Some Thoughts on Coming Home

I apologize for the small hiatus I took from writing, midterms were rough ya’ll and I really needed the break to recharge.

Let’s move on now to some quick life-updates now that I’m backing from visiting home.

During my first year of college, I had to take a personal essay writing class and the theme of one essay that we had to write was “home.” I remember having a hard time knowing what to write about and I struggled to come up with the right words to describe what home even meant to me. A year later, in an environmental politics course, we were asked to define home and community—and I still didn’t really have an answer.

I’m from a very small suburban area that’s mostly malls and chain restaurants. I’m not complaining about where I come from, that’s just what it is. I didn’t really like it. It didn’t feel very much like home.

My hometown sits between two bigger cities in upstate NY that people have heard of and I alternate between those two cities whenever people ask me where I’m from. I just started defaulting to what people would recognize.

There have been many spaces in my life that have actually felt like home. My college, my grandma’s house, the summer camp I used to work at. But all these homes have been at least a little bit temporary—unlike my home that has always stayed the same.

When I think about my hometown, I can point to the huge rock behind the staples where my high school friends and I used to on sit and talk, the long line I always waited in for the same Chipotle burrito I always ordered with the same ingredients every time, and the almost empty neighborhood where my Dad taught me how to drive.

I treated my hometown like a waiting room before I would finally leave and my Real Life would finally get going and I would make new friends and my weekend plans would be more than just deciding whose basement we should hang out in.

And I did head off to college and I did make new friends and go on adventures and change my major and make stupid mistakes like every college student does, but I spent most of that time waiting for what was next.

That was a really unhealthy way for me to live.

You may be wondering if I really took up all that space just to give you some You Should Live in the Moment speech. That’s not what I’m saying.

My point is that not every moment or memory you have is going to be wonderful and eventful and that’s okay. Don’t walk around feeling unfulfilled all the time. In fact, when you’re bored is oftentimes when you’re most creative and have the time to start new projects.

So to everyone out there who likes to work on a million things at once and engaged in a million social justice movements—take a quick break, go home (or to a place that feels like home)—if you can—and remember some of the things that shaped you.

All the best,