Home: Where My Heart Is, But Not Where I Belong

Returning to my hometown is always bittersweet for me. Whenever I come home, I instantly become nostalgic. It really is something to be able to have memories all over a town so no matter where you’re driving, something from the past comes to mind. I love it and I also hate it. I love my little town, but it is suffocating at times.

One aspect of home I will never tire of is my friends and their families. I have a few truly amazing friends that I can go months without talking to and we can pick up right where we left off. Their parents still treat me like I’m their child too; I have a town full of moms and dads. I care about all of these people as much as I did when I saw them everyday, and love hearing how their lives have grown since we parted ways. I wish more than anything that I could have them around forever. They’re my lifelong friends who I know want nothing but the best for me, and I wouldn’t trade them for the world.

Of course my own family is something I miss more than anything on a daily basis. I wish I could live closer to my sister; she truly is my very best friend. I can see my parents and grandparents aging faster than I ever expected, and I long for more years with them. These few people are the gravity pulling me back home.

Every time I have to leave, I want to turn around and go back. I turn on country music for my entire three hour drive back to my new home and think about all of the people I am leaving behind, with my thoughts frequently accompanied by tears. The home-sickness usually lasts for a few days, then I can return my mind to reality. I often think about how this feeling is likely the reason I avoid returning often; I hate the sadness that surrounds me when I return to my apartment alone.

As much as I often wish I could move back and live the rest of my life there, I know I can’t. At home, everyone knows me as I used to be, and I feel like if I were to stay there forever, no one would be able to know the person I’ve become without the old me in the back of their minds. I can sometimes even feel myself becoming the girl I used to be when I am at home instead of the woman I have grown into, which is not something I want for myself.

I no longer feel myself in a small town, and I thrive in new places with new beginnings. I have a love for the ocean and sandy beaches that could not be satisfied by small town Minnesota. While my love for my home is immense, my love for adventure is larger. I know I cannot go back if I want to reach my full potential, even though the pull is so strong sometimes. So while a huge part of my heart will always be back in Chisago Lakes, MN, I won’t ever be able to be.


“You’re off to great places, today is your day. Your mountain is waiting, so get on your way.” – Dr. Seuss