So I hopped on a plane last night and flew back to good ol’ Park Ridge, Illinois. I got a window seat, so it was nice because I could see the lights of Chicago and the pitch blackness of the lake as we looped around into O’Hare.
And as we descended I had an internal geek out because I could actually see the street my house is on. We live very close to the airport. Anyway, so after about 10 minutes of panic because I though I had gotten lost amongst the baggage claims and ticketing, I was in the car with my dad, driving back home.
I walked in the door, and suddenly I could breath. It was so odd how normal being back in this house felt. I hadn’t been here since August. And there were changes; mom had gotten a new coffee table for the living room and they had to replace our broken microwave. But these changes hadn’t thrown me off. I feigned surprise and made my parents laugh, but the additions seemed to just make sense in my mind, as if I had been there when the decision was made.
So we hugged and they asked how school was going and I said it was fine and suddenly we were content to sit in silence and watch the Blackhawks game. And it felt right because my mom started nodding off and my dad made fun of her for it and 10 minutes later he was out like a light himself, just like it always happens. Everything was right. Except for the Hawks losing. That wasn’t a very nice home coming gift.
So finally I went to bed and was out like a light. And when I woke up, I was totally thrown off that my roommate wasn’t there in the bed above me. I was in my own room. But when it sank in, it was amazing. I pulled my sheets tighter around me and just enjoyed that feeling for a moment.
There is something I’ve realized this year. I miss home more.
Now don’t get me wrong. I don’t like college any less. I love Augsburg. I wouldn’t change schools for anything. But I do miss home more. I think the rush of living on my own and being totally independent and meeting so many new people I had last year has rubbed off a little. I’m starting to appreciate how good it feels to be able to go visit family. To see the people you grew up with and shared the first part of your life with.
So I’m fully prepared to keep going in this new chapter of my life that is called college. But I’m also making sure not to close the last chapter completely.