"Who says you can't go home?"
Going home is always hard for me. Actually, it isn't that hard to go home, but it is continuously hard to leave. Everytime I wave goodbye to my parents as I'm driving away, I tear up. It is hard to live so far from them, and also so far from where I still consider home. Home for me is northwest Ohio.... a place I couldn't wait to get out of in high school. I think I started getting senioritis my sophomore year and had dreams of escaping as soon as I could be college bound. I'm sure I drove my parents crazy ranting and raving about fleeing the midwest. That was then.
Now I'm thirty....(well I will be in one week). I not only LOVE the midwest and appreciate so much about it that I never could before, but I have also learned to love my hometown.
A little background: I went to a school in the country. Some people say that, but what they really mean is that they went to a school in a small town. Mine was LITERALLY in the country. I think the closest building was a house about a quarter of a mile down the road. Our football field was surrounded by cornfields, which would make for the perfect movie set of a winning football team and community, but our football team only ever won one game a year - always against the same school. I had a great childhood. Unlike a lot of people, I also had a great high school experience. Things weren't always perfect. I of course made some bad decisions, embarrassed myself profusely, and I never had tons of luck with boys (they always accused me of not paying enough attention to them). What I did have was an amazing group of friends. Those are friends I still have.
People always told me that I would eventually lose touch with my high school friends - that I would outgrow them, and they would outgrow me. Some did. My brothers never kept in touch with their high school friends, and I'm sure think I'm crazy that I still keep in touch with mine. In fact, there is a group of friends from home that I love seeing and still keep in touch with. These are friends that I CRAVE time with. I think what we have is something unique. Some of us moved away - to all different parts of the world, some stayed closer to home. Some are married and have kids - some have had kids for awhile, some don't have any children at all. We all changed in our twenties - like all people do.
What spurred this? This weekend I went home because my good friend Michelle's father passed away. It was such a heartbreaking thing, but I knew that I wanted to be there with her so I packed up Liam and drove home. Everyone came home. Everyone was together. Despite the circumstances it fed my soul. These people make me laugh, and cry (in a good way). I love them with all my heart and when I'm with them I am COMPLETELY myself. I am the little farm girl from Ohio that used to tee-pee the football team for fun, and would put reflectors in people yards. I am no one special, but they make me feel like I am forever loved. I love my brilliant, funny, ambitious, and loving friends from Fulton County. And for that reason, amongst others, I will ALWAYS love coming home.