When I Think Of Home…

When I first began college, I cried almost everyday. I had a terrible roommate experience, I didn’t belong anywhere yet, and I said repeatedly to myself that these people would never compare to the friends I had at home. It was just set that I would never be comfortable because home is where I belonged and this was certainly not home.

When I went home the first time during a break, things were different. I didn’t recognize half the people when I went to a high school football game, my mom had painted the house, and something just felt strange.

As time went on, coming home has proved harder. At first it was because I didn’t have a car at school, then it was because of foul weather, but suddenly it became about commitments. I had a friend’s birthday, I had to work, I had made plans, and soon I somehow found myself asking for rides home when I meant back to school.

It’s a weird concept, the idea of home. Since I’ve started school three years ago, I have lived in three states, none for more than a few months at a time. I love certain things about my “home home” of Pittsburgh. I love how comfortable I feel. I love having people here who have known me since before I could drive. I love getting milkshakes at our local ice cream shop and I love being so close to the three rivers.

But, I have come to see Athens, Ohio, as my home as well, because I love so many things about it, from the local businesses to the sense of community, to the crazy weekend nights, to the so many amazing people I’ve met along the way.

And, God knows I love New York. I can’t even name the million things I love so much about it and the so many things I miss from my brief time there.

So, as a junior in college who has two semesters left to go, I find myself wondering about the concept of home. I could end up anywhere next summer and then somewhere completely different after that. What is it that would make these places home? And if they were, would I always be aching for the very many places and people I have left behind?

I, sadly, do not have the answers to these questions; I wish I did.

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I still cherish coming home, even when I’m not really sure where that is. There is a certain comfort to the whole thing. But, as I sit in my childhood bedroom waiting to decorate the tiny Christmas tree that sits on my night stand, I am happy for this small sliver in my life where my heart is in many places, and that’s OK. I am spending Christmas where I grew up, as are many people my age, but home may not be this place in a few years.

And that’s OK too. Things change, buildings are unrecognizable, businesses are torn down, old teachers move away, old friends leave the area and soon, you might too. Things were meant to change because without change, life would be far less exciting.

I’ll always be home for Christmas, but who’s to say where home is, really?

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Where do you call home? Tweet us @litdarling.

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