I went home this weekend. Like… home home. Home to the town I lived in for 17 years with more cows than people, one stop light, and fields as far as the eyes can see. I’m from the country, and I like it that way. Sometimes, part of me yearns to go back. The school board I work in extends just far enough that I could move back home and only have a 15 minute commute to a town in my board. But, I own my house here and I love my friends and I like my church, and so as much as I miss home right now for the reasons I’m about to tell you, I am staying where I am…. and I have reasons for that, too.
So here we are: Reasons I miss home:
1. If I could live at or near enough to home that I’d be around for dinners with the fam jam and such, the fam jam would likely tend to know what’s up in life, and I therefore wouldn’t have to explain that no, I’m not teaching French anymore; No, I don’t actually live in Sault Ste. Marie (even though I never have and that question was confuuuusing); Yes, I love my job (the switch out of French was voluntary AND welcomed!); Yes, I love owning my own home; No, no, no, no… I’m still not seeing anyone…. Yes, I know I’ll be 29 on Tuesday. Yup, believe it or not, I’m content. My family would know me, ideally, or at least better than most of them do now, so I would be able to go beyond small talk at family gatherings and enter into meaningful relationships with the people who are supposed to be close to me. (I did two Christmas parties in two days with two different sides of the family while I was home this weekend — it’s why I made the trip. Lots of small talk.) Now don’t misunderstand me. I know that only being an hour and a half away, I could make the trip down more often. Life seems to get in the way and I turn around and my good intentions have made way for “oh, it’s Christmas again already?! How did that happen!?”
2. When I moved, I left a lot of solid friends behind. This is not to say that I don’t dearly love the ones I’ve made since I’ve settled, but it’s hard not to miss the ones you left behind. They’re great. I went to the church I grew up in on Sunday morning, and was bombarded with hugs and “I’m so glad to see you!” I sat between two girls I literally grew up with, and the best part is that it feels like nothing changes. But there were a few girls who weren’t there… a few who I really wish I’d have been able to see. If I lived at home, I’d see them all the time.
3. I miss there being acres between me and the house beside me. I miss hearing coyotes and crickets at night… though admittedly the coyotes freaked me right out. They always sounded so close. I miss being a country kid. I miss gravel roads. I miss fields.
4. Like I said in number 2, I went to the church I grew up in. And I love that church. I always have. And if I lived even half as close… I’d probably make the drive. An hour and a half is too far when I have community here. I do like my church here, I really do. It’s not home, though. Even though the pastoral staff has changed, it still felt like going home.
Don’t get me wrong, I had reasons for leaving home, too. Mostly, home couldn’t be home anymore. My parents sold the house I grew up in and moved up North, and the people who bought it put up uuuuugly fences. It doesn’t look like home anymore. Not the home I remember. You know how your childhood home always holds those memories… and when someone changes the outside, even though they haven’t changed any of the actual memories in my head, it’s hard to look at it the same way.
I love where I am. I love my community. I looooove my job. I mentioned above that I could switch and could move home. I don’t want to. I really don’t. I miss what I left, but what I have is fantastic. I won’t trade it now. But after a weekend at home, it’s hard not to wonder what if… ya know?