The Nostalgia Of Returning To Wahoo, NE
Start writing a post
Student Life

The Nostalgia Of Returning To Wahoo, NE

We realize our heart may lie in more than one place.

The Nostalgia Of Returning To Wahoo, NE

They say “home is where the heart is," but what happens when your heart is in multiple places?

What happens when wanderlust leaves you lonely? You see, there comes a time in every person’s life when they are called to leave. To some, leaving is easy. It’s all they ever wanted and it’s a dream come true. To others, it is the hardest thing they may ever have to endure. Perhaps they have to leave their job. Perhaps they have to move away from their school and all their friends. For me, and thousands of other teenagers, I was called to leave my hometown in pursuit of higher education.

I grew up in Wahoo, Nebraska: a small town of about 5,000 people.

As do many kids, I had a love/hate relationship with this town. It’s hard not to feel connected to the place that made you who you are, but it’s also hard to sit in a town that is deemed as “unbearably boring” without feeling slightly resentful towards those who grew up in a place more “exciting”. While we owe plenty to this town and all it has given us, sometimes the memories are not strong enough to to bring us to stay. Sometimes all we can say is thanks for the memories.

We laugh and sing along to songs that we first discovered in this very town. We drive the same streets that we used to drive for hours. It is not as happy as it used to be. One may come to the conclusion that this is because we are so far removed. Now, thirty miles may not seem far removed, but to the brain, we may as well be in another country. As kids we always dreamt of the day we would run away. We had dreams of moving to far away places with exciting new things. However, when the time came, our hearts broke. The tears flowed and the hugs were given out to all of the people that were sending us on our way. We were to enter a new place with new people, and told to leave everything we had ever known behind. How are we to fathom a new experience? How are we supposed to wrap our brains around the idea of leaving our roots? When a tree’s roots are deep enough, it is nearly impossible to remove them all. If we let ourselves be like trees, and become chopped down while leaving our roots, our fate will be the same. We will end up dead inside. So we try. We dig up our roots and attempt to be transplanted. We attempt to bring our roots with us by staying connected. We bring our belongings. We stay in touch with people back home through letters or phone calls. Sometimes, we return.

When you transplant a tree it does not stay the same. It may end up perfectly healthy and strong, but for a moment, it gets weaker. We are not the same people we were when we left. The phenomenon of returning to a former home is a strange one. I always thought I would desperately miss my home once I left. I suppose one day I will. It is not what you expect. It has only been a week living away from the town I grew up in, but it feels like decades. Returning is not what one would imagine. It is not all sparkles and butterflies. There is no welcome home party full of happy, familiar faces. All it is is an empty town full of nothing but dirty roads and distant memories.

Just one week ago I was surrounded by my favorite humans in the world, running those streets like we owned them. Now, I walk up strange white carpeted stairs into a room that is full of nothing but things that I decided to leave behind. On the floor, pictures of me in my youth. The shelves are bare, the windows are smudged. There is no one to return to. Just an empty room. My heart aches at the emptiness. My heart aches for a life that no longer exists. We drove past the grocery store, it did not feel the same. We went to our old friends house, it did not feel the same. We went to the old restaurants and our old schools, they did not feel the same. We drove past my old crush’s house, and I did not even care. Not even my childhood home felt the same. The walls seemed emptier and welcome mat less welcoming. “Home is where the heart is” but maybe, just maybe, this tree has planted its seeds in more than one place, creating more than one home. If I’m lucky, my many colors will show in the falls of many different towns. For now, I will leave you with this: it is possible that this is all a part of the new adventure excitement, but the proof leads me to one conclusion. I have moved on to a new life, and my heart knows it.

Report this Content
This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
the beatles
Wikipedia Commons

For as long as I can remember, I have been listening to The Beatles. Every year, my mom would appropriately blast “Birthday” on anyone’s birthday. I knew all of the words to “Back In The U.S.S.R” by the time I was 5 (Even though I had no idea what or where the U.S.S.R was). I grew up with John, Paul, George, and Ringo instead Justin, JC, Joey, Chris and Lance (I had to google N*SYNC to remember their names). The highlight of my short life was Paul McCartney in concert twice. I’m not someone to “fangirl” but those days I fangirled hard. The music of The Beatles has gotten me through everything. Their songs have brought me more joy, peace, and comfort. I can listen to them in any situation and find what I need. Here are the best lyrics from The Beatles for every and any occasion.

Keep Reading...Show less
Being Invisible The Best Super Power

The best superpower ever? Being invisible of course. Imagine just being able to go from seen to unseen on a dime. Who wouldn't want to have the opportunity to be invisible? Superman and Batman have nothing on being invisible with their superhero abilities. Here are some things that you could do while being invisible, because being invisible can benefit your social life too.

Keep Reading...Show less

19 Lessons I'll Never Forget from Growing Up In a Small Town

There have been many lessons learned.

houses under green sky
Photo by Alev Takil on Unsplash

Small towns certainly have their pros and cons. Many people who grow up in small towns find themselves counting the days until they get to escape their roots and plant new ones in bigger, "better" places. And that's fine. I'd be lying if I said I hadn't thought those same thoughts before too. We all have, but they say it's important to remember where you came from. When I think about where I come from, I can't help having an overwhelming feeling of gratitude for my roots. Being from a small town has taught me so many important lessons that I will carry with me for the rest of my life.

Keep Reading...Show less
​a woman sitting at a table having a coffee

I can't say "thank you" enough to express how grateful I am for you coming into my life. You have made such a huge impact on my life. I would not be the person I am today without you and I know that you will keep inspiring me to become an even better version of myself.

Keep Reading...Show less
Student Life

Waitlisted for a College Class? Here's What to Do!

Dealing with the inevitable realities of college life.

college students waiting in a long line in the hallway

Course registration at college can be a big hassle and is almost never talked about. Classes you want to take fill up before you get a chance to register. You might change your mind about a class you want to take and must struggle to find another class to fit in the same time period. You also have to make sure no classes clash by time. Like I said, it's a big hassle.

This semester, I was waitlisted for two classes. Most people in this situation, especially first years, freak out because they don't know what to do. Here is what you should do when this happens.

Keep Reading...Show less

Subscribe to Our Newsletter

Facebook Comments