the truth about homecoming.

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“We leave something of ourselves behind when we leave a place, we stay there, even though we go away. And there are things in us that we can find again only by going back there.” -Pascal Mercier

The truth is, five short months after graduation will be homecoming. And if you had the kind of friends who “did college right,” they’ll do homecoming right too.

The truth is, hugging the roommate you haven’t seen since July will be the best thing you do all week. Letting them go will be the hardest thing you do all month.

The truth is, they’ll charge you $15 to get into the beer tent, but you’ll pay it anyway because you’re going in there come hell or high water.

The truth is, it will feel like an actual blow to the stomach when you see freshmen walking around with tshirts that say “Class of 2018.” YES, EIGHTEEN.

The truth is, you’ll always somehow belong to that school, but it doesn’t really belong to you anymore.

The truth is, you’ll never find a burger that tastes quite like the one they make at your favorite place on the meal plan. Thankfully, it’ll taste just like it did in May.

The truth is, you’ll kind of miss Maroon and Gold.

The truth is, it’ll be really weird when you drive by your old apartment and wonder what it looks like inside now. It’ll be weirder to realize that it doesn’t really matter what it looks like-it’s not yours anymore.

The truth is, that bar up the street is still overpriced, but somehow worth every penny when it’s filled with the right people.

The truth is you can’t drink as much as you used to, but that’s probably not going to stop you.

The truth is, one weekend is not enough time to catch up with people you used to see every day. Somehow, getting that five minutes to say hello and share a hug is happy and kind of hurts at the same time.

The truth is, eating brunch with your roommates the next morning will feel exactly like it used to, even if it’s a different diner. But getting in separate cars to go separate ways at the end of the meal will feel stranger than you can imagine.

The truth is, you won’t realize how much you miss those crazy kids until you have to leave them again. It will somehow be harder than you expected to go back to reality after a taste of what once was.

The truth is, no one told you how much it sucks not to see your best friends every day. They probably couldn’t have warned you if they tried.

The truth is, you won’t know how very much that campus was home until it’s not anymore.

The truth is, it’ll be exactly what you needed.

why you should leave

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“I travel not to go anywhere, but to go. I travel for travel’s sake. The great affair is to move.” -Robert Louis Stevenson

 

You should leave your room because the relationships you have with your family, friends and roommates will always be more fulfilling than the relationship you have with your Netflix account.

You should leave your house because the fresh air and sunshine is good for you. So is getting caught in the rain- how else would you learn to take an umbrella?

You should leave your hometown or your city to see what amazing things and people are right around the corner. You’ll come to know that sometimes adventure is only half an hour away.

You should leave your state to discover exactly how beautiful that New York City skyline is, what the big deal is about that Chicago deep-dish pizza, and what they really mean when they talk about ‘southern hospitality.’

You should leave the country and learn that you, and your problems, are small in comparison to the size, wonder and beauty of the world. You’ll learn that those people halfway across the globe, speaking other languages and eating different foods, are the same as you in all of the ways that matter. You will change the way you see the world and the way you see yourself.

You should leave your work at the office so that you don’t make it your identity, and come to know, if you don’t already, that in the end life is not measured in paychecks or promotions.

You should leave your phone at home and find the peace that comes with uninterruption, the sunset that can’t be captured by your camera lens and the sounds of the live music in the air that blow your iPod out of the water.

You should leave your regret, your doubts and your inhibitions behind because they will never help you grow the way acceptance, belief and experience will.

You should leave your family and friends, if only for a little while, to find out how truly lucky you are to know them. Time spent apart will make the sound of their voice sweeter and the feeling of their embrace warmer. It will make the fights and the misunderstandings small and unimportant.

You should get out of here– be it on foot, bike, train, plane, boat or car. You should leave so you can discover other people, other places, other ways to see the world. You should go to learn who you are when you’re not surrounded by the familiar things you lean on and cling to.

You should leave so you can live.

welcome home

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“At last I know where I’m going, where I’ve always been going. Home. The long way round.”    -The Eleventh Doctor

They say home is where the heart is. Where’s your heart?

Part of mine’s in Connecticut, in the suburb where I grew up and the city that saw my high school years and my first job. On the streets where I learned how to drive and ride my bike, on the front steps where I took pictures for prom.

Part, a large part, will always be in New Rochelle, on the college campus that saw me grow more than I ever expected to. In the dorm rooms and apartments where I made real, lasting friendships and discovered more pieces of who I am, and who I hope to be.

Part is in New York City, which is still one of my favorite places in the world even after the annoying commuter grind and the bombardment of strange sights and smells. There is something about that skyline and the hallowed halls of the Met that I will never, ever tire of.

Part is undoubtedly in Italy, left in bits and pieces in Rome, Orvieto and Florence. I threw it in the canals of Venice and gave it gladly to Assisi and Sorrento.

Another part sits in Regent’s Park and travels throughout London on a whim. It visits the pub around the block from my study abroad dorm and takes frequent trips to the Globe, lingering by the Thames.

I left pieces in the voodoo shop in New Orleans where I had my Tarot cards read and at Navy Pier in Chicago. It’s in Cape Cod, on the only beach I care to visit there, with some of the best memories and the best people I’ve ever known. It’s in Brooklyn somewhere near 86th street.

It’s scattered along the east coast. It was forgotten on a variety of planes and trains and was left in the backseat of a mess of cabs and friends’ cars. It’s in a bunch of books and poems, with fictional people in imaginary places.

It’s with everyone I’ve ever loved, wherever we were and wherever they go. It’s with you, reading this, whoever you are.

Home is all of those places, and none of them. It’s wherever I’ve been and wherever I’m going. Home is everywhere, and it’s a beautiful place to be.