Sometimes I sit down at my computer and think to myself, “Why do I even have a blog?” Honestly. Sometimes I just question the intentions I ever had for starting this. I haven’t dealt with massive hardships, I’m not a motivational speaker, I don’t have any expertise in a professional field to share with you . . . I’m just an almost-nineteen-year-old that pretends to know a lot about life (news flash: I don’t). Sometimes I sit here for over an hour and try to type out what I want to say, but it just won’t come.
Today is one of those days. I want to tell you something, but I can’t figure it out. I’m sitting in the dorm room that I still haven’t been able to call “home” yet with a weird feeling in my chest. It’s not sadness. It’s not an overwhelming feeling of joy. It’s just a slight uneasiness that I can’t pinpoint.
If you can bear with me I’m going to try to figure it out.
Last Friday I pulled into the parking lot of my high school to attend the home opener football game. Until I stepped out of my car I didn’t realize how different this picture was to me than it was at this time last year. Last year I showed up two hours early in a cheer uniform, I got through the gates for free, I watched the game from the close proximity of the track, I called the touchdown cheer, and I waited for my lucky numbers to show up on the scoreboard to help pass the time.
This year I showed up ten minutes before game time in an outdated Kickapoo t-shirt, I paid the entrance fee, and I jokingly told people I “couldn’t stay away” because, let’s be honest, it was a little weird for me to be at a high school football game after just one week of college.
I caught up with the cheerleaders that I had spent so much time with last year, and I watched a football game from the stands for the first time ever.
Y’all, it made me so uneasy to stay at that stadium that I was counting down the minutes until halftime so I had a legitimate excuse to leave.
I don’t know if I can explain to anyone how strange it was to be back there. It was like life had just continued on for everyone and I was left in some weird, frozen time warp. I was supposed to be down on that track with the cheerleaders! I was supposed to be calling the touchdown cheer! I wasn’t supposed to search for a seat in the crowded stands! I wasn’t supposed to be getting strange looks from the underclassmen, who were inevitably thinking, “Why is she here? Didn’t she graduate?” That stadium is my stomping ground!
Well, it used to be.
One thing I have found to be true about life so far is that “home” is never a place. It’s always a feeling. And I have also found that the feeling of home can change. That football stadium felt like home to me for four long years, but going back there last week I felt like a tourist. I felt like I didn’t belong. That feeling of “home” has shifted for me, and after that game on Friday I wasn’t sure if I was okay with that.
College is awesome, everyone, don’t get me wrong, but it’s a serious adjustment. The huge change that is happening in my life didn’t hit me until I looked down at that track and saw the cheerleaders there without me. For the first time since I moved in I felt like I was missing out on something that was so close to my heart for a long time.
But that’s life, guys. Sometimes it gets life-y, and you feel weird, and you feel uneasy, and you want to go back to a different time because you didn’t feel like this.
When life gets life-y I have learned to stop and appreciate what I have in that moment. I might not have Friday Night Lights at the Poo anymore, but I have a beautiful view out of my dorm room window. I have new friends and old friends that have made my first week of college so fun. I have night drives and good music. I have ways to communicate with my best friend that is three hours away from me. I have four blankets on my bed so I don’t get cold at night. I have Saturday shopping trips with my mom. I have a giant bowl of m&m’s.
I have glimpses of my old “home” in my new “home,” and the merging of those two feelings must be what is sitting on my chest. It’s a feeling of longing for my comfort zones, but also for the future here that is bound to be filled with experiences that will make it feel like home someday. It’s not a good feeling, but it’s not a bad feeling either.
So, yeah, life gets life-y sometimes, but that’s just how it goes. You’ll stumble, you’ll be confused, you’ll feel uneasy, you’ll miss people, you’ll long for places, you’ll get stuck, you’ll make a wrong turn on your way to class, you’ll sing loudly with your roommates during quiet hours, you’ll do some dangerous flips off some bunk beds, but eventually you’ll figure it out. And that’s really all that matters in the end.
Allow your life to get life-y, but don’t let the life-y distract you from your life.
“I never look back darling, it distracts from the now.” –Edna Mode, The Incredibles