Going from a rural to urban area for college is tough, but transitioning back is even harder.
One of the weirdest things in this life is feeling like a stranger in the house you lived in for eighteen years. The word "home" has an implied meaning behind it that gives out a feeling comfort and belonging. But, at the same time, I go back to 2011 to the song "I'm Coming Home," where the artist "Dirty Money" argues "Is a house really a home when you're loved ones are gone?" Moving away from a house I called home for as long as I could remember made me realize what the word home truly means.
One of the most cliche sayings known to man is:
"Home is where the heart is."
Although cliche, this quote actually has had an impact on me lately. I find myself calling many things home; things that portray to me a sense of ease and alleviation from my feelings of stress and grief, as well as things that give me a state of freedom and well-being, which can be anywhere from the white house with a red front door in my small town... to moments of laughter with friends... to family supper (as we call it) during holiday seasons... to even hearing my name being called out by the Starbucks worker that my coffee is ready.
Every person transitions differently. I was ready for the next chapter of my life and had always looked forward to going to college. I could not wait to see what was in store for me, but I could not help being just a little bit nervous. I began to feel somewhat ashamed of where I was from. I hadn't grown up in a big city and I dreaded the "Where are you from?" question because I knew for a fact that they would have never had heard of the town I uttered under my breath.
On two separate occasions, friends from college came to my house to visit for a night or two. Their reactions of "This is it?" after the short tour downtown made me laugh but also a little embarrassed. I was afraid that they would think less of me because of my home.
I then came to realize that the "5 second rule" goes for more than just the french fry I dropped in the floorboard of my car because I couldn't wait; no one should ever be judged off of something that they cannot change in five seconds, whether that be their hometown, race, acne, weight, height, hair color, religion, political views, you name it. But, if they have leftover spaghetti sauce on their face, judge (and then correct) them.
I remembered how much I loved the place I grew up. I loved the hangout place in a random business' parking lot. I loved the feeling after our team won a game. I loved going somewhere, bracing myself prior to walking in because I knew I would see someone familiar. I loved the little things that made it seem so big.
What once was my entire world had become such a small place in my life.
What I did not love, however, and quite frankly forgot to keep in mind was the deer. I was not even 24 hours into my Christmas break when one of Santa's reindeer decided to fly right into my bumper. I guess there truly are some things in life that you can always count on.