When I first started College, I was not happy about having to start over. I kept rereading the last chapter, trying to find ways to return to the past. Which is, of course, impossible. Not that it stopped me from trying. While I did attempt to welcome my college life into the narrative, my heart was never truly in it. Every new step seemed to be a grand act of betrayal to the life I used to live. Nothing felt like home. It was all shiny and new and I hated all of it. It had no right to try and entice me. I already had a home, thank you very much.
But, after some time, I began to realize that returning to the past was not an actual option. The only way out of my depressive funk was to keep moving forward. I remember an old journal entry I wrote my freshman year where I confided that I longed to one day call my college town a “home”. I added that, to me, a home was a place where you love and you are loved. It is a place where every little corner tells a story. By the time I graduated, my college was absolutely a home. So is my hometown. I guess we gain multiple homes as we grow and change and develop.
So what does any of this have to do with exploration? This summer I applied for an internship/volunteering experience on a whim. The opportunity is an hour away from where I live. It’s a week-long camp. The camp itself is an hour and a half away. So, needless to say, the town where my internship resides is not a town I am very familiar with. In fact, I don’t think I’d ever visited the town until this summer. Today, after I was finished at my internship, I went to WaWa to pick up lunch. If you have not had WaWa you have not yet truly lived. Anyway, it felt nice to just be on my own exploring the town. I saw a pizza shop on the way there. I saw some kids hanging out on one of the street corners. On my way up, I saw plenty of cool shops. It occurred to me that if I weren’t so busy with retail work and the job hunt, I could take time to explore this town and, in time, turn it into a home. Befriend the people at my internship, go on adventures into town, and become a regular at the local food places. For a moment, I could see my life in this town. Or any new town, really. I may not have a lot of direction in life right now, but that is absolutely my dream. I’m ready to create a new home. I want it so badly. I need to start my own life somewhere new.
There’s something really fun about exploring new towns and creating memories. Something exciting and relaxing at the same time. I can’t wait until I can find a new town, away from everything I’ve been surrounded by for the past 22 years, to shape into my new home.
“I want adventure in the great wide somewhere. I want it more than I can tell. And for once it might be grand to have someone understand…I want so much more than they’ve got planned”-Beauty and the Beast