it’s a funny feeling missing a place you so desperately wanted to escape.
i miss indiana.
i miss the cornfields and the sunsets and the windmills. i miss walmart. i miss my house and my dogs and the couch in my living room, the best place for naps. the couch that i haven’t taken a nap on since december.
i miss home.
i’ve spent a lot of my life wishing the present away. actually, my entire life has been spent wishing the present away. it’s a characteristic about me that i’m working on, that i someday hope to remove from my psyche, but right now, it’s a big part of me. waiting and planning for the better, for the future. because the best is always yet to come, right?
when i was in high school i was thinking of college, during the school year i was thinking of summer, at camp tecumseh i was planning for butler, at butler i was dreaming of new york, in new york i was anxiously preparing for d.c.
and i’m exhausted. i want to go home.
this heartache for home is surprising and unexpected. i didn’t ask for it and frankly, it would be much easier if it went away. missing home makes things complicated. i don’t know what to do with this feeling, so sudden and new [shout out 2 u, glinda + elphie].
i think i miss indiana because i know that my time there is precious. because i know that once i graduate from butler, i’ll have no real reason to stay. i’ve spent my entire life planning [surprise, surprise] for a future that is very far away from west lafayette, and i don’t like when plans change.
i don’t want my big plans to change. really, truly. i still want to move to new york. i still ache for that city. because when it comes down to it, my time in new york was the most present i’ve felt, maybe ever.
at butler, i oftentimes play this mind game when i’m feeling a little stagnant, a little sad. i think of my house at home, and i ask myself ‘if you had the choice, would you rather be at home right now, or at butler?’ and most of the time, i would rather be at home.
in new york, i would sometimes play this mind game too. and every time i played it, i would think, ‘i’d rather be in new york.’ my response was always unexpected, no matter how often i confronted myself with the thought.
i was caught off guard because until new york, i was constantly yearning for the place that i wasn’t. i didn’t know how to be happy and content and in this moment, right now. being present is a very vulnerable thing to be. it took me a while to embrace it, to wrap it around me. but once i did, i kind of didn’t want to let it go.
and then i had to leave.
now i don’t think that new york is the only place that i will ever find peace in the present. at least i hope it isn’t. because i’d like to believe that living in the moment is something that isn’t dependent on a singular place. although i do think my experiences there—the people i was surrounded by, the places i could walk blocks to—i do think these things opened me up to this way of life. i was comfortable and i was doing the things i most wanted to do.
i was really happy.
when i left new york, i was forced to try and find a way to live the life i was living in new york…not in new york. in a whirlwind of weeks, i had packed my bags once again and was off on a new adventure. an adventure i was excited about, sure, but an adventure that plucked me from the perfect place.
i feel weird that i haven’t written about d.c. because lately, writing has been one of my most favorite parts of life. so i find it odd that i haven’t felt a pull to write about my real life, right now.
this summer has been good. it’s been really hard at times and really wonderful at times. i feel ever grateful to my sister for letting me share this summer with her. i’m thankful that wade hasn’t kicked me out of his office yet. i’m thankful that i’ve had this experience at the kennedy center. it’s shown me a lot, it’s taught me a lot, and i’m going to walk away from it with really fond memories.
and that’s kind of all i have to say about it. is that bad? should i have more to write?
a part of me thinks i should. a part of me thinks it’s imperative that i write down all of it, my whole summer, like i did in new york. i spent so long working towards this summer, planning it meticulously—as i do—and now i have nothing to say about it.
i struggled with that realization for a while, but i’ve decided that the adventures and the shows and the restaurants haven’t been the point of this summer. this summer has been about introspection. so while there have been plenty of adventures and shows and restaurants, that’s not what my fingers want to type about. and i’m okay with that. an experience is worthwhile even if i don’t write it all down.
i’ve been feeling some pressure lately.
this past weekend, i got the blissful chance to go home to camp tecumseh. it was everything i needed it to be. i was with the people i love most, in the place i love the most.
i’ve really been missing camp. a small part of me has been wondering if i should’ve stayed there this summer. [a bigger part of me—the part that is not an emotional mess—knows that d.c. was a good choice for me]. but because of the ‘i miss camp i cry just thinking about those bread sticks we get at dinner with cheese inside’ part of me, i went into this weekend so excited to fall back into the moves + grooves of camp, to pretend for 24 hours that this was my every day.
in my 24 hours at camp, a lot of people told me that my life seems really cool. that my semester in new york looked amazing, that the kennedy center is such an awesome place. and i agree with everyone. i do. my life is cool! and i’m very lucky to live it!
but the fact of the matter is, my cool life is kind of coming to an end. at least for a year or so. i’m leaving d.c. soon, my semester in new york is over—indiana is the next stop on my list. i have no other choice but to go back home.
and not only do i have to go home, but i want to go home. i want to go back to indiana and get arby’s curly fries and watch ‘crazy ex-girlfriend’ on my couch, the one in the living room. that’s what i want to do right now.
even my future—the one i’m trying very hard to not plan—involves indiana. i’m seriously considering going back to camp next summer instead of moving straight to new york.
and i’m afraid that all of this this stuff, this hoosier-filled-plan, makes me seem uncool. am i uncool?
i know the answer to this doesn’t matter, not really. being cool is not the goal of life. but—not going to lie—i don’t totally hate living a life that not many other people around me live. i don’t totally hate living a life that feels a little surreal. this feeling may be a little icky, but it’s definitely there.
which is why i feel so weird about missing indiana. i’m not supposed to miss indiana. i’m supposed to be living my cool life.
the secret’s out—i’ve strategically planned my life so that it goes down an unbeaten path. my dreams are incredibly authentic, promise, but i’m also not unaware that they’re unique. and—as much as i hate myself for admitting this— i’m not exactly mad that they garner a fun + proud response from friends and fam. being different can make you feel special. and who doesn’t want to feel special?
and now look at me, in all my efforts to be quirky + ambitious + brave, here i am, crawling back to the start, so excited to hang out with my mom.
i kind of feel like i’m failing myself. like i’m going against everything me, myself, and i had planned. because i did it—i went to new york! i’m in d.c!—and it’s all been so great, but now i just kind of want to be home. if only for a bit.
i’m going to work really hard to be okay with this feeling. that’s my new plan.