I cannot describe how amazingÂ it was to visit home; the feeling of familiar faces, hugs and relationships that distance has both challenged and improved. I left a cold and quiet Sydney and arrived to a warm Minnesota summer, greeted by my parents and an overwhelming amount of messages from friends and family, awaiting my arrival. The two weeks at home, spent in Minnesota and Chicago went by quickly and even as the jet lag faded…the days blended together quite smoothly, making it difficult for me to separate each one from the last. I visited my favorite places and caught up with family and favorite people and in a days time…it felt as though nothing had changed at all. But with all of the excitement and joy I felt, visiting…I’d be lying to say that it was easyÂ without conveying my constant heartache and confusion while being home.
I cried a lot. I cried when I got homeâ€¦and the first time I say Bucky, (my beautiful yellow lab pup) Â and the first time I saw my mom and the first time I heard my sisters voice and the first time I ran into my dads arms…the first time I saw Becca, the first time I hugged Leslie, the first time I felt my cousins arms around me; hugging me and looking at me as though Iâ€™d been away for years. The first time I saw how much my little cousins had grown up into handsome young menâ€¦and the list goes on. But among this heartache and confusion, associated with the question, “So, when are you coming home?” it made me realize how very lucky I am.Â Its easy to take the people around you for graniteâ€¦especially family. But when you aren’t there for the annual gatherings, Thanksgiving, Christmas and all of the in betweens…you realize just how lucky you are to be loved and in relation to the beautiful people that surround you.
What made my heart heal throughout my own dramatic escapades, was the feeling as though Iâ€™d never left. I donâ€™t know at what point I got so incredibly lucky to have the best people surrounding me…and against all of my oddities and quirks, loving me so muchâ€¦but not missing a beat catching up with my closest friends from both High School and College made me realize that it doesnâ€™t matter how long I am away for or how much time goes in between letters, or phone calls or FaceTimesâ€¦home will always be home.