cleared your head or that you have fun doing just cause, think on the little things such as you doing your hobby, favorite food, etc. Just think of all the things you have that mean so much to you, and how they've changed your life for the better.

We get so stuck trudging through life wishing, hoping for something better, wishing we could have a significant other we could hold on to, taking back a really crappy thing we said, feeling as if we're not going anywhere in life, that sometimes we forget to breathe, take a step back and see clearly the place we're at in our lives. Seeing that we have clothes on our back, food in our bellies, friends, and families we could lean on, and a life that deserves to be lived to its fullest.

Those finer points in life teach us is that the good, wholesome people in our lives or starting to show up in our lives help us get through the days and push us to be better people and that the little things we do that make our lives even a little bit better are what makes life worth living and why we should always appreciate those in our life because we only have one life to live.

Sometimes people don't have those points to look on, and it pains me that not everyone would be able to have that but to those that don't have those points to look on just know there are groups of people that are loving, kind, and good. That if you push on just a little bit longer you'll be able to meet those people and live a life you always wanted whether that's with a small group of friends or a big group.

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