The journey home was a long one. Four months away from my parents and my brothers, my dear friends, and a community that I know like the back of my hand. It was an emotional journey too. Starting with the moment my parents left me alone on campus to pave my own life in a new place to now, where I sit in my room with the same pink carpet I picked at age 5, the journey hasn’t been easy. I’ve had to establish relationships in a place where I knew no one, try to make my “house” a home, work to prove that I’m in college for a reason, and deal with possibly some of the worst people I have come across in life so far. Through it all I’ve had triumphs and I’ve had struggles and all the while I had to do it all on my own just knowing that my family was supporting me through their thoughts and the love in their hearts.
The end of the semester was the worst as my living situation passed the point of bearable and put me in a spot where I could either fold or play one last bold move. It was hard because I had to fight for myself by myself instead of run to my parents for help. While it was a rewarding lesson and my time on my own has made me grow up immensely, being “homeless” for the last 2 weeks was not exactly the easiest way to end a semester. The hardest part was knowing that Break was so close and yet I still had a mountain of things to sort through before I could get to it. Coming home was no easy feat either. Having one delayed plane that made me miss another causing me to wait extra time just to get home was not how I had planned my trip home to go. And while I did get home, the anticipation was crazy and my nerves so on edge that it only took me seconds upon spotting my dad for me to burst into tears and run into the arms that hadn’t hugged me in four months. Upon arriving at home I wasted no time to run into the house and great my mom and my brothers, receiving hugs from them that were just as long overdue.
Within the past 24 hours I have managed to go through a whirlwind of events. I stayed up until 4am my first night here just talking with my dad about every thought has passed through my head the past four months that has either been revelations of new knowledge or revelations of a lack thereof. I was finally able to confess not only to someone else, but to myself that the plans that I had exactly a year ago for my future have disappeared as other possibilities have popped up making me question what it is that I truly want. I’ve realized that I was so determined for one thing that I didn’t take the time to consider other possibilities until they were out right in front of my face to see. I have come to the conclusion that there’s a lot in my life and that I can’t control as much as I’d like to and that sometimes the best course of action is to try and let it sit and approach it sometime later with a clear head. I have also come to realize just how much living on my own has forced me to grow up. Looking back on who I was a year ago I can feel just how much I have grown up since then and how much better I have gotten to know myself. I have sat down for dinner with my family for the first time in four months and shared laughs over our favorite tv shows, eased into my day over breakfast with my dad, I have visited old coworkers, had a nice lunch with my mom during her free time at work, I have visited with old friends, joked around with my brothers like always, and seen people who have had some sort of impact in my life over the many years I have lived in this town. And yet, I feel as though I have barely touched the surface of everything I’d like to do while I’m home. But to be honest, that doesn’t really matter as much as the simple fact that am home and amongst my family and friends. Nothing beats coming home.