The old saying is that “home is where the heart is” and it has become increasingly clearer to me that my heart is not in this small town in Illinois. I’ve always known this small fact, but lately it’s glaringly obvious that I do not belong here in this city that I currently reside in.
Throwing privacy concerns away for right now… I’m originally from Michigan…Grand Rapids, Michigan to be exact. It wasn’t the best place to be and during high school I, like every other teenager, couldn’t wait to graduate and get the hell out-of-town. Grand Rapids was an okay city…there was usually always something to do and if there wasn’t then we’d just drive around until we found something interesting.
Moving to Chicago for school, even if for just one year, was an incredible experience that I wouldn’t change for the world. I learned so much about myself in that first year on my own that I couldn’t have learned living at home. Sure I missed home from time to time and yeah, I missed my friends from back home, but Chicago was incredible and I could see myself living in the city for a while. I felt like I belonged there…not necessarily belonging at that school, otherwise I’d still be there, but I felt like I belonged in the city. I could see myself calling that place home.
Again, throwing away my privacy once more… After Chicago I was pretty much forced to move down to central Illinois…Peoria to be a bit more descriptive. What was first only supposed to be a semester living here unfortunately turned into a whole year. In the past couple months it became increasingly clear to me that I just did not fit in and I didn’t belong here. While this may sound shallow or like it’s really not that big of a deal….majority of people here at school do not give two fucks about their appearance, which is the total opposite of me. The majority of people here only seem to care about their trucks, muddin’, bonfires, and other country shit. There’s nothing wrong with liking and caring about those things…they just simply aren’t for me. There’s nothing in this city that screams my name.
Every time I go up to Grand Rapids for the weekend, I never want to leave. I’m not saying that the city is completely and utterly amazing and that everyone should pack up and move there. I’m just saying that I feel like I can finally be myself when I’m up there. No acting like the perfect daughter, which is hard to do for months at a time. I feel more at ease and like nothing from back home could touch me for those few days. This last visit up there was greatly needed and solidified my needing/want to move up there once school gets out in early May. My brother actually offered to let me move in with him and his wife this summer, so I already have a cheap place to stay. All I need now is my own car, which should be happening in the next couple of weeks.
This summer has the potential to be a great one. I can already imagine myself laying on the beach (Lake Michigan happens to only be about a half hour away), late night adventures with friends, greatly missed bonfires, camping…and so many other things. Hopefully all goes to plan and my dad doesn’t try to stop me, because home is where the heart is and my heart just isn’t in Peoria.